October may have been the official start of spooky season, but in Texas, it was also the start of another season altogether — sippin’ season.
That’s right, October is Texas Wine Month. The annual event celebrates local wineries with a month’s worth of tastings + supporting Hill Country vintners. Here’s how to participate.
First, let’s learn about Texas’ wine industry.
Move over, California. Did you know the first-ever vineyard in North America was established in Texas in 1662?
Almost 400 years later, Texas grapes are still growing strong. In fact, the Hill Country is the third-largest wine-growing region — also called an American Viticultural Area — in the US.
Here are some more fast facts:
- There are more than 4,000 acres of vineyard in Texas
- Wine contributes $13.1 billion each year to Texas’ economy
- The industry employs 104,000+ people
- More than 1.7 million travelers visit Texas wineries each year
How can you participate in Texas Wine Month?
Texas Wine Month is already underway, and will officially end on Halloween.
If you’re looking to spend the month on cloud wine, Wine Month passports are available for $120 per couple or $85 per person. The passports include access to 45+ Hill Country wineries — including Austin-area spots such as Driftwood Estate Winery, Flat Creek Estate Winery, and Fall Creek Vineyards — plus coupons + a complimentary tasting.
For every passport purchased, $5 will also be donated to the Texas Hill Country Wine Industry Scholarship Fund, which supports Texans working toward degrees in viticulture.
Here are some must-visit wineries on our list:
- William Chris Vineyards | 10352 US 290, Hye
- Perissos Vineyards and Winery | 7214 Park Rd. 4 W, Burnet
- Pedernales Cellars | 2916 Upper Albert Rd., Stonewall
If nearly four dozen wine tastings won’t fit into your October calendar, support local vintners at the 32nd Fredericksburg Food + Wine Fest on Sat., Oct. 22. The annual event includes wine tastings, cooking demonstrations, and a grape toss — can you say caber-yay?