TWGGATexas Wine Grape Growers Association (Grapevine, TX)
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That debate came up again during a legislative update by TWGGA lobbyist Kyle Frazier, who said the labeling debate made progress on the association's other goals during the legislative session impossible.
TWGGA had hoped to back two bills that would provide some funding for statewide marketing, but those both failed.
22-24 was the largest in TWGGA's history and drew more than 800 people, requiring its largest venue: the vast Irving convention center.
Bonarrigo, who is a TWGGA board member, told Wines & Vines he only learned of the bill after it had been introduced to the legislature.
He pointed out, however, that the TWGGA holds a series of regional meetings with growers and vintners to determine what are the most important issues for the industry to focus on during the legislative session.
Today we have over 150 wineries, but we still have the same 3,600 acres of grapes that we had in 2003," says Gene Estes, owner of Lone Oak Vineyards and president-elect of TWGGA.
He's focusing TWGGA's efforts on two areas that would help the farmers feel more secure: getting grants from the Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA) to help farmers to make the transition to grapegrowing, and changing the threetier system so that small wineries can sell directly to restaurants and stores.
TWGGA executive director Dacota Julson already feels comfortable working with Staples.
Bonarrigo is the president of TWGGA, and served as an eloquent spokesman.