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Winemakers Battle Over Creation Of Texas Appellation

Texas winemakers are grappling over House Bill 1514, which proposes to create an appellation for wine made in the state, the Austin-American Statesman reported.

A small but growing group of winemakers are advocating for the bill’s passage, believing it will help the Texas wine industry in its push for authenticity. The law would establish that wine can only be granted Texas appellation if it is made from 100 percent Texas-grown grapes, fully produced and finished in the state.

Others, including the Texas Wine & Grape Growers Association, are against the bill, arguing that the state’s growers have not yet established the yields, year after year, to fully supply the winemakers.

The Texas wine industry currently follows federal labeling regulations stipulating that wines can have an appellation of origin if they are made with a minimum of 75-percent grapes grown in that state. Proponents of the proposed rule say a 100-percent mandate would help elevate Texas’s status as a wine region of note.

Texas, the fifth-largest producer of wine in the United States, joins 46 other states in solely adhering to the federal 75-percent requirement. California and Oregon, two regions that make far more wine than Texas, are the only two with laws that require that all grapes be grown in the same state to receive appellation. Washington State, meanwhile, has a 95-percent rule.

Nicolas Feuillatte Names New Managing Director

Champagne producer Nicolas Feuillatte has appointed Christophe Juarez as its managing director. Most recently, Juarez was the CEO for Unicoop, a Cognac cooperative, where he re-launched several acclaimed producers, including Prince Hubert de Polignac and Hardy.

Juarez has held executive and top sales and marketing positions with companies including Chanel, Cartier and L’Oreal’s luxury division. In 2003, he joined the wine and spirits industry as the managing director for Domaine Laroche. Juarez’s appointment was effective May 4.

Maison Nicolas Perrin Becomes “Domaine & Maison Les Alexandrins”

Maison Nicolas Perrin announced that it will step up its development in the Northern Rhone Valley through a majority share in Domaine les Alexandrins at Mercurol. The resulting entity will be rebranded as “Domaine et Maison Les Alexandrins.”

Although Domaine Les Alexandrins will continue to draw on its 8 hectares (19 acres) of the Crozes-Hermitage and Saint-Joseph appellations, the Maison Les Alexandrins sets a new course with ambitions encompassing the whole of the Northern Rhone Valley.  The new business will be led by three people: Nicolas Jaboulet, the 6th generation of a wine-growing family in Tain l’Hermitage since 1834; Guillaume Sorrel, son of Marc Sorrel of Domaine Sorrel in Hermitage; and Alexandre Caso, a specialist in the terroirs of the Northern Rhone.

The first 2015 “Domaine et Maison Les Alexandrins” wines will be available in France starting June 1.