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COMMISSIONER MILLER ASKS GOVERNOR TO REOPEN TEXAS WINERIES IMMEDIATELY (7/2/2020)

AUSTIN- Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller has written Governor Greg Abbott asking him to change his recent Executive Order and allow Texas wineries and wine tasting rooms to reopen immediately. Abbott’s order on Friday, June 26 again closed Texas wine tasting rooms along with all bars across Texas.

“It’s time for a little common sense with these closures,” said Commissioner Miller. “A wine tasting room is not a bar. There’s not the same concern about large crowds of people getting drunk and forgetting about precautions against COVID-19 that you’d find in a bar. I’ve asked Governor Abbott to recognize this difference and give our Texas grape growers this chance to survive in this pandemic.”

With 95% of all Texas wine sold through tasting rooms, the impact of closing these rooms again will have a devastating effect on the already struggling Texas wine industry.

“Agriculture producers can’t afford to lose business right now- it’s hard enough to make a profit on a good year,” Commissioner Miller said. “When these wineries suffer, we lose more than just wine. We’re looking at a domino effect because Texas manufacturers, retailers and consumers will all feel the long-lasting impact.”

Texas ranks fifth in the U.S. for the largest wine producing state and generated $22.7 million in wine grape production in 2019.