This competition is the first of its kind in Texas and will reward both wineries and grape growers for sustainable practices. Applications are now available for downloading.
FORT WORTH, Texas – The Botanical Research Institute of Texas (BRIT) and the Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo (FWSSR) are proud to announce the launch of a unique Texas wine competition honoring both the wine producer and the grape grower. Applications for the inaugural Texas Sustainable Winegrowing Competition can be downloaded from the BRIT website at: http://www.brit.org/texaswinecompetition or fwssr.com. Application submission deadline is September 30, 2019 with winners announced in November.
The competition will award medals to winemakers and their grape growers recognizing that while some Texas wineries grow their own grapes, others buy grapes from farmers. Both sides of the process are critical to the environmental, social, and economic impact of the final product.
BRIT brings to the competition its ten-year history of promoting sustainability in winegrowing with the International Sustainable Winegrowing Award, which it hosts in cooperation with FIVS, a Paris-based international federation of sustainability-minded wine organizations. The Stock Show brings its century-plus-long history of recognizing excellence in agricultural practices and promoting Texas ranchers and farmers.
“The Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo continues to expand our educational scope to include important aspects of Texas agriculture beyond the livestock industry,” said Stock Show President and General Manager, Brad Barnes. “Highlighting Texas wine makers is a natural progression in this effort. It presents a tremendous opportunity for consumers to engage with growers and wine makers in dynamic settings.”
The Texas wine industry is a growing segment of the agricultural economy, with an economic impact estimated at $13.1 billion annually, according to a study on the American wine industry by John Dunham and Associates for the National Association of American Wineries. As of January 2019, more than 500 wineries were licensed in Texas.
“As with all great initiatives, we encourage our applicants to be creative and help establish new conservation and sustainable practices and to share that knowledge,” said Dr. Ed Schneider, BRIT's president and executive director. “To us, sustainability is not a point of arrival, but a direction in which to move.”
Highlighting both wine flavor and operational practices, the competition’s unique format expands opportunities for grape growers and wine makers to compete and excel in the one-of-a-kind event. The application is a five-question self-assessment of the winery’s and grape grower’s operations. All questions will have a sustainability bent; however, they are general enough that organizations that haven’t implemented sophisticated sustainability programs can successfully compete. All Texas wineries regardless of their sustainability progress will be encouraged to enter.
“Ranchers have embraced sustainability for generations. The Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo applauds all Texas wineries embracing the sustainability journey and urge their participation in this unique competition,” said Barnes.
Two main awards will be awarded to the top wines, Grand Champion and Grand Reserve. Gold, silver and bronze medals will also be granted to both the wineries and grape growers of top-placing entries.
To enter, go to www.BRIT.org/texaswinecompetition or fwssr.com to download the application. The submission deadline is September 30, 2019. There is a $50 entry fee per brand entered. Judging will take place in October, and winners will be announced in November. Grand Champion and Grand Reserve winners will be presented with their awards during BRIT’s annual Vine to Table award dinner and fundraiser in January 2020.