A milestone happened this week which was the five-year anniversary of Texas Wine Lover. The first official post was on March 20, 2011 and was called Visiting Texas Wineries. We didn’t know where the blog was going at the time and especially where it would eventually end, but it has been a journey for sure.
I could tell you how over the course of five years, we have published over 1,000 blog posts, created a reference website for wineries and vineyards with their individual pages, started a podcast, decided after four years to monetize the website, created a core team with contributing writers, and more, but I won’t tell you that.
Instead I’m going to go back to the very first post we did and see what, if any, has changed. Reading that first post, a lot has changed, but then again a lot has not changed. We started the blog because we had visited over 70 Texas wineries and thought we could help people determine what wineries they may want to visit. In addition, we could help the wineries with a little marketing which became even more important when the marketing budget for the State got cut.
We learned out of those 70+ wineries we visited that first year, we then needed to try and revisit them because we now needed to write about them! Until the winery visits happened, I hated road trips in the car. Actually, I still do, except I know what’s waiting for us at the other end. After all these years and having visited over 270 Texas wineries, the unfortunate thing is 35 wineries and tasting rooms have closed. All I can say is support your local winery!
So, we’re still telling about our experiences at visiting wineries because we still aren’t that great at telling you what we smell and taste in a glass of wine. That requires a talent and practice, plus a little cooking in the house might help too in order to be able to smell and taste those flavors. 😉
I wrote how to use a GPS when you travel. That part is definitely still true, especially where some of the Texas wineries are located! Even though our cars have built-in navigation systems, I still prefer a handheld Garmin GPS because I can take it into the house to program and plan the trip. Smartphones have gotten incredibly great these days for navigation, but if you want to play audio from your phone while you’re using the GPS, it makes it a little more difficult.
As far as where to go in planning, that definitely has changed. Now the only thing I use is the Texas Wine Lover Texas winery map. If I know where I’m going, I can see what wineries are along the way that we can possibly visit. I primarily built it for our use, but it has turned out to be a great resource for a lot of winery visitors.
As far as the rest of the first post, it still makes sense after five years. Some people didn’t think the Texas Wine Lover blog would make it this far (I didn’t know it either), let alone turn into the Texas wine website that currently exists.
It has been a great journey and I would like to thank those of you who have been there from the beginning or joined us along the way. Who knows where the next five years may take us, but something has already started. Watch out for the growth of Texas Beer Lover. Texas beer, here we come!