The final event at the Austin County Fair is the Texas State Non-Commercial Wine Competition. It awards Overall and Reserve Champion Belt Buckles and individual class medals to winning winemakers from anywhere in the State of Texas.
Based on the most recently available data, Austin County is literally ground zero in the Texas wine industry when it comes to the most widely planted white wine grape in the state (Blanc Du Bois). There are more acres planted of this variety in Austin County than in any other Texas county.
The Austin County Fair Wine Show adds to this with their support of Texas winemaking by recognizing home (novice) and aspiring commercial winemakers with their hosting of the ONLY statewide non-commercial wine competition at a county fair in the state.
2023 Austin County Fair Wine Show Champions L/R: Michael Goode (Colorado County) Texas Grand Champion, Keith Froebel (Austin County) Texas Reserve Champion and Austin County Grand Champion and Ken Wuensche (Past Wine Show Grand Champion and award-winning commercial winemaker) Photo credit: GCWA
Winning top honors and the recipient of the Austin County Fair Texas Grand Champion Belt Buckle – Michael Goode from Colorado County for his 2023 Sweet Blanc Du Bois wine.
The recipient of the Texas Reserve Champion Belt Buckle – Keith Froebel of Austin County for his 2023 Dry Blanc Du Bois and as the highest scored wine submitted from Austin County, Keith’s Blanc Du Bois also took home the Austin County Champion Belt Buckle.
The individual Class Winners (with home County) were:
Class 1, Red Wine: Gold-Tim Moudry-Pinot Noir (Harris), Silver-Ruth Brooks-Black Spanish (Austin), Bronze-Michael Goode-Lenoir (Colorado).
Class 2, Red Wine Sweet: Gold-Spencer Kloss-Black Spanish (Austin), Silver-Ron Tielke (Austin), BronzeSpencer Kloss-Black Spanish (Austin).
Class 3, White Wine Dry: Gold-Keith Froebel-Blanc Du Bois (Austin), Silver-Michael Goode-Blanc Du Bois (Colorado), Bronze-Keith Froebel-Pinot Grigio (Austin).
Class 4 White Wine Sweet: Gold-Michael Goode-Blanc Du Bois (Colorado), Silver-David Fleming-Blanc Du Bois (Austin), Bronze-Jill & David Lawton-Blanc Du Bois (Gonzales).
Class 5 Blush/Rose’ Wine: Gold-Jacob Muras-Camminare Noir (Brazos), Silver-Jacob Muras-VC 38 Red Hybrid (Brazos), Bronze-David Flemin-Blanc Du Bois (Austin).
Class 6 Dessert/Port/Sherry: Gold-Tim Moudry-Blackberry Port (Harris).
Class 7 Native/Mustang/Muscadine: Gold-Ron Tielke-Mustang (Austin), Silver-Georgianne Schmid-Muscadine (Austin), Bronze-Archie Davis-Mustang (Austin).
Class 8 Fruit / Berry: Gold-Ron Tielke-Strawberry (Austin), Silver-Henry Divin-Blackberry (Austin), Bronze-Ron Tielke-Strawberry-(Austin).
2023 Austin County Fair Wine Show Judges (L/R): TOP-Josh Jeter (Winemaker Threshold Winery), Mike Gambel (Winemaker Blue Mule Winery), Jeff Cope (Texas Wine Lover), Ross Asher (Texas Wine Society Houston Chapter), Jennifer Kohleffel (Whistling Duck Winery), FRONT: Mauren Qualia (Sr Lecturer of Enology Texas Tech), Dr. Andrea Botezatu (Asst. Professor/Enology Texas A&M), Fran Pontasch (Gulf Coast Viticulture Specialist Texas A&M), Dawn Asher (Texas Wine Society Houston Chapter). Not pictured Dr. Justin Scheiner Asst. Prof. Texas A&M. Photo Credit: GCWA
On Oct. 15, The Austin County Fair Wine Show in Bellville was presented by the Gulf Coast Winegrowers Association in partnership with the Austin County office of Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Services. In total, entries were received from nine different Texas counties. Entries not included above represented Burleson, Dallas, Washington, and Tarrant counties. The 2024 Austin County Fair Wine Show is slated for Sunday, Oct. 13. For Wine Show information go to https://austin.agrilife.org/wine/