Texas is the site of the first vineyard established in North America by Franciscan priests close to 1659. As European settlers followed the development of mission outposts, they brought more grapevine cuttings, further developing the industry through the 1800s.
Today, Texas boasts approximately 4,500 acres of producing vineyard farmland. The U.S. Department of Treasury, through the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, officially designates American Viticulture (Grape Growing) Areas, or AVAs.
A viticultural area for American wine is a delimited grape-growing region having distinguishing features, a name, and delineated boundary. These designations allow vintners and consumers to attribute a given quality, reputation, or other characteristic of a wine made from grapes grown in an area to its geographic origin.
The establishment of viticultural areas allows vintners to describe more accurately the origin of their wines to consumers and helps consumers to identify wines they may purchase.