This week grape growers, winemakers and winery owners from across Texas are coming to Irving to celebrate Texas Wine at TWGGA’s annual conference! And celebration is called for – Texas Wine is a boon! In 2017 alone the Texas Wine industry boosted the Texas economy by more than 13 billion!
But the Texas Wine and Grape Growers Annual Conference is more than just a giant wine party (although a great wine party it is!) Fantastic educational opportunities abound for seasoned veterans and rookies alike. Comprehensive classes are offered to showcase best practices in wine making, agriculture, tasting rooms, marketing, finance and more. And that’s just the beginning – over 125 venders from all over the globe are on hand to demonstrate state of the art products representing every aspect of the wine business.
This yearly gathering is a driving force behind the fierce growth of the Texas wine scene. And this growth is not lucky happenstance – it’s by design. It’s hard to find another industry so willing to share best practices with their competitors. But that’s exactly what happens here. Grape growers from across the state divulge in-depth detail regarding their processes and techniques. The state’s most successful wine room operators speak on lessons learned and winning practices that have created sustained success for their brands. Wine makers openly discuss the technical skills and steps of how to create exceptional wines (and more and more Texas wines are winning prestigious awards against big name global competition.)
This commitment to growing the industry in addition to individual businesses has been the rising tide that floats all boats. Consider the 2017 industry statistics compared to 2005. The Texas Wine industry went from employing 8,000 full-time people to over 60,000. From 113 licensed wineries to nearly 400. And wine tourism has blossomed as well – from $221 million spent to over $716 million.
Yet even with this level of growth Texas is still just the 5th largest wine producer among the 50 states, competing with the likes of California, Washington and Oregon wines. Add to that massive market of imported wines from around the globe and we begin to understand the strategy the TWGGA organization employs. By capitalizing on state pride and fostering a team culture Texas Wine businesses view themselves as pulling for the same side more than fighting against one another.
So as this week’s conference unfolds the best practices, industry tips and “secret sauce” will be on full display for all the TWWGA members to consume and share. So watch out world, Texas Wines are coming for you!