Melissa Grady
 
February 15, 2017 | Melissa Grady

Truth In Labeling

Something big has happened that’s been years in the making. At long last, the Texas wine industry has the opportunity to prescribe clarity in wine labeling for us consumers.

House Bill 1514, the “Truth in Labeling Act,” is a no-frills bill. It simply states that 100% of a wine’s volume must come from Texas grown fruit in order to claim Texas as an appellation of origin. As it sits, only 75% of the wine must be made from Texas-grown grapes which is also the minimum by federal standards.

Photo courtesy of Robert Clay Vineyards - a 100% Texas-grown winery.

Napa Valley Vintners’ Association says it best, “wine is the ultimate product of origin.” Think about it – California, France, Italy and several other world-renowned wine regions have standards in place that truly define the origin of their wine and the terroir from which it hails. So why shouldn’t Texas?

If passed, HB 1514 will assures consumers that if “Texas” is proudly displayed on the label, they can trust the wine they are purchasing is unquestionable in its authenticity. This bill’s adoption will ensure Texas grape growers’ crops are the cornerstone of a “Texas” wine’s distinction – they add something you can get nowhere else in the world honest, Texas, agriculture.

"If Texas wants to be taken seriously as a wine region, it needs to realize that in wine truth is paramount. To obfuscate or deceive is to disrespect not only the people who drink the wine, but also the people who make it, and the land that produces it. To muddle people’s understanding of a wine’s provenance is to willfully deceive and risks engendering cynicism about Texas wine..." - Jordan Mackay, James Beard award-winning author.

HB1514 also helps Texas to gain international recognition as an authentic wine producing state. According to wine enthusiasts everywhere, this is an area of opportunity for us.

At William Chris, we’ve been fighting for labeling transparency since we opened our doors. While the introduction of this bill is a huge step forward, we need your support to keep the momentum going.

If you are in favor of “truth in labeling” for Texas wine, please sign our petition.

Don’t stop there – congress is meeting now! Contact your representatives in their Austin offices while they are still in session.

This bill will not change the way Texas winemakers elect to blend their wines or source their fruit. It should be business as usual with one minor change, clarity. We believe Texans deserve to know where their wine is coming from and request full disclosure only. Let your congressman know if you feel the same. 

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