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Make the Texas Wine Tour And RV The Wine Country

By Carla Land

Late Summer, Early Fall is harvest time in the Texas Hill Country, and if you're ready to sample the come-of-age wines of the state, the Harvest Wine Trail Weekends, Aug. 14-16, 21-23 is the perfect place to start the Texas Wine Season. It's a great opportunity to try the newest vintage and savor  the sights, sounds, smells and tastes of Harvest time with over 24 Texas wineries participating.

There is nothing quite as breathtakingly beautiful as harvest time in a vineyard, the clear passion for their artistry is so evident in the wines they produce it's like stepping into a time when things were simpler, purer, and connected to the earth. For visitors it is an opportunity to feel as if they have been a part of the process of bringing such a perfect wine to fruition, by participating in rarely seen vineyard activities such as grape stomps and harvesting tours. During the Harvest Wine Trail weekends ticket holders traverse the twenty-four participating wineries sprinkled throughout the Hill Country debuting exciting new wines, watching and learning vineyard practices in motion, taking part in wine seminars or jumping feet first into a two ton grape stomp. Even though activities begin at 6 a.m. There are many activities throughout the day from which to choose.

This year ticket holders will be able to add to their wine experience by collecting wine labels and taking notes on your favorite wines from each participating winery in a one-of-a-kind Texas Hill Country Wineries case bound label and wine notes book. Harvest Wine Trail is the launch of the Wine Trail Promotions. During the trails each winery will offer a custom 3-bottle selection carefully selected for the season at a 15% discount to Wine Trail ticket holders only.

All the trails are self-guided driving tours to be enjoyed at your leisure. Some wineries charge to taste, consult individual websites for charges. You may find additional information about the event and ticket prices on their website: www.texaswinetrail.com

It is amazing that many Texans are not aware that the Lone Star State is the fifth-largest wine-producing state in the nation with more than 100 wineries. It is also the 2nd largest wine travel destination in the U.S. next to Napa, CA., also a recent study indicates that Texans are embracing the wine industry, with Texas wine consumers growing at a faster rate than any other state in the Union. This, say experts, foretells the future. The Texas market is even growing faster than markets in Australia, California, Italy, France or any other wine region in the world.

Why such great production and popularity? It may be because grapes like the warm Texas soil. In fact, grapes have grown naturally along rivers and streams in Texas for thousands of years. A wide diversity of genetically unique grape species have been identified as native to Texas. These native species have played an important role in providing genetic resistance for grape rootstocks used around the world.

In fact, Texas has been credited with saving the French wine industry. In 1880, the vineyards of France were on the verge of destruction because of a particularly nasty grape disease. This grapevine plague was spread throughout France and put  their very economy at risk. French scientist Pierre Viala was selected to find a cure for the plague. Viala's search lead him to Denison, Texas and scientist Thomas Volney Munson. Seeking a solution, Viala and Munson studied the native grapes of Texas. Because the soils of this region of France and those around Denison were very similar, and Munson knew the Texas rootstocks were resistant to the type of disease in France, he suggested that the only way to save the French vineyards was to graft the Texas rootstocks with the French vines. Viala agreed and thousands of bundles of Texas rootstocks were shipped to France to be grafted with the French vineyards. The grafting continues to this day. Viva la Texas!

As Benjamin Franklin once said, "Wine is a constant proof that God loves us, and loves to see us happy." Give yourself and friends and family a chance for that happiness and don't miss the Harvest Wine Trail Weekends!




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