Texas Hill Country Wineries make changes to Texas Wine Month Trail

Texas Hill Country Wineries

When Texas Wine Month Trail comes in October for the Texas Hill Country Wineries (THCW), there will be some changes from what wine trail veterans are used to.

First the basics:

  • The wine trail will be held from October 1-31
  • With the inclusion of more wineries, there are now 42 member wineries participating in the wine trail
  • Tickets are good all 31 days of the trail and redeemable at all 42 wineries one time
  • Tickets cost $60 per couple or $35 for a single ticket
  • 15% discount on 3 bottle purchases at each winery

Now for the changes. Each ticket includes a full complimentary tasting at each winery (limit 4 per day). Notice there is a limit of four tastings per winery per day. The good thing is these are full tastings compared to previous wine trails with a few tastings.

Each ticket will include a Tasting Booklet to be picked up at your first winery (selected at time of ticket purchase). Each winery visited will stamp the booklet on the day you visit the winery and taste (sound like the old Texas Winery Passport Program?). Each day you can taste and get stamped at four wineries total. Ticket holders can of course visit and taste at more wineries in a day, but tastings will not be complimentary.

When I first heard of this change, I wasn’t too happy. Since we live three to four hours from the Texas Hill Country Wineries, we can spend maybe one weekend during the month visiting wineries, and a trail ticket doesn’t seem like it would be worth it to us. I had to check into it further.

I was told the average tasting fee at the 42 participating wineries is $9 a person. Visiting four wineries a day would then cost $36 a person for tastings. You have 31 days to visit 42 wineries, not just weekends. The Texas Wine Month Trail is then already saving customers money, not including the discounts on wine purchases. Okay, that makes me feel a little bit better.

The limit to four winery tastings a day with your ticket is a way for Texas Hill Country Wineries to promote responsible drinking on the trails. They hope you can take your time and enjoy each winery more this way, instead of rushing through tastings and getting to the next stop. This allows for a more intimate experience at each winery, enjoying the wines and the people. I’ll admit that we have rushed before because we wanted to get the most out of our weekend visit. But with 42 wineries now on the trail, that is just way too many wineries to visit in even a three-day weekend.

Mike Batek

Mike Batek

I had to get more information from a winery’s viewpoint, so I asked Mike Batek from Hye Meadow Winery. He said, “I believe the major driver behind the decision is two-fold: safety and enjoyment. 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 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. 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.”

Now this makes sense. There is no doubt visiting wineries is all about the experience, and the more you can enjoy your experience at a winery instead of rushing to taste and out the door, the more you will enjoy your time.

Besides the regular Texas Wine Month Trail, there are two tastings that will be held in October.

Texas Wine Month Kick-off Tasting

  • Saturday, October 4, 6-8pm
  • Hye Meadow Winery
  • Up to 10 THCW Members from the Johnson City to Fredericksburg area
  • $25 ticket includes 10 tastes, logo glass, and live music
  • $20 with Trail ticket (included for season pass holders)
  • 250 tickets available
  • 2 food trucks on site for people to purchase meals

Texas Wine Month Block Party Tasting

  • Saturday, October 25, 6-8pm
  • Driftwood Estate Winery
  • Up to 8 THCW Members from the Driftwood to Spicewood area
  • $25 tickets includes 10 tastes and logo glass
  • $20 with Trail ticket (included for season pass holders)
  • 500 tickets available
  • 2-3 food trucks on site for people to purchase meals

See you on the wine trail!


Comments

  1. This is a wonderful idea!!! Bring the wine to us!!!! We spent over an hour at Hye Meadow this past Sat., it is a great place to sit back and relax, or swing!!!

  2. Jeremy Wilson says:

    I really like the new concept of 4 per day. Safety and an intimate experience at each winery is a win win.

  3. Great analysis! Thanks for the breakdown and details – it sounds like everybody wins

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