Published Works of
Thomas M. Ciesla
Essays   --   Think Pieces





texas websites
lone reeds on the internet

By: Thomas M. Ciesla
Originally published in a three part series on; October, 1999 - January, 2000. Article has been reformatted for online publishing

Texas is the fifth largest producer of wine in the United States a fact considered unimpressive by some, yet remarkable when you consider that the other four states begin their winery count at over a hundred. Texas has never hosted more than fifty wineries. This despite the fact that wine in Texas predates the introduction of wine into California by one hundred years.

At last count (dec, 2001), Texas had thirty-nine active wineries. Of these, twenty-three (or 58%) have established a presence on the Internet. This low participation in the Web community is but one of the intriguing aspects of the Texas wine industry; an industry ranked fifth in the nation, an industry that struggles with it's identity, ("There are wineries in Texas?"), and an industry spread out over a vast piece of real estate. One would expect that Texas wineries would have been some of the first to jump on the Internet bandwagon to help promote themselves and compensate for the fact that they're located hundreds of miles away from populous areas.

Thirdly, individual and state efforts at promoting Texas wineries have been spotty at best. During the late 70s and early 80's, winemakers, particularly those with wineries in dry counties, simply set up a tasting room on a major highway, hung out a sign and waited for folks to stop in. They were too busy trying to figure out what-would-grow-where, to have time to promote themselves. During this same time the state did little to promote the wine industry, despite the fact that Texas is the second most popular state for tourists to visit. One would think that tourism and the wine industry would be a match made in heaven.


    1. Introduction
    2. Finding the Websites
    3. Examining The Websites
    4. Examining The Websites II
    5. Issues: The Lone Reeds


The late 1990s saw an influx of new people into the Texas wine industry. These new owners, building on the work of the early pioneers, brought a new sense of urgency with them, leveraging sophisticated marketing techniques and they embraced the Internet as a powerful marketing tool. It is no coincidence that well over half of the Texas wineries on the Internet are part of this 'new school' of winery owners. At the same time organizations such as the Texas Wine and Grape Growers Association and the Wine Marketing and Research Institute of Texas Tech have also launched websites.

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Last Update 11/5/2001

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Grapevine Scholars

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The authors strive to keep the Texas Wine Trails website as accurate as possible. However, in an industry as dynamic as the Texas wine industry, change comes fast and often. From time-to-time some information may be inadvertently outdated. Please check with the wineries before visiting and verify all event dates.