May 24, 2010
Nestled alongside a buzzing highway and Grapevine's suburban sprawl lies the future of Texas agriculture. At least Jerry Delaney thinks so. And he has persuaded the Texas Department of Agriculture to help him.
Vintners need fruit more than pamphlets these days as they struggle to balance the irony of effective marketing – not enough Texas grapes. The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau grants a Texas wine label only if 75 percent of the grapes come from the state. A nasty freeze plagued the industry the past three years and hindered production.
"It's a big concern," said Tim Dodd, who heads the Texas Wine Marketing Research Institute at Texas Tech University. "The number of wineries has grown, but the vineyard acreage has stayed pretty constant."