For almost two months, we’ve been sharing ways consumers can learn more about Texas wines. From websites to mobile apps to podcasts and documentaries – and there’s more to come!
Podcasts seem to be the most popular media source these days. Texas Under Vine is another such example. Scott Hall started this series in November of 2022.
Scott first became interested in wine ten years ago when a friend shared a memorable bottle of Merlot. He dabbled in wine off and on, trying different things, but it was a visit to Grape Creek Vineyards that made things serious for him. He loved most of the reds poured at this tasting and became a wine club member. Living in North Austin, Scott and his wife enjoyed visiting the Grape Creek tasting room on the square in Georgetown. He eventually got a job working in that tasting room to dig deeper into wine. Scott learned so much from his manager, Richard Foster, who is now the manager at the new Invention Vineyards, owned by the same Heath Family Brands that owns Grape Creek, Heath Sparkling Wines, and Jenblossom. Richard’s encouragement and everything learned on the job in the tasting room allowed Scott to complete his WSET Level 1 certification. When Richard left Georgetown for Invention, he hired Scott’s wife as his replacement. So, the Texas wine industry is now a family affair for the Halls!
Scott is a technology nerd, first working as a systems engineer for Apple, then as a Macintosh consultant, and now as a high school teacher. For the past 17 years, Scott has been teaching and coaching football. Today he teaches digital media classes, and his experiences with audio and video editing helped lead him toward creating his own podcast.
Scott told me, “As the wine bug really took hold last year, when I was working at Grape Creek Vineyards, I wanted to explore even more of the great Texas wineries just outside my back door on the Wine Road 290 wine trail. However, I didn’t know anything about them except for their winery names. I became overwhelmed and tried to rely on people more “in the know” than me for recommendations.” Working in the tasting room and talking with customers, he often heard they felt intimidated by the sheer number of wineries to choose from. So, Scott quickly saw the opportunity for a podcast to introduce consumers to the wineries in the area, hopefully making it easier for people to choose where they should visit.
He is creating the podcast as a sort of ‘infomercial’ for each winery. Consumers can listen first; if their interest is piqued, they can plan to visit and try the wines for themselves. He thinks of it as a sort of travel podcast. A “know before you go” thing for Texas wine destinations. Scott says it’s important to him that the podcast isn’t a “wine snob” show. “It is focused on giving the basics of the location for the average wine enthusiast. Plus, I hope that it gets more traffic into these incredible locations and expands the wine industry in Texas, even more.”
At this point, the podcast is a labor of love, with no cost for the downloads and no charge to the wineries to have a feature. Texas Under Vine is still new and needs more listeners. Most podcasts eventually profit from advertisers and sponsors covering travel and production costs. But in the beginning, it’s all personal expense. Growing the audience of listeners helps give the wineries exposure to help grow their businesses, but also gives the podcast credibility for future growth. Scott is also hoping to grow his subscribers who receive bonus episodes and behind-the-scenes content not already a part of the free shows.
When he isn’t teaching teenagers or interviewing winemakers, Scott is a tour guide for Austin Detours. He drives the half-day wine shuttle that visits three wineries near Austin and a Hill Country Shuttle that starts with BarBQ at the Salt Lick, followed by visits to two wineries.
Scott’s main goal is to help customers discover wine destinations, learn about wineries, and actually visit them. He hopes to expand the reach of each winery’s audience and get more foot traffic through their doors. It benefits the consumer listeners to learn more about wine destinations they didn’t know. Scott is “happy to join the ranks of some of the other incredible podcasts out there about Texas wine and work hand-in-hand with them to advance the wine industry here in Texas.” The podcast is available on all podcast platforms.