When you think of the great state of Texas, what are the first things that come to mind? For me, here are my personal list 10 things that come to mind when I think of Texas:
- Don’t mess with Texas.
- Everything is big in Texas.
- There is no basement in the Alamo. (Thanks, Peewee Herman)
- Everything I learned about Texas, I learned from King of the Hill.
- “I gonna make you a steak the size of a toilet seat – you know, ‘Texas sized'”.
- Oil industry from the 80’s.
- Who shot J.R.?
- The bats under the bridge in Austin.
- Dallas Cowboys and their legendary smoking’ hot cheerleaders.
Well, here are two more things that I’ve learned about Texas, today:
1) The least educated city is in Texas. Sorry guys, I was watching SNL this weekend and this clip stuck with me! (Since this was on Saturday Night Live, I won’t research this further, to confirm nor deny this — and will just assume it’s a joke.)
2) Texas Wine Month is in October!
…And this is the main topic of today’s post.
“What.. Wait, Wine in Texas?!?!”, you ask?
Texas has wine. They make wine, and the month of October is “Texas Wine Month”.
Although wine might not be the first thing that comes to mind at the thought of Texas, October is a very exciting time for the state’s wine industry, honoring its rich history of grape growing while celebrating a very promising future. In fact, Texas is so excited about its wine that the Department of Agriculture has dedicated the entire month of October to the wine industry. “The Texas Wine industry has come of age,” Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples said. “Our grape growers are producing premium fruit and our winemakers have demonstrated tremendous skill in crafting truly fine wines. Committed people have put us in the spotlight and the recent awards and growing popularity are evidence of just how far we've come.” Still skeptical about how huge this is? Here are some facts about the Texas wine industry:
- Texas is the No. 5 grape and wine producer in the country
- 4,400 grape-bearing acres
- Adds $1.83 Billion of economic value to the state
- Provides 10,870 full-time jobs
- Attracts 1.4 million tourists
- Produces 1.4 million cases
We’re talking about a big industry here (just like everything else in Texas), and it’s only getting bigger. In 2001, there were only about 46 wineries in the state, so you might be surprised to learn that today, just thirteen years later, there are over 220 wine producers in Texas.
Seriously, y'all. This is huge.
But here’s the thing: Texas doesn’t just make wine; they make good wine. Award-winning wine. In fact, ten Texas wineries were awarded more than 20 medals at the San Francisco International Wine Competition back in 2010. Here are some award-winning wineries to look for:
- Haak Vineyards
- Brennan Winery
- Becker Vineyards
- McPherson Cellars
- Lone Oak Winery
- Sister Creek
- Flat Creek
- Grape Creek Vineyards
- Llano Esatacado Winery
Now that the grapes have been harvested and the aroma of crush season is in the air, Texas Wine Month is the perfect time to commemorate all that the state’s wine industry has accomplished. And trust me; there are many ways to celebrate:
- Texas Hill Country’s Wine Month Trail: With 42 wineries ready to help you celebrate Texas Wine Month, this is not a wine trail you want to miss. Located in the Texas Hill Country growing region, a ticket includes complimentary tastings at each of the 42 participating wineries, purchase discounts, and a tasting booklet to be stamped at every winery you visit. Even better, it’s for a good cause! A portion of all ticket sales is donated to Susan G Komen for the Cure, since October also happens to be National Breast Cancer Awareness month. Be sure to check out all of the special events at the Texas Hill Country’s wineries: grape stomps, live music, pairing dinners, and festivities aplenty!
- Texas Bluebonnet Wine Trail offers a special Wine and Sausage trail for the first two weekends of October, where ticket-holders receive–you guessed it–wine and sausage pairings. The more wineries you visit, you more special gifts you are eligible to receive, so get moving!
- Check out the App: Want to taste some local wines but don’t know where to go? The Texas Wine and Trail App will help you locate wineries throughout the state and tell you where to buy local wines.
In honor of Texas Wine Month, be sure to try out some of the state’s wines during October. Who knows? The wine industry might just be the next big thing to come from the Longhorn State. (Want to have wine shipped to you in Texas or do you have a gift of wine you want sent to a wine lover in Texas? Check our list of top wine clubs that ship to Texas for our recommendations!)
BONUS: Ever since I wrote this post, I couldn't get the country song, “God Blessed Texas” out of my head! So, for your musical enjoyment, I present, Little Texas with their smash hit, God Blessed Texas: