During a quick business trip to the USA , I spent a couple of days in one of my favourite wine regions in Texas, the Hill Country and found in just a few months some exciting events to come. The Opening of wineries like Inwood from the Dallas area and the new tasting room facilities in the style of a Italian Enoteca by Flat Creek on May 5th 2014 are just a couple of examples.
Other events are of the existing wineries of the region coming together as a closely knitted group to help each other, as well as to improve the wine experience of visitors in the region, hoping by getting together to make the wine experience a safer and more enjoyable one. I had a chance to sit in on one of their meetings and listen to important topics from safe transportation to and from winery sites either by limousine or other types of transportation, to looking at redoing their appellation map so as to make it easier for everyone to understand, to education.
During this meeting, they voted on many subject. One of them was to help new wineries as they progressed in their endeavors to produce Wines in Texas.
Although there has been a loss in funding for improving winemaking education, the Hill country region has put together a comity of young, bright and energetic winery owners, who spear head common projects to compensate for the governmental budgetary losses for research and the sharing of information. Along with Flat Creek Estate, there were wineries such as William Chris Winery, Pedernales, Lewis Winery, Bending Branch, Brennan Winery, Messina Hof, Driftwood… to name a few of the very active wineries present. They create and maintain fundings with tailgate parties which is an outreach program for the wineries to share information and educate themselves of the problems, as well as technical advances which do well in the Texas Hill Country. Here, they organize dinners and field days and workshops which brings the wineries closer together. The wineries also conduct fundraisers that give Grants to help young wineries and as they produce their wines. Tasting room workshops and shared tasting rooms training sessions where also on the agenda of things to develop.
SAFETY is very important the wineries. So insuring the safety of visitors is a major preoccupation, especially for the smaller wineries. So everyone is encourage to reach out to their local police force to help curb potential problems of drunk driving….
Communication and training of tasting room staff persons is also encourage for recognizing a potential drunk driver or other situations that could be considered dangerous.
As Go Texans is a part of the Texas Department of Agriculture, a Representative of Go TEXANS was present to congratulate the group and give words of encouragement in their endeavors. he stated that the Texas Hill Country wine region was recognized as one of the top ten wine region destination in the USA by the Wine Enthusiasts Magazine, and he would like to see the Hill Country Wineries become number one someday.
The Texas Hill Country Wineries Association is preparing a new brochure that will highlight the new wineries as well as introduce improvements and affiliate tasting areas.
Social media campaigne with Facebook and promotional ads, will target weekend visitors who come to the hill country once or twice a year to entice them to visit other wineries on the outskirts and to spark interest in the Hill Country as a whole.
Finally, As the largest AVA in Texas, the wineries want to set the ground work for identifying certain particularities of Texas Hill Country Wines that stand out. By doing so, they are planting the seeds to Texas Hill Country’s Identity by looking at and identifying the styles and perimeters of the wines produced in their region.