Ten years. Can you believe it? I know I can’t. I never imagined when I started the Texas Wine Lover blog ten years ago on March 20th, 2011, that I would still be doing this. After all, so many other blogs often start and then stop, so why would mine continue?
I’ll be honest with you. There have been many times over the years where I have said, “That’s it, no more.” Whether that came as a result of a disparaging remark from somebody, being tired after spending all night with the blog after working all day in my day job, or the amount of money needed to spend to bring a free news and information source to people, there was always something that kept me coming back. Most often, that thing was the thank you from many people in the Texas wine industry for what Texas Wine Lover did to help the industry. And I can’t disregard the love I have for Texas wine. It’s damn good!
I heard the analogy more than once of the Texas wine industry making that climb up the mountain into national prominence, and what does the industry need during that climb? It needs someone to tell the story of Texas wine and help promote it. Sometimes we see websites and blogs tell a story of Texas wine, but I could not find one that consistently helped the industry. I do not know why I feel I needed to, but I was there to try and help.
I was fortunate to find a wonderful team of contributing writers who were as passionate about Texas wine as I was, and that made it even easier to tell the Texas wine story. I just looked back at the last ten years, and 589 blog posts were helped by contributing writers!
Along the way, I added more and more things to the blog to where it became more of a resource than just a blog and I now call it simply a website. Some resources are commonly recommended by other wine lovers such as the Texas wineries map, Texas vineyards list with grapes grown, and the list of Texas wine festivals.
The past year was certainly challenging with the COVID-19 pandemic with Texas wineries. Open, closed, partially open, closed, open again. This meant not a lot of Texas wine news happened during the last year. Most small businesses were hurt during the past year and Texas Wine Lover, also being a small business, was no exception. Advertisers who helped with website expenses decided to not renew their ads because they understandably were hurting too. Thank you to those advertisers who stuck with us and also the new advertisers who became a partner.
A number of businesses, including wineries, pivoted during the pandemic like turning into restaurants just to remain open. Texas Wine Lover also pivoted because of the lack of being able to visit wineries to write into being more of a news source by including more press releases from wineries. I receive a number of press releases throughout the year and often from the same wineries because a public relations (PR) agency represents them. I’m still trying to understand how to selectively decide what news readers may be interested in.
Our social media presence is still going strong with a strong following on our Facebook page, and our Twitter and Instagram also growing all the time. I am very proud of how our Facebook group is very active and growing every day! We have a large number of consumers and Texas wine industry people participating, and that also helps provide information to everybody.
What will happen with Texas Wine Lover during the next year? Just like the pandemic, things are always unknown. Hopefully, I will be here one year from now writing again to you.
Thank you to everybody who has supported us through the years. Tell your friends! Cheers!
MJ Hawe says
10 Years!! I love suggesting to people that they use your website for information–love that winery map, it has been a trusted source for me and my family for years. Thank you and may you have many more years.
Jeff Cope says
Thank you MJ!