Kiepersol winery in Tyler has been selling Texas wine, and only Texas wine, in their store since 1999.
But now that Tyler has passed a law allowing the sale of alcohol for off-premise consumption, Kiepersol is widening their wine selection to include bottles from vineyards worldwide.
Wednesday was the first day wine from the famous Napa Valley, California, sat next to wine made right here in East Texas.
"It's putting us in the global market, not just saying, ‘Hey you're only allowed to buy Texas so this is all you get'," says Marnelle Durrett, proprietor and wine maker at Kiepersol Estates winery in Tyler.
Before November 19, Kiepersol Cellar in Tyler was only allowed to sell wine produced in Texas. They say city laws were the only thing keeping them from expanding their inventory.
"We already had the license, we had the license the whole time. Had this not been a dry city, we would have done it right from the beginning," Durrett says.
Even though Kiepersol Cellar now sells wines from California all the way to Spain, they say it should not hurt the sale of Texas wines.
"It's a chance to show off that Texas is just as good. We have our slogan, ‘Kiepersol wines are for wine drinkers too picky and proud to drink imports' but if you must, we'll have the best of the best here for people to try beside all of these great Texas wines," says Durrett.
Durrett hopes people who used to drive outside of Tyler for imported wines will stop by and compare their favorites with her Texas selection.
Many customers were excited about the new options but some aren't straying from their roots.
"I think Texas has produced good wine and I think everyone's pretty loyal to the good stuff that we've got around here," says Haley Kee, a Kiepersol Cellar customer.
Durrett says Kiepersol's new wine selection is not what will affect Texas wine sales.
"That ease of just going down the aisle, you can get all of your food and your clothes and whatever you want to get and go ahead and get your wine, that's what's going to hurt," Durrett says.
No matter what happens, the Kiepersol winery says they will always promote Texas wine first.
Kiepersol Cellar in Tyler is still working on stocking and pricing all of their new wine. They say it will also take time to train employees about their new selection.
Sunday, May 19 2013 10:07 AM EDT2013-05-19 14:07:39 GMT
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