Here is a shot in the arm that is sorely needed for the Texas wine industry. The organizers of the 2016 Wine Tourism Conference selected Fredericksburg and the Texas Hill Country as the hosts for next year’s shindig. This is just the second time that the conference will be held outside the West Coast and the first time it will be held in the southern U.S.
I recently wrote about the need for a more concerted effort in Texas wine tourism in my article, “I’m Embarrassed to be Texan,” and this is a great step in the right direction.
The 2016 Wine Tourism Conference will take place November 8-10, 2016 in Fredericksburg, TX, with seminars, discussions, and business information about growing and improving wine tourism.
Wine Tourism Conference Director, Allan Wright, said, “The Wine Tourism Conference will bring wine tourism industry leaders from throughout the country and world to Texas. This is not only a great opportunity for Texans to meet and learn from top wine tourism experts but also a showcase for the booming wine tourism industry in the state.”
The Texas Hill Country Wineries‘ successful bid to land the conference was in no-doubt aided by the regions recent national recognition and its growing reputation for both quality wine and as an excellent tourism destination. The Texas Hill Country wine industry was named one of the “ten best wine travel destinations in the world for 2014” by Wine Enthusiast and one of the “10 Best Wine Destinations” by USA Today.
Fredericksburg is home to more than 30 wineries and tasting rooms, making it a major concentration of the more than 350 wineries in Texas. Its located smack in the Texas Hill Country American Viticultural Area (AVA), which is the third largest AVA in the nation.
“Texas Hill Country Wineries is thrilled to host the 2016 Wine Tourism Conference in the heart of Texas Wine Country,” says January Wiese, executive director of the Texas Hill Country Wineries. “We are ready to welcome our colleagues from all over the world and have planned a number of excellent events to really share what the thriving Texas wine industry has to offer.”
The conference will be organized by Zephyr Adventures, with sponsorship coming from the Texas Hill Country Wineries Association, the Fredericksburg Convention and Visitor Bureau, and the GOTEXAN program of the Texas Department of Agriculture.
Time to get organized to show the world just how great Texas wine really is. To really make hay with this, the Texas wine industry would be well served to seek broader public and private funding for longer-term wine tourism and marketing programs. It would be a shame for this event to come and go with out long-lasting plans to make the most of the effort.