A toast to Texas wine

October is time to pay tribute to heritage, benefits of industry

By Ken Esten Cooke—

It is no secret, particularly in these parts, that wine is growing in popularity. Texas, and especially our little Eden here in the Hill Country, is benefitting from increased interest and the explosion of growth in the industry.

Our 30-plus wine facilities in the region draw visitors from all over the state and nation, and that is a boon for local retail merchants, hotels, restaurants and other businesses. Even seemingly unrelated industries, like our antiques businesses, are benefitting from the growth in that shopper demographic. (See our story on the Business page.)

We hope you can take in this weekend’s Fredericksburg Food and Wine Festival at Marktplatz to celebrate all that is wonderful about the grape. The event gives oenophiles and foodies alike something to celebrate.

Many local wineries also are marking the month with special deals on bottles and tastings as part of a Texas Wine Trail.

The future of the industry seems limitless. Fundraising is ongoing for the Texas Center for Wine and Culinary Arts, a statewide facility located in the heart of our town that will draw wine and food experts for teaching and much more. Plans for the facility also include much-needed, convention-sized space, which promises to bring even more visitors.

Employees and volunteers at local wineries are all too happy to help visitors explore and become educated about their products, history and philosophy behind them.

And for those interested in studying more about the industry, our local Texas Tech campus offers certificate programs in both viticulture and enology.

We welcome this industry’s growth and benefit continually from it. This month, let’s lift a class and say Zum Wohl as we toast all that is great about Texas wine.

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