Texas in Transition: Considering the Production of Grapes, Wine, and Place

Myles, Colleen C.
Townsend, Christi G.
Collins, Kourtney
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Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute
Given the state’s growing prominence in the United States wine industry, paired with its relative obscurity, we explore the cultural and environmental transformation of the state of Texas from the perspective of the b(l)ooming wine industry. Using a qualitative, narrative approach, focused on the two largest and most productive appellations in the state, we form a framework for understanding the historical and contemporary context for wine in Texas. Through participant observation and targeted interviews with growers, winemakers, and other wine industry insiders, we uncover how wine has become a major part of the regional identity of the Texas Hill Country and High Plains. We find that, even though the best wines made in Texas are made from lesser known and harder to market varietals, Texans have embraced the wine (culture) produced in their state. Though, as elsewhere, the industry in Texas is complex and multifaceted, it is still evolving, and industry actors are focusing on making a high quality, tasty product in order to compete with other wine industry giants. Although growers in the Hill Country and High Plains face various challenges, these circumstances demand creativity. However, the challenging circumstances and accompanying creativity are precisely what drive the unique tastes of Texas wines, a reality the Texas wine industry has begun to embrace.
wine, culture, cultural landscape, place, fermented landscapes, Texas, Geography and Environmental Studies
Myles, C. C., Townsend, C. G., & Collins, K. (2022). Texas in transition: Considering the production of grapes, wine, and place. Social Sciences, 11(488).