The year has gone by fast and it is now time for the annual review of what Texas Wine Lover (TWL) did in 2018.
This past year has been busy! With TWL’s writers located around the state of Texas, we always try being the first and best at introducing you to new wineries that have opened, but 2018 was difficult. That’s because there were more wineries that opened in 2018 than I can remember in recent years! With the wineries that I personally visited either before or after TWL wrote about the winery, the good news is the majority of them are making 100% Texas wines or are planning to do so. This has been a difficult thing to do in the past, but with more custom crush wineries opening, it is making it much easier for new wineries to have excellent wines to begin their business.
Here are some highlights of 2018 for Texas Wine Lover:
- Speaking of writers, at the end of 2018, we have a total of 12 writers for TWL, with a net of +1 writers. We also had some guest writers during the year. As I mentioned, we have at least one writer in the Texas High Plains, Dallas-Fort Worth, Austin, San Antonio, Fredericksburg, Houston, and more covering the entire state.
- 175 posts were written in 2018 (so far). That averages to over three posts a week!
- We continued the monthly winemaker profile that Texas Hill Country Wineries first wanted Texas Wine Lover to help them with, and we have expanded to other winemakers in Texas.
- We again had some nice feature articles throughout the year written by multiple writers. As I mentioned previously about the number of wineries opening in 2018, we wrote about 33 new wineries and tasting rooms in 2018!
- We had another successful Battle of Texas wines with the Battle of the Texas Sangiovese where we tried to determine the best Texas Sangioveses in the state. We are now thinking what the next Battle might be.
- Texas Wine Lover continues to be the only website to bring you all the major wine competition results with Texas wineries being filtered out from the results.
- You can always find Texas wine festival listings on TWL under the Fun Stuff menu. In fact, I have wineries waiting for the Spring 2019 list already, so they know where to go. It also helps when wineries keep me updated with new festivals that may have started.
- In 2018, we still added to the only searchable Texas vineyard list and right now we show 5,669 acres of Texas grapes being grown. I still have a lot more data to enter and vineyards to contact to get data, but I may have entered the last data since the United States Department of Agriculture National Agricultural Statistics Service (USDA-NASS) collected data from 2017 vineyards. Now that someone else has shown interest in collecting vineyard data, perhaps I can stop and concentrate on other things with TWL.
- We welcomed new advertisers and affiliates in 2018 to help us continue to bring the best Texas wine news to you. We love showcasing the businesses who advertise on the website, because any revenue received helps pay for the expenses to run the website. I will be working on some additional advertising opportunities in 2019 to help pay for the website expenses. I do not necessarily care to make a profit with TWL, but it would be nice to at least break even so the expenses are not being paid out of my pocket. If you would be interested in advertising, then please let us know.
- Along with advertising to help pay for the website expenses, please do not forget we have a Shop that offers TWL merchandise like the popular Texas Wine Lover lapel pin that you can wear at wineries to show you are a true Texas wine lover. We also started offering those really cool wine pourers in different designs by Spectrum Wine Pourers, plus other items.
- Social media numbers for Texas Wine Lover currently are as follows as I write this: 9,030 Facebook Likes (all organic [that means we did not pay for any Likes unlike some other Facebook pages]) for our Facebook page, 868 members of the very active Facebook group, 4,628 Twitter followers, and 2,190 Instagram Our email subscriber list has continually grown, and we have some ideas in mind where we can help businesses more using that.
- As my mother likes to say, “Things change,” so things changed with TWL too. I decided to not do the podcast anymore, but I will be doing one final episode. I have also reduced the amount of non-Texas wine reviews done so we can concentrate more on Texas wines.
One feature we have on the website that I do not believe many people are aware of is our winery pages, on top of the best Texas Wineries Map. Every Texas winery has its own page on the website with their information, but the coolest thing is those pages contain links to every post we have written about that winery! If you are interested in visiting a winery and want to see what others think, simply go to the Texas Wineries List and search for the winery.
2019 looks to be a fun year with even more wineries opening up and some ideas I have for the Texas Wine Lover website. Cheers!