The mission of the Italy-America Chamber of Commerce Texas (IACC) is that of fostering business relations between Italy and Texas.
That means energy business, high-tech business, fashion business, and design business.
But it also means food and wine business.
That’s part of the reason why the IACC launched the Taste of Italy festival a few years ago.
The gathering brings together scores of Italian food and wine producers and purveyors who travel from Italy to connect with importers, distributors, restaurateurs, chefs, and wine buyers in Texas.
With this in mind, we’d like to announce the launch of a new series of blog posts here on the IACC Texas blog on Italian wine.
Houston and Austin are the fastest growing cities in America today. Their populations are expanding rapidly because both cities are among the leaders in the U.S. for business and job opportunities. And with the rise of a new wave of middle class residents, both cities (and Dallas, perhaps to a lesser extent) have experienced an EXPLOSION in the number of fine dining establishments.
And that translates, naturally, into a substantial increase in the sale of wine and in Italian wine in particular.
Historically, Texas has always been one of the best markets for Californian wine and for Texan wine.
Californian wine has thrived here as it has since it first became popular across North American in the 1970s and 1980s.
And, of course, Texan wine, which can trace its roots back to the early 1980s and beyond, has been extremely popular since Texan winemakers began to market their wines more aggressively in the late 1990s and 2000s.
It was in the late 1990s that the Italian wine renaissance began to take shape in New York with the opening of restaurants like Joe Bastianich and Mario Batali’s Babbo in the West Village of Manhattan. Italian wine fever started to spread across North America in the 2000s. The new interest in wines from Italy was fueled by the meteoric rise of Italian cuisine in the U.S. and by the fact that Italian wine represents the greatest quality-price-ratio value in fine wine today. And the growing interest was only amplified by the efforts of Italian winemakers to raise visibility and awareness of their products here.
By the time the financial crisis of 2007-2008 arrived, Texas was already had the fastest growing population in the country (akin to the California of the 1970s). And with the new migration of professionals to Texas also came a new wave of wine professionals, mostly from the east coast.
They brought with them even greater interest and experience in Italian wine and they helped to make Texas the hottest market for Italian wine today in the U.S. outside of New York.
Today, there are literally scores of new Italian restaurants in Houston and Austin that have opened over the last five years. And there are at least two new wine distributors in Texas that include multiple portfolios of Italian wines.
Look out for more content on Italian wine here on the IACC blog. And if you are a Chamber member who works with Italian wine, please let us know so that we can devote a profile to you and your business!