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Texas is raising a toast to its wine producers and grape growers for the environmental, social and economic impact they create.

The Botanical Research Institute of Texas (BRIT) and the Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo have partnered to organize a first-of-its-kind wine competition, Texas Sustainable Winegrowing Competition.

The deadline for winemakers to enter the competition is Sept. 30. The competition will honor both the wine producer and the grape growers.

Although the flavor and sustainable practices remain the primary focus while judging the wine, organizers said that participants need not demonstrate "sophisticated" sustainability programs.

“As with all great initiatives, we encourage our applicants to be creative and help establish new conservation and sustainable practices and to share that knowledge,” said Dr. Ed Schneider, BRIT's president and executive director. “To us, sustainability is not a point of arrival, but a direction in which to move.”

All applicants' wine must be made with at least 75% Texas-grown grapes.

According to a study commissioned by WineAmerica, Texas' wine industry is responsible for over 60,000 jobs and 13 billion in economic impact annually.

Over 500 licensed wineries operate in Texas, as of early 2019.

“The Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo continues to expand our educational scope to include important aspects of Texas agriculture beyond the livestock industry,” said Stock Show President and General Manager, Brad Barnes. “Highlighting Texas winemakers is a natural progression in this effort. It presents a tremendous opportunity for consumers to engage with growers and winemakers in dynamic settings.”

The winners will be announced in November. The two top honorees, grand champion and grand reserve, will be awarded their prize during BRIT's annual Vine to Table award dinner in January 2020.

To enter the competition and get more detail, visit: www.BRIT.org/texaswinecompetition

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