Wine Walk: Texas now ranks No. 4 in number of US wineries

Wine Walk: Texas now ranks No. 4 in number of US wineries
Texas is now the fourth largest winery state in the USA, surpassing New York. Enjoy the great Texas wine experience!

Texas is now the fourth largest winery state in the USA, surpassing New York. Enjoy the great Texas wine experience!

Texas has received several accolades the past few weeks. Texas now is ranked fourth in the USA as to number of wineries with just over 600 wineries, bypassing New York state.

Oregon and Washington have around 800 wineries each with California at over 4,500 wineries. Texas has the third largest wine economy on a state-by-state basis having a wine industry impact of $13.1 billion. New York state with its much larger wineries has an economic impact of $13.8 billion with California on top approaching $72 billion.

Texas has a lot of small boutique wineries which provides for many outstanding wines earning thousands of medals each year for its wines. There are fewer than ten wineries in Texas that produce over 100,000 cases of wine annually. These larger wineries are also the older wineries like Messina Hof, Llano Estacado, Becker, Haak, Brennan, and such. There is also a definite shift as you look at the types of medal earned by Texas wines. Bronze Medals were the dominant type of medal earned. This winning trend has now transitioned to mostly Silver Medals with hundreds of gold medals and increasing numbers of Double Gold Medals aka Platinum Medals. More and more wineries are now entering wine competitions compared to a handful five years ago. As Texas wineries develop and mature, this gives the wines they produce time to evolve and become more complex as they age.

Consumers are also recognizing the Texas wine industry. Of the 19 wine trails in Texas, the Texas Hill Country Wine Trail is the largest at close to 60 wineries with almost 1 million visitors per year. The Texas Hill Country is the country’s third largest area acreage-wise for the production of wine. Obviously, the density of wineries is not nearly on the scale as California, but the 9,000,000 acres is very popular for wine visitors. The 2021 USA Today 10 Best Readers’ Choice awards were chosen by the readers with the Texas Hill Country being the Number Three choice across the Nation. Other region accolades like Travel + Leisure Magazine’s top 50 BEST Places to Visit in 2021 have been bestowed on the Texas Hill Country.

Texas is now celebrating its wine harvests at wineries and community celebrations. Such celebrations include:

Friday and Saturday – Harvest Celebrations at Messina Hof Winery in Bryan

Sept. 16 thru 19 – Grapevine, Texas Wine Festival

Sept. 18 – Historic Montgomery Wine and Music Festival

Sept. 18 – Cheese and Wine Festival in Fredericksburg

Sept. 19 – Sunday Funday Stroll in Historic Downtown Conroe benefiting Bridgewood Farms

Sept. 19 – Wine Festival in Waco

Sept. 24 thru Oct. 17 – Texas Wine Garden Celebration at the Texas State Fair in Dallas.

Once the grape harvest is finalized near the end of September, the entire State of Texas celebrates with October as Texas Wine Month sponsored by the Texas Department of Agriculture. Raise a glass of Texas wine. It is now easily accessible at your local HEB or Kroger’s with more shelf space than French wines. Texas has evolved from almost nothing in 1976 when Texas’ first winery was established after the end of Prohibition to the third most populous state of wineries in our great country.


Brant Foy

Brant E. Foy is a reporter for Business Journal.  He has previously worked for the Waco Star Journal.  As a contributor to Business Journal, Brant covers emerging business developments, legal and trending technology related stories.