Another year has quickly passed and another one is about to begin. I made some 2013 New Year’s Resolutions earlier in the year. Let’s see how I did.
- “Lose weight.” Okay, I did this. I got close to the weight when I was 27 and that was a few years ago. And then the holidays came and I gained it back as most people usually do.
- “Hit the 200 mark of wineries visited.” Gloria and I both visited wineries during the year and then things got busy for Gloria and she lost a little interest in traveling so much. After my recent trip of over 1,300 miles in a three day weekend, I don’t blame her now. But I did accomplish my goal as the number of total Texas wineries I have now visited is 211. Unfortunately some of that number closed during the year too.
- “Revisit our favorite wineries throughout the state.” We did do that in a few great trips on weekends.
- “Learn more about wine by taking wine classes and entertain the thought of taking the Certified Specialist of Wine (CSW) exam.” I signed up for the CSW exam and will be engrossed into studying in February and March of 2014 since the exam is at the end of March.
- “Attend TWGGA (Texas Wine and Grape Growers Association) events, TEXSOM (Texas Sommelier Conference), and Drink Local Wine conference.” I did all and had great times except I didn’t make the Drink Local Wine conference. I also attended Neal Newsom’s Grape Day.
- “Visit the Mendoza wine region in Argentina.” We had a fantastic time in Argentina and to me it was the most incredible trip I have ever taken. Big thanks goes to the NICE Winery in Houston for arranging the Mendoza part of the trip. We were also able to throw in a trip to visit the Finger Lakes and a couple Canadian wineries.
- “Continue to help Texas wineries at wine festivals.” We both volunteered for four wine festivals.
- “Helped wineries either plant vines or pruning.” We did help Bernhardt Winery prune.
- “Redesign the blog website.” Done even though more changes are needed.
- “Increase blog readership.” This did happen as readership increased 2.5 times from the previous year.
- “Continue the support of the Texas Wine industry.” I believe I did this by helping wineries by free marketing with my posts, co-hosting #TXWine Twitter Tuesday events through the year, and additional efforts.
As far as the website, 165 new posts were added throughout the year. Besides continually keeping up-to-date the most accurate list of Texas wineries available to visit, I added a very useful interactive map which lets you see exactly what wineries are in the areas you plan to visit. I used this during my last trip to see which ones I needed to visit.
The blog also contains the only list of Texas vineyards regardless of any membership. This list is still a work in progress as I know there are many more out there and with more details to be added.
The blog’s busiest day was in October and the most popular post that day unfortunately was “Retreat Hill Winery & Vineyard Says Goodbye.”
What 2014 resolutions will I make? From looking at the list from 2013, I think a lot of them still apply as I can only improve. Let’s see:
- Lose weight. Time to do it again. When? The first. If you haven’t heard that joke before, it goes, “the first chance I get.” This time though it will be January 1st.
- Visit more wineries. I am nearing the end of the list of wineries which are currently open so there aren’t many more to visit. Even though you sometimes hear 300+ Texas wineries, that is far more than how many there really are. Plus with Gloria not wanting to go that often, it just isn’t as much fun without her. There are some new wineries which are planning to open in 2014, so perhaps we can visit those. We have planned at least one trip in 2014 to visit favorite wineries.
- CSW exam. As I mentioned before, I will be taking the exam AND passing it in March.
- Learn more about the winemaking process. I received a wine kit for Christmas and have already started my first batch of Malbec wine.
- Attend TWGGA (Texas Wine and Grape Growers Association) events, TEXSOM (Texas Sommelier Conference), Drink Local Wine conference, and Neal Newsom’s Grape Day (held on May 9 in 2014). The TWGGA Annual Conference is already planned and I intend on attending the Drink Local Wine conference too. Hopefully I’ll be able to attend TEXSOM again too.
- Continue to help Texas wineries at wine festivals. I am sure we will be volunteering again at local wine festivals.
- Continue the support of the Texas Wine industry. This is always one of the primary goals of the blog and Facebook page.
I fulfilled most of my 2013 New Year’s resolutions. Let’s see next year how I do on my 2014 resolutions!