Nov 082008
 

Texas Winery Passport

A Texas winery is a destination – an escape to a world of taste, refinement and natural beauty. Together, Texas wineries form one of the world’s great wine countries. Texas is actually about the size of France with more than 160 wineries and eight viticultural areas. It’s time to come and experience the Texas vintage.

Well, Texas now has its own passport – a winery passport that is. The Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA) is offering these passports to visitors to Texas wineries and tasting rooms. This passport is your gateway to Texas winery touring.

Your passport awaits you in the TDA Passport display at wineries around the state. In the passport, you can record your Texas wine tasting experiences, favorite wines and have it stamped with the winery codes.

When you have visited four wineries and had each visit validated with a stamp, you can log onto to the TDA website at: www.gotexanwine.org. Simply click on the “Passport Rewards” tab, enter the winery codes from your passport andprovide  your contact information. When you have four visits validated, you will receive a FREE reward item from the Texas Department of Agriculture.

Once your passport is completely filled, simply start a new passport to earn additional rewards. Ask for your free Texas Winery Passport at any Texas winery or tasting room. Filled passports can be collected and used to track your winery treks and note your favorite Texas wines.

Route 290 Corridor
I received my passport on Thursday and today I visited some old and new friends along the Route 290 corridor between Fredericksburg and Johnson City.

I visited the Woodrose Winery and Grape Creek Vineyards not having been to Woodrose before and only been to Grape Creek over five years ago before its facelift. I also had a chance to stop in at old reliables – Becker Vineyards and Texas Hills Vineyard. It made for a satisfying Saturday afternoon with a warm Texas sun in the sky and a cool breeze to boot.

I was stopped by a group of women during my final stop at Grape Creek Vineyards that had seen me at Woodrose Winery avidly tasting and taking notes on the winery deck. They thought that it was unusual that a guy with a red Tee-shirt, jeans and a Tractor Supply Company hat would be that interested in wine.

I had to fess up that I was actually a wine writer taking an opportunity to visit a few places along Route 290 and get a few stamps for my Texas Wine Passport.

Based on this afternoon’s tasting, my faves of the day were the following: 

Becker Vineyards Reserve Cabernet Syrah Blend – fruit-filled tasty red wine

Texas Hills Rousanne (Rhone-style white wine) – gives a floral, citrus and herbal experience

Woodrose Winery Viognier – Muskmelon aroma with and meyer’s lemon finish

Grape Creek Black Label Port – Warm mouth feel with black cherry and smoke

Dog watching on the deck at Woodrose Winery

Viewing the painted outhouse art exhibit at Grape Creek

Give it a try…..Cheers!

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