On Monday, March 20, 2017, the Texas Wine Lover website/blog will hit six years of reporting on Texas wine. Wow, six years. Six years doesn’t seem long, but it’s longer than some marriages, some Presidential terms, and even some blogs.
It’s the pride of being a Texan (not native, but 22 years now), seeing and tasting how the Texas wine industry improves year after year, and the thanks I receive from wineries, growers, and consumers that keeps me going. Even though I’ll be honest, at times, I do consider hanging it up, and just sitting back and enjoying wine.
When I started Texas Wine Lover six years ago, I did not realize this hobby would soon turn into a passion, and now a business. When I created Texas Wine Lover, LLC in 2015, I knew I couldn’t do this alone anymore, so I have tried to align myself with a great team of Texas wine lovers. After all, if I could get other passionate Texas wine lovers involved, we could provide the best coverage of the Texas wine industry possible. To that extent, I believe that has been done. Along with an excellent team to work with, we now have a great team of contributing writers who love Texas wine, and the list of writers continues to grow. Our team of writers now covers every major wine area of the state including Houston, Dallas, Austin, San Antonio, Fredericksburg, and the High Plains!
Of course with any business, there are always struggles. I want to thank Gloria, my life companion, who has put up with me being on the computer from the time I get home from my full-time job, for almost the entire evening. When I need to go to a wine event by myself, there is always somebody who asks where Gloria is, and even though she doesn’t believe me when I tell her that, she is an integral part of Texas Wine Lover.
I just gave my tax information to my accountant (yes, I eventually hired an accountant because I can’t figure out this business stuff). 2016 was another year of losing money with the business. I was convinced at the beginning of the business, and I think it was a good idea, to get a great web host, email provider, etc. to provide the best possible experience for visitors and followers. Unfortunately, great doesn’t mean inexpensive, but that’s part of the business decisions.
I have spent, ahem, almost 35 years working for two major companies and this has been the first time I have tried to own a business. There’s a lot to learn! Or at least hire out. If anybody reading this is good at finding things to sell on the website and marketing, I would love to talk to you.
But enough of being a Debbie Downer. What have we done during these six years? We still provide the best Texas winery map out there. I even use it whenever I visit an area of Texas to see if there are any wineries in the area I want to visit. And every one of those wineries has its own winery page where you can find information about the winery including all the blog posts we have done on that winery. We also started creating a page for every vineyard in the state of Texas along with any posts on that vineyard. I had enough with nobody knowing how many acres Texas grows, no matter how big or small, so now you can see a list of the Texas vineyards along with a calculated number of acres, and of course a vineyard map too. There is still some vineyard information I have that needs to be added, but please help get the word out to other vineyard owners to help us finally get that total acre number!
Jeremy and I still do a podcast when we get the chance to visit someplace, and I appreciate hearing from people in person how they love the podcast. I wish we could do more. Audio is one thing, but over the six years, we have written over 1,200 blog posts which averages to 200 a year, over 16 a month, and four a week.
That’s a lot of writing, but probably one of the reasons Texas Wine Lover was listed in the top 100 wine blogs on the planet (currently at 31 – remember on the planet!), why we were a winner in the 2016 Millesima Wine and Technology competition and Jeremy got to visit Bordeaux, the page views and unique visitors have been increasing tremendously over the past year, and I am sure there are many more things that I am not remembering at this moment.
We added a shop to the website last year which offers VinGardeValise, the best wine suitcase out there, an eBook on U.S. 290 in the Texas Hill Country, along with other Texas Wine Lover merchandise.
But speaking of the shop, to give back to you for following us, our Texas Wine Lover lapel pin is on sale right now until Friday, March 24! Visit the shop and grab as many pins as you can while they are on sale, so you can show you are a lover of Texas wine!
Thank you to everybody who has supported us through the years, including all the advertisers we have had on the website (please click on their ads and support them!), those who have bought products in our shop, and of course, those who go to the website and read, hear, or watch what we have done. Cheers for another fabulous year!