Across America and around the world, wineries in specific geographic areas have joined forces to form groups for the purposes of promotion and marketing.
In California, for instance, we have the Russian River Valley Winegrowers in Sonoma County, the Rutherford Winery Association in Napa Valley, and the Santa Barbara County Vintners in the Central Coast region, to name just a few.
Texas has winery groups as well, and during the month of October, the Texas Hill Country Wineries will present the 2014 Texas Wine Month Trail.
They say that everything is bigger in Texas, and that’s certainly true of the Texas Wine Month Trail event. Whereas most regional wine events last a day, a weekend or a couple of weekends at most, Texas Wine Month Trail, as its name insinuates, will run an entire month.
Here’s how it works: First, you buy a singles ticket for $35 or a couples ticket for $60. Then you select one of seven wineries at which to pick up your tasting booklet, which includes detailed information about all 42 participating wineries.
Each ticket is good for a full complimentary tasting at each winery, where the tasting booklets will be stamped. Considering that the average tasting fee at the participating wineries is $9, it’s easy to see how the savings can add up — if you have enough time to visit at least seven wineries.
The one caveat is that winery visits are limited to four per day. What prompted the Texas Hill Country Wineries to include that provision?
“I believe the major driver behind the decision is two-fold: safety and enjoyment,” says Mike Batek of Hye Meadow Winery. “We as an association want people to come out and enjoy each winery they visit. Part of that is slowing down to taste the wine, have a conversation and have an experience, I personally like to hang a bit longer if there is a view, or to savor a particular wine without rushing to meet a schedule.
“Looking at how our wineries are arranged in pockets across the hill country, we felt that it lent itself to this concept,” Batek adds. “In the process, it allows us to safely visit and not worry about our guests being over-served by the end of the afternoon. We truly want the Trail to be an experience to be enjoyed safely.”
Sounds reasonable to me. If it does to you, consider visiting Texas Hill Country during October and taking the time to soak in the sights, aromas and flavors of wine varieties both familiar and under the radar.
To order tickets for the 2014 Texas Wine Month Trail, click here.