Back in the early to mid 1990s one of my clients was a fairly large Texas Winery. It’s president was a very accomplished wine and spirits executive who after retiring from a large company took the position at this Texas winery…I think just to keep busy and keep in control of something.

However, at the time there was no person in Texas more anti-direct shipping than he. His reasoning was if direct shipping was allowed in Texas then CA wineries would overwhelm his sales, which he and his team had done a great job of developing among Texas distributors and consumers.

Were he still alive today, he would be one unhappy man. It appears that Texas will not only be allowing directs shipping, but will be changing it’s laws to allow sampling of out-of-state wines in Texas grocery stores.

This is really important for the health of those small wineries across the country we all love so much. Texas is the 4th largest wine market in America.

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4 Responses

  1. Lenn - May 6, 2005

    Tom…in your experience with non-CA, small producers…do hear this a lot…that they are anti-direct shipment?
    All of the small producers here (which is really all of them save maybe one) are all for it and look forward to expanding their reach.

  2. Ryan Scott - May 6, 2005

    I would love to taste more domestic wine outside of California, Oregon and Washington. I have tasted more wine from California (I actually did live in San Bernardino for 7 years) than Colorado where I have lived since 1988. I hear that upstate New York has some excellent Riesling and I would love to taste some stuff from Texas.
    The more we support domestic wine, the more money they will have to make good wine, and maybe even at a better price point for some of us. I would love to seem some sub $10 wine coming out of Colorado that tastes good and stands up to Spanish and Chilean wines.

  3. chas - May 6, 2005

    While some of the new changes may affect previously “dry” counties and I’m sure there are some nuances I’m missing, as someone living in Texas, some of this is a bit confusing because shipping here at least has been legal for awhile. A lawsuit that was won in 2003 “allows Texas consumers to order wine from out-of-state suppliers and to have that wine shipped to them in Texas.” There is a page on this at the TABC (Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission) web site: http://www.tabc.state.tx.us/Wine.htm
    Similarly, there’s a good site with the shipping rules based on the outcome of that suit at: http://www.wineinstitute.org/shipwine/
    I don’t think this has been updated to reflect any of the new legal changes. Ultimately you have to ship via UPS I believe because most other carriers haven’t got the appropriate state license.
    Meanwhile, this bit about tasting out of state wines in grocery stores is also confusing. It happens every day at grocery stores here in Austin and has for years. In fact, I can’t remember the last grocery store tasting of a Texas wine that I’ve had.

  4. Livinglikekings - May 11, 2005

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