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State may put cork in wine marketing

State may put cork in wine marketing
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POSTED: Thursday, February 24, 2011 - 4:13pm

UPDATED: Thursday, February 24, 2011 - 5:35pm

Budget cuts are sure to make some people whine... especially those in the wine industry.

The budget board is suggesting that the Texas Department of Agriculture cut the $4.3 million allotted for the state's wine and grape production and marketing.

Pierre de Wet, owner of Keipersol Estates in Tyler, says he understands cuts are sometimes necessary.

"We understand that we are spending too much money as a state and as a country," de Wet says. "In our personal budgets, and our business budgets, we have to make choices... and if the state and federal government have to do that, then I'm all for it."

Texas is the 5th largest producer of wine in the country, and are 7th for wine grape production.

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The missing point is that what has been proposed is NOT a cut. It is elimination. $4.3 million is the total budget for TDA Wine marketing, tech support and research assistance.

This money actually makes money. It supports a $1.7 Billion (Yes, that;s with a capital "B") in economic impact to the state. The $1.7 Billion is up 25% percent in two years. That's real growth in funds that support a lot of state programs through taxes.

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