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February 1st Launch of Texas Twitter Tuesday

I just searched my wine cellar for a bottle of wine produced in Texas. My last Texan wine is a 2002 Paulo, a classic Bordeaux blend from Messina Hof Winery in Bryan. I’ll open it today and have it while viewing Twitter from 7:00 pm to 7:30 pm CST. Bobby Champion, TDA (Texas Department of Agriculture) state coordinator for wine marketing will use the social media event to discuss the Texas wine industry, its successes in 2010 and the expected future growth. Yes, Texas has a wine industry. They are the fifth largest wine producing state in the country. If their growth in wineries continues, they may soon challenge the state of New York for fourth place in wine production.

The February 1st event is called Texas Twitter Tuesday and subsequent events will take place the first Tuesday of each month. Anyone with Internet access can follow the tweets by following #GoTexan or follow the tweets in the TweetChatRoom set up for the Texas Twitter Tuesday event.

Kathy and I have had the opportunity to visit and write about several Texas wineries. The first thing about Texas that comes to mind is Texan resilience. We visited a winery whose inventory was destroyed by a hurricane. Other Texan wineries quickly stepped in with wine for them. We visited another Texan winery that lost its wine and winery due to a flood. Now there is a new winery, restaurant, and bed and breakfast on higher ground. We met a winemaker/vineyardist who lost his grape crop three straight years. Rather than complaining he stated that the vines would reward him with a superior crop. One can’t deny the resilience of the Texan spirit.

I have a few questions for Bobby Champion. I’d like to know the percentage of wine produced in Texas with grapes sourced out of the state. I also wonder if this percentage is increasing or decreasing. Do Texas vineyards have a handle on Pierce’s disease? Have late spring frosts damaged the crops in recent years? Does it appear that the industry has saturated the wine market or will it continue to grow? Tune in to Twitter on February 1st for the first Texas Twitter Tuesday event.


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