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October is Texas Wine Month

Festivities begin all over the state this weekend
Margaret Shugart, 10:15am, Sat. Oct. 5, 2013

Last night, nestled in the country town of Lometa, about an hour-and-a-half outside of Austin, Fiesta Winery lead the way into Texas Wine Month with a kickoff party for an all-month sojourn across the Texas Hill Country Wineries Trail.

One of the many multi-day events scattered throughout October, the Texas Wine Month Trail offers tickets to enjoy one to three free tastings and 15% off three-bottle purchases at all 36 wineries on the Texas Hill Country Wineries Trail. Spanning from Kerrville to San Saba, the THCW features a wide variety of wine and winery experiences, personalities, and styles. The trail is a good excuse to start, or continue, exploring our local wine industry and you can use the pass for just one day or every day, all month long. Tickets are $25 and can be purchased on the THCW site.

Chris Brundrett of William Chris Vineyards, a stop on the Texas Hill Country Wineries Trail, pouring a taste.
Photo by Margaret Shugart

If you are considering traveling around the state to explore other wine festivities in October, here is a list of other ways to celebrate Texas Wine Month:

Wine and Sausage Trail, Texas Bluebonnet Wine Trail

October 5-6 and 10-11

Trail Tickets: $30 for one person, both weekends; $50 for two people, both weekends

At each of the nine stops, visitors receive two wine tastings paired with a unique sausage dish. The further you go, the more you earn: a commemorative wine glass at the first winery, a wine bottle tote with the trail logo at the sixth winery, and a professional souvenir wine key at the ninth winery. To buy tickets and learn more about the Texas Bluebonnet Wine Trail, visit www.texasbluebonnetwinetrail.com.

Bill S. Cox, owner and winemaker of Retreat Cellars in Montgomery, Texas. Set in an historic bank building, Retreat is a stop on the Texas Bluebonnet Wine Trail.
Photo by Margaret Shugart

Gruene Music and Wine Festival, Gruene

October 10- 13

General Admission: Each day purchased separately

That’s Right, It’s not from Texas, Thursday, October 10: $15, including souvenir wine glass, one door prize raffle ticket, three wine tasting tickets and live music.

The Mavericks at Gruene Hall, Thursday, October 10: $40

Rockin’ with Texas Wine and Food, Friday, October 11: General Admission $100, Reserved tables starting at $700. General admission includes private show and Meet & Greet with Emmylou Harris and Rodney Crowell, catered dinner by Gristmill River Restaurant & Bar, wine tasting and a celebrity guitar auction with guitars autographed by legends like Willie Nelson, George Strait, and Chris Isaak. To attend the Emmylou Harris and Rodney Crowell show only is $75.

Texas Tasting and Tunes, Saturday, October 12: $20 (advanced purchase encouraged), including souvenir glass and five wine tasting tickets Los Lonely Boys at Gruene Hall, Saturday, October 12: $35

Brew-n-Que, Sunday, October 13: TBD (advanced purchase recommended), including five tasting tickets for beer and wine and the opportunity to purchase food from several barbeque vendors and local food trucks.

The Gruene Music and Wine Festival is four-day event originally designed to raise money for United Way in Comal County. Last year they drew in $125,000 and plan to outdo themselves yet again. The events are so diverse and detailed, it is worth visiting their website to gather all the necessary information and choose the ones that appeal to you most: www.gruenemusicandwinefest.org.

Texas Mushroom Festival, Madisonville

October 11-12

General Admission: free

Wine Tasting/ Cooking Demo: $15, includes a commemorative glass, mushroom cooking demos, and Texas wine tastings

Grape Stomp Competition: $20 per two-person team

Shitake 5K Run: $25 before October 12, $30 day of race

Gala Dinner: $100, sold out

The Texas Mushroom Festival doesn't have wine in the title, but it offers the opportunity to crush grapes I Love Lucy-style and the chance to taste bottles from around the state. The event kicks off with a sold-out Gala dinner on Friday night, then continues on Saturday with events and tastings starting at 10 a.m.. For more information, times, and to register for activities, visit www.texasmushroomfestival.com.

Autumn Art and Wine Festival, Old Town Spring

October 12-13

General Admission: free

Wine Tasting Tickets: $25, including a commemorative wine glass. $1 for each taste.

Parking: $7 with a portion of the proceeds benefiting Knights of Columbus

This is a good excuse to visit the pretty little town of Spring and stroll down its tree-line streets. In addition to booths featuring local art and crafts, as well as food and wine, over 150 local shops will also be open to visitors. For more information and tickets visit www.winefesttexas.com.

Wine in the Pines, Mount Vernon

October 25-26

General Admission: $5, $1 for each tasting

Another little gem of East Texas, Mount Vernon hosts two wine festivals a year. This one features wines from all over the state. It begins Friday night and runs all day Saturday, with that magical wine, food, and art combination. The surrounding area boasts Lake Cypress Springs, named one of the most beautiful lakes in Texas, West End Nature Preserve and the Dupree Park Nature Center. For more information, visit www.mtvernonwine.com/Wine-in-the-Pines.html.

Fredericksburg Food and Wine Festival, Fredericksburg

October 24-26

General Admission, October 26: $20 for adults, including souvenir wine glass and six tasting tickets (for three 2-oz samples or one glass of wine), $5 for minors and free for children under the age of 12.

Patron Party Pass, October 26: $100 (advanced sale only), including souvenir wine glass, gourmet brunch with wine, twelve tasting tickets, VIP badge and commemorative pin.

Thursday Locavore at Messina Hof Hill Country, October 24: $60 (advance purchase only), including souvenir wine glass, meal, entertainment and wine (festival admission not included).

Friday Evening Celebration at Red Bird Golf Course Grill, October 25: $75 (advanced purchase only), including souvenir wine glass, heavy appetizers, wine, entertainment and general admission to Saturday festival.

Cooking School Sessions, October 26: $10 per person, per session. Two sessions total during the festival, each featuring three chef demonstrations. Price includes food, wine samples, and printed recipes. Seating is limited to 150 people per session.

This is the biggie, and lucky for us, it is the closest. The festival itself is held on Marktplatz in downtown Fredericksburg, but several events surround it and require separate ticket purchases. General admission to the festival gives you access to try Texas wine, beer, and food, as well as the opportunity to shop and admire specialty products from local vendors and artists. For more information and to register for events, visit www.fbgfoodandwinefest.com.

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