WineAmerica held its annual Fall Retreat in Fredericksburg, Texas, November 13-14, 2018, right in the middle of Texas Hill Country, and as expected it was awesome. It’s been nearly a decade since our last meeting there, and the region has grown in quantity and quality.
Wine is a big deal in Texas, where the American wine industry contributed $13.1 billion to the state economy in 2017, based on a WineAmerica-sponsored economic impact study conducted by John Dunham & Associates. That included 394 wine producers, 4,368 vineyard acres, 104,627 jobs, $4.33 billion in wages, 1.7 million tourist visits, $717 million in tourist expenditures, $1.8 billion in total taxes ($998.4 million federal, and $802.2 million state and local).
Our three-day visit blended business and pleasure: official meetings of the WineAmerica Board of Directors and State and Regional Associations Advisory Council; an afternoon of visits to regional wineries; and a fabulous dinner at William Chris Vineyards. Many thanks to William Chris for hosting us, and to Tara Guthrie for her on-site organizational orchestration of our time in Texas.
Some new faces joined us as well: Scott Osborn of Fox Run Vineyards in New York’s Finger Lakes and Garrett Portia of Carlson Vineyards in Colorado joined the WineAmerica Board of Directors. In the State and Regional Associations Advisory Council (SRAAC), the retiring Debbie Reynolds from Texas transferred the gavel to new Chair Lori Paulsen of Nebraska, with Josh McDonald of Washington State becoming the new Vice Chair. We were also delighted to have in attendance two new SRAAC members: Rex Stults of the Napa Valley Vintners Association, and Lindsay Baerwald of Texas Wine.
After the business meeting was complete, the WineAmerica group split up and visited ten local Hill Country Wineries.
We would like to thank the following wineries for hosting us: Becker Vineyards, Bending Branch Winery, Bingham Family Vineyards, Calais Winery, Kuhlman Cellars, Lewis Wines, Lost Draw Cellars, Pendernales Cellars, Pontotoc Wiengarten, Southold Farm and Cellar.
Fall is Coming
Our Fall Retreats provide a great opportunity for the WineAmerica Board, staff and lobbyists to really get to know the industry we serve. Every region is different–not to mention every winery–and having the personal experience with the products, people, and passion really makes the region come alive.
Since WineAmerica was last in New York’s Finger Lakes back in 2006, and so much has changed, we think it’s time for another visit from November 11-13.
Headquarters for the event will be the Inn at Glenora, a 30-room luxury hotel with spectacular views of Seneca Lake, Veraisons restaurant, and Glenora Wine Cellars, one of New York’s leading wineries.
Read more about our plans. We hope to see you there!