Wine tour gets a hole-in-one
Wine is the name of the game in Fredericksburg and it’s what former Katy resident Rex Goodson believes people love about Fredericksburg.
After retiring from the car business, Goodson and wife Paula moved to Fredericksburg in 2015. He soon began driving for a local wine shuttle service and loved the interactions he had with tourists but wasn’t working the hours he wanted.
In May 2016, he opened his own version, 19thHole Wine Tours.
“I love golf and I lived for 18 years on a golf course,” he said. “19th hole was the first idea that came into my head and I stuck with it despite what my wife said.”
The “19th hole” is a slang term used to describe a bar or pub located on the grounds of a golf course.
Goodson works to personalize the tour to what his clients want and includes local breweries and distilleries.
“I want them to choose where they want to go rather than providing a list and saying they can only go to certain venues,” he said.
Once the guests choose where they wish to stop, he creates the most efficient route for them.
The per-person cost includes free pick-up and delivery from any hotel or Bed and Breakfast in Fredericksburg within 15 miles. But he can pick up guests anywhere for a small fee. He has even made trips to Austin, San Antonio and Spicewood.
Goodson offers four tour options, all of which carry on the golf theme:
Par: Three winery/brewery/distillery stops;
Birdie: Four winery/brewery/distillery stops, plus lunch;
Eagle: Five winery/brewery/distillery stops, plus lunch;
Hole ’N One: Five winery/brewery/distillery stops, plus shuttle service to and from where the guests are having dinner.
“We typically will spend 45-60 minutes at each stop but I am very flexible with that,” Goodson said. “This is their time and this is their schedule.”
Guests come first
While he only has one vehicle, he has no minimum on the number of guests he can accommodate.
He typically transports two to 12 guests at a time, from couples on an anniversary trip, to small bachelorette parties.
On average, he makes 6 to 12 runs a month.
Goodson also prides himself in his customer service.
“I want to treat people like I want to be treated if I was on the tour,” he said. “I don’t want to be part of their personal experience, but I am going to make sure they are safe and enjoying themselves.”
He also notes that he has worked to build relationships with venue staff so he can make his guests feel more at home when they arrive at the winery.
Goodson understands the need in the community for a service like his but he has no plans for expanding his business.
“I enjoy this and would rather do it myself and be right where the action is,” he said. “I want to keep it small and more personal.”