Austin Wine Festival - Jump starting my knowledge of Texas wine
According to MSNBC.com, Texas is an emerging wine destination, and I intend to see what that tastes like at the 2nd annual Austin Wine Festival. The Festival will be held Memorial Day weekend, Saturday May 24th through Monday May 26th at the Domain in North Austin. The Austin Wine Festival sounds like a great chance to taste wine from about 40 Texas wineries without leaving the city limits. While I am tasting wine, if I find a wine I like, I can buy some to take home! The “try and buy” feature is a great bonus because many Texas wines are only sold at the winery.
Texas wines appear to have made great strides in the last two decades. I had my first taste of Texas wine in the late 80s. At that time there were less than 30 wineries in the whole state, and most of the wine was passable at best. Today, Texas has more than 150 wineries and some of their wines are getting great reviews.
A thriving Texas wine community has many advantages. In addition to a supply of good local wine, the Texas wine business has brought a growth industry to many rural communities. The most recent economic assessment (pdf) of the impact of the Texas wine industry estimates it employs 8,000 people with an associated payroll of $234 million. Overall the industry adds more than $1 billion dollars to the Texas economy. From a more global perspective, the carbon footprint for a bottle of wine depends on the distance the wine travels from winery to wine drinker. Texas wines are closer to Texans and therefore greener than some wines from out of state. In fact, having wineries closer to home gives me travel destinations that keep me off airplanes and keeps my money in the local economy.
I like wine festivals. I get to try wines from different wineries “side by side” and if I have a question, I can ask the winemaker. The people at wine festivals are always friendly, and there are lots of animated conversations about, you guessed it, wine. Being in Austin, this one will also have music all three days. So what better way for me to get started on my Texas wine adventure?
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