Monday, July 24, 2006

The origin of "Texas" wine: well said, guy!

A real quickie before I get to my interviews: a comment was posted which tells the people what they need to know, so check it out, Texas.

There are more Texas wineries selling out of state fruit than we could mention here. Some are perfectly open about it, labeling the wine as "American", rather than Texas, some don't label it with an appellation at all, some are much more dishonest. And Texas law allows for the dishonesty.

Under FEDERAL wine labeling law, if the wine is labeled as Texas, at least 75% of the fruit had to come from Texas. Texas law is not so demanding, allowing a much lower percentage of native fruit, and then allowing the wine to be marked "For Sale in Texas Only" to keep the label from triggereing federal law. It's a pretty dirt little trick.

Furthermore, some Texas wineries use their brand identification to simply bottle wines without telling you anything about fruit origin. The current Llano Pinot Grigio has NO appellation listed. Wanna bet it's not from Texas? Customers should ABSOLUTELY be able to assume that wine from a Texas winery is actually FROM TEXAS. Unfortunately, both Texas and Federal labeling law provide many loopholes to fool the customer.

Same thing with a "California" wine, the 2004 Mark West Pinot Noir was cleverly from Corsica, that's Corsica, France. Said it right there on the front label, on the shelf, in the California Pinot Noir section. But because people thought of Mark West as a California brand, most people never thought to check whether the wine was actually from California.

Just read the labels folks. If it's from Texas it will say Texas, or Texas Hill Country, or Texas High Plains, or Lubbock County, or some identifiable geographical Lone Star locale.

BUT, If it says "For Sale in Texas Only", all bets are off. It's undocumented alien wine, might be from Mars.


Anonymous Christian Cox said...

La Cigale is 37% Martins' Vineyard Grenache and 43% Martins' Vineyard Mourvedre. 80% Texas High Pkains Fruit. It's 10% Tempranillo, 7% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 3% Syrah of unknown origin.

6:04 PM  
Anonymous Christian Cox said...

oops, meant that for the Woodrose post, has some applicability to both places though . . .

6:04 PM  
Anonymous Christian said...

I did some code reading today and I need to clarify something, Texas law also requires 75% of a wine to originate within an appellation to use it on the label. BUT, Texas law allows varietal labeling at 51%, much lower than the federal standard of 75%. However, federal law is less forgiving when it comes to implying that wine comes from a certain place, requiring that the wine meet the appellation requirements if it identifies itself with a "name of geographical significance."

"For sale in Texas Only" serves to keep the wine out of interstate commerce and allow all sorts fo Texas allusions which turn out to be Texas illusions.

7:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, that's really weird. I don't understand why they do that.
Wine is the greatest drink. I'm a great fan of it. Recently, I've written an article about food and wine pairing.

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