The Texas Wine and Food Consortium (the Consortium) was created on the principle that we want to help and be apart of the growth of the Texas wine industry. We believe that through collaboration, value enriched member services, programs and partnerships we will be able to assist in the growth of the Texas wine industry in terms of vineyard expansion, grape production, wine production as well as through unified consumer outreach and education.
The Consortium is unique for a non-profit in that we fill a space in the industry that sits between such industry partners as the Texas Wine and Grape Growers Association (TWGGA), which is advocacy driven organization and the Wine and Food Foundation of Texas (WFFT), which is a consumer driven organization. We see ourselves as a mid-stream partner that lends a helping hand to producers in the areas of winery operations and promotions. We are concerned with helping producers mature and maintain the health of their production operations via neutral expert consulting, cooperative business services and programs. On the promotion front we aim to be a marketing tool and voice for producers and a resource for the consumer to learn about and get access to Texas wines via various Happenings including tastings, events, competitions, cruises and tours that are created with the intent to share Texas wines with the world.
In terms of where we see the Texas wine industry going, we must look at where it has been and where it is currently. In 1935 when the 18th Amendement was repealed there was only 1 registered winery in Texas. In 1980 there were only 5, 44 in 2002, 245 in 2011 and an 300 expected in 2013. The industry has grown 456% from 2002-2011. The growth numbers are impressive, the fact that almost 100% of the wine produced in Texas is consumed in Texas, on top of the ever growing demand of Texas fruit and the demand from the consumer to support what is local are all great signs that add up to a flourishing Texas wine industry that will rival and compete on a global stage.
There are some realities that have to be overcome in order for the industry as a whole to reach a new level. In the last legislative session nearly all funding to grape growers and wine producers was cut by the Department of Agricutlure and is not expected to be reinstated during the next session. That grant funding was spent on higher education in enology and viticutlure as well as vineyard programs for small farmers. In reality, it has compounded the fact that there is not enough quality Texas fruit at competitive industry prices that are equivalent to the quality fruit coming from other states. Grape production is the single most important driver that will expand the Texas wine industry. Promotion of product, brand awareness and consumer outreach and education of Texas wines is another aspect of the industry that gets little attention and is needed if the industry is to grow. Marketing efforts are predominately done on an individua producer basis, where the budget dedicated to marketing activities for a winery producing 2000-10,000 cases is less that 2% on average of their total operating budget.
Facts about the Consortium:
- The Texas Wine and Food Consortium is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation, organized in 2012 under the laws of the State of Texas
- Contributions to the Consortium are deductible to the extent allowed by law
- The Consortium relies solely upon contributions from sponsors for funding its activities and operations
- Working with the active guidance of a Board of Directors, the Consortium maintains a small staff and network of community partners to produce and implement the range of educational events and delivery of services the Consortium is committed to providing in fulfillment of its Mission
The Texas Wine and Food Consortium. Copyright 2012.