Oklahoma wine industry has much in common with the Texas wine industry

The history of the Oklahoma wine industry shares much in common with the growth of the Texas wine industry. By 1900, winemaking flourished in the Lone Star State, with more than 25 active wineries. Sadly, the forces of Prohibition destroyed the Texas grape-growing industry in just two decades.

Today, Texas has around 2,900 acres of vineyards and produces more than 1 million gallons of wine, according to the Texas Wine Marketing Research Institute. The industry is still growing, too! Wine production in Texas is expected to exceed 2 million gallons within the next five years. It is important to note that Texas didn't reach this level of wine production without government support.

Texas has benefited from legislature committed to supporting their local wine industry. As of Sept. 1, 2001, consumers visiting Texas wineries can ship wine purchases directly to their homes, as long as someone of legal drinking age accepts the delivery. Additional legal changes allow a consumer not physically present at a winery to order wines through the Internet or by telephone, and then have it shipped to a local packaging/mailing store for pickup or home delivery. The Austin Business Journal has published an interesting overview of the Texas Wine Industry

The Texas Wine Marketing Research Institute estimates that winemaking injects approximately $20 million a year into the Central Texas' economy.
Hopefully, Oklahoma lawmakers will pay particular attention to the Texas model and move our state forward as well.

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