Wow! What a year it’s been. Texas Wine Lover launched the free mobile app in December of 2022, and these past twelve months have been filled with hard work promoting the more than 500 wineries around the state. So much has happened when we look at the growth of the Texas wine industry. The growth is exciting, and here’s a recap of what we saw in 2023.
First, a little shameless promotion. If you haven’t already downloaded the app, please check it out now. The more ratings and reviews the app gets, the higher it rises in the search results, which in turn means more exposure for all Texas wineries. Download the app for Apple or Android today and take a minute to give us a 5-star rating and even a quick review.
Now, on to a recap of the year…
With the launch of the app, Jeff quickly realized it would take a lot of work to let all of the wineries in the state know about the benefits of the app while also letting wine lovers know how much the redesigned website and app can help them to learn about wineries and plan their visits. That’s when I came into the picture and shifted from just a writer to co-owner of Texas Wine Lover. I still enjoy writing about wine and wineries. And I’m still working on completing my book about my wine journey. It’s just that during this year, I’ve also served in a supportive role in the growth and marketing of all of our wineries around the state. If you are a winery owner needing a little help with promoting your brand, don’t hesitate to reach out. We’re here to help.
There are over 500 wineries in Texas with an economic impact exceeding $20.3 billion a year. The industry continues to gain national recognition as publications and websites name the Texas Hill Country in the top ten wine destinations in America. Just a few of the mentions were by Food and Wine magazine, Wine International Association, and WineCountry.com.
And speaking of articles, throughout this year, we had 15 writers contribute a total of 250 blog posts as of December 21st. We appreciate all of our regular contributors and the guest writers who help us cover the entire state.
In addition to the blog posts, we have partnered with several new Texas wine podcasts to create an even broader reach. If you’re a fan of podcasts, check out the long running This is Texas Wine by Shelly Wilfong. This one is particularly good for learning about news in the industry. Plus, here are some new avenues to hear about Texas wineries: Texas Wine & True Crime, Texas Under Vine, We Know Texas Vino, and Texas Wine Scene.
If you’re interested in spreading the gospel of Texas wine on your own, you can print our nifty card to hand out at restaurants and wine shops to encourage them to carry Texas wines. We know there are challenges with getting a store or restaurant to carry a particular wine, but the more the owners and managers see that folks are requesting Texas, the more we’ll start to see more of our favorite wines on the shelves and menus. Print some copies for yourself now and share freely.
We continue to bring you all the major wine competition results with Texas wineries filtered out from the results. And this year, we are especially excited about the number of high-ranking wines from Texas wineries. In fact, for the first time, a Texas wine won Grand Champion at the San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo wine competition. Congratulations to Adega Vinho! Check out the results from all of the 2023 wine competitions and make plans to try these award-winning wines for yourself.
We expanded our monthly winemaker profile feature so that in addition to highlighting a winemaker in our state, we also spotlight a grape grower, a winery owner, and a wine grape. We welcome suggestions for all of these categories, so if you have a favorite, let us know.
This year, there were 150 wine festivals in the state including some new additions. If you don’t see your festival on our list, be sure to reach out and get us details. We are working closely with some festivals and wine industry events as the media sponsor to help spread the word. Moving into the new year, be sure to look for the Texas Wine Lover information booth at some of the best wine festivals across this big state.
As you know, social media is constantly changing, and we have been working hard to gain more exposure through social media. In an effort to be more inclusive, we changed the name of our popular Facebook group from Texas Wine Lover Website to Texas Wine Friends. The idea is to encourage our wine loving community to share and interact freely without any confusion that the comments are approved by the business Texas Wine Lover. If you aren’t already a part of our group of 6,231 members, we encourage you to join us. It’s a great platform for sharing your favorites, asking for recommendations, and just generally discussing wine.
As of December 20th, our numbers for Texas Wine Lover are continuing to increase organic followers with 12,706 on Facebook, 5,832 on Instagram, and 5,258 on Twitter/X. Our email subscriber list has grown to 3,902. Remember, we don’t sell our list, so if you want to stay in tune with happenings throughout the industry, be sure to subscribe to our mailing list. In addition to our regular newsletter, Jeff also sends out an informational email to all of our member wineries and businesses in the Guide/mobile app to help keep you abreast of industry happenings. It’s another benefit of being a part of the Texas Wine Lover community.
Another avenue we are now pursuing is to publish wine articles in print magazines and on other websites to gain more recognition for Texas wines and Texas Wine Lover as a platform. This includes the Hill Country publication Rock & Vine, and a monthly feature in Neighbors of SW Austin, plus a single article in Texas Monthly and Fredericksburg Standard newspaper. If you know of a magazine or newspaper that may be interested in an article about Texas wine, or a regular contribution, let us know.
We’re just launched a brand-new video interview series now available. The goal is to share the story of individual winemakers and wineries in an intimate interview format. Check it out if you haven’t seen it yet. We have posted three episodes so far and are making plans for more in the new year.
As always, we want to give a huge THANK YOU to our partners. These are advertisers who believe in what we’re doing at Texas Wine Lover. We work hard to keep our marketing options very low-cost to best help wineries and wine-related businesses get more exposure without breaking the bank. It is with the commitment from our advertisers that Texas Wine Lover can grow our reach for the industry as a whole. Please support them!
As this year comes to a close, I find myself at another fork in the road. It’s been a fantastic year at Texas Wine Lover and for our industry as a whole. I have an opportunity I can’t pass up. I’ll be working with my husband in his company and will be traveling most of the year. My role will be reduced, but I will continue to support Texas Wine Lover and hope I get to see all of my wine friends while I’m on the road in 2024.
Whatever your role and involvement in the Texas wine industry, Texas Wine Lover wants to be your go-to resource. If you have any suggestions or requests, just reach out and help our Texas wineries now and into the new year. And cheers to a great 2024 vintage!