It’s that time of year in Texas for county fairs, rodeos, parades, and a variety of Ag competitions and the Austin County Fair has one contest that you will not find at any other state fair in Texas and no matter where you live in Texas, YOU CAN ENTER IT! Produced and coordinated by the Gulf Coast Winemakers Association, “IT” is the Austin County Fair Wine Show, the only non-commercial wine competition presented by a County Fair in Texas open to entries made in Texas by non-commercial winemakers in Texas. The 10th Annual Wine Show will close out the Austin County Fair on Oct. 16 at the Fairgrounds in Bellville, TX.
This is worth saying again — if you live in Texas and are a non-commercial winemaker, you can enter your wine to be judged in blind tastings by a distinguished panel of 10 judges representing educators in the field of Enology and Viticulture, commercial grape growers and winemakers, members of the media, and industry related individuals.
Winning wines in eight categories will be awarded gold, silver, and bronze medals. Better yet, three traditional Austin County Fair Belt Buckles will also be awarded to the Overall Grand Champion (giving you bragging rights for the entire state), Reserve Grand Champion (also selected from all entries), and the Austin County Grand Champion (awarded to the best Austin County wine).
The Texas wine industry is growing in stature and size and our commercial grape growers and winemakers are being recognized around the world. Whether you are interested in starting down that path or just want to showcase your skills as a home winemaker this is your chance to earn some serious Texas bragging rights.
The Wine Show will be held at the Austin County Fairgrounds in the American Legion Hall, 988 E. Main, Bellville, TX. Judging (closed to the public) begins at 1:00 p.m. with the Hall opening to the public after the judging (approximately 3:30 till 5:00 p.m.) for the presentation of awards, a winemaker’s meet & greet, and free tastings of all entered wines. Parking and admission to the Fair and Wine Show is FREE on that day. Winners do not need to be present to receive awards.
Early entry and day-of-show registration and submission of wines is available. For a complete set of rules, entry form, registration, and wine submittal dates and locations, visit the Austin County Fair website at https://austincountyfair.com/wine-show.
For further information, contact:
Paul Darst, Gulf Coast Winegrowers Association Wine Show Committee Chair
Stacie Villareal, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Agent – Austin County