Sun, Fun, Wine and Music at the Texas Independence Wine Trail Festival
If there’s one thing that Texans know how to do it’s to have a great party! When that party is at a winery out in the middle of the beautiful Texas hill country on a bright sunny day, there’s no doubt that it will be a great time and that’s exactly what I had at the Texas Independence Wine Trail Festival.
Map courtesy of Texas Independent Wine Trail
The Texas Independence Wine Trail is a group of 9 small independently owned and operated wineries all less than 90 minutes from Houston, Austin, San Antonio, or Victoria, Texas. They stretch from just south of Hiway 59 near Victoria, Texas all the way up to La Grange, Texas (Yes, that is the same name as the ZZ Top song, they are from Houston after all).
Founded about 4 years ago, each winery on the trail is nestled in the beautiful south central Texas countryside. While some may not necessarily have the large vineyards that most people attribute to a winery, don’t let that fool you. These wineries are putting out some award-winning wines year after year. This group of wine creating, fun-loving people gather together every year at the Blue Mule Winery for a celebration like only they can have. Otherwise known as the Texas Independence Wine Trail Wine Festival.
For one day, all 9 wineries, craft vendors, and food trucks get together and listen to some amazing music, so people can try wines from each winery all in one place, Blue Mule Winery which is located in the small town of Fayetteville, Texas. Well, I guess saying it’s in the town is not exactly accurate, it’s outside of town on a rolling farm to market road sitting atop a beautiful scenic hill.
I had been to one of the wineries, Cast Iron Winery, a while back and they had told me about the festival. I was invited by the group to come and see what their festival was all about and I was not disappointed.
As I drove to the winery, I had to remind myself that all of the wineries on the trail are a bit “off the path” which is one reason I love them. After all, “without a roadmap” is what we are all about so I knew that I would fit in perfectly at the festival.
When I arrived at the winery, I knew I was in the right place by the sound of the music, the laughter of the people, and the rows of grapevines. I grabbed my gear, aka cameras, and headed towards the music.
I made my way to the ticket table and presented my ticket where I was given a wrist band and commemorative stemless wine glass. The glass was, of course, to be used for tasting since my wrist band entitled me to be able to visit all 9 winery booths and taste 2 wines per booth.
Now, had I been with my husband I would have definitely had my glass full at all times and sampled as much as I could. Since I was driving and the Texas sun was blazing down on me, I opted to stick with water.
As I watched the crowd of hundreds meander through the rows of booths, they would stop to learn about the wines made by each winery. Then the wine would pour, and pour it did into glass after glass.
Besides the obvious reds and whites, there were also meads or honey wines, which I had never heard of, from Rohan Meadery. With flavors like Apple Honey and Raspberry, I’ll be honest, I was a bit bummed I wasn’t able to sample some. That just means that I’ll have to schedule a trip to their winery. Darn, another road trip!
Along with the honey wines, the same family also produces hard ciders which, from what I could tell by the lines, were very popular with the crowds.
With all the amazing wines to sample, I don’t know how the masses were able to choose. Lavaca Bluffs Winery was serving a wine called Red Bluff Legends that they insisted be sipped in coordination with the eating of a chocolate kiss. From what they told me, the flavor of the wine is enhanced by the flavor of the chocolate so the method was sip, bite, sip. Apparently, those trying this technique were quite impressed with the wine and I never noticed an unhappy face.
While this was a wine festival, there were also some wonderful artisan vendors from all over the area. From Artisan cheese, metal and woodwork, to homemade soaps and food, there was something for everyone.
As I walked around, taking in the beautiful day and the fun of the festival, one of the vintners asked me if I had noticed the “VIP lounge” and said I just had to check it out.
Now, when I say VIP lounge, don’t get all excited like it’s the Oscars because it’s not! It’s a Texas winemakers version of a VIP lounge and I thought it was fantastic.
Set up alongside the old barn where the band was playing were several old couches, some antique luggage, fans, and of course food. It’s what I would call shabby chic if I had to give it a design theme. I could imagine that this is where folks sit on a lazy weekend and enjoy a glass of wine and good conversation. I bet it’s absolutely amazing during a texas thunderstorm!
For the festival, this was a very special place for only a select few. I wasn’t sure what one had to do to be allowed into such a prestigious area but since I had a camera and they invited me, I figured why not go in?
All in all, my day at the Texas Independence Wine Trail Festival was filled with fun, food, great music, and lots of wonderful people educating everyone on their wonderful wines and sharing the fruits of their labors with all who attended.
“Declare your independence from ordinary wine!”
While the festival may only be one time a year, and I can’t wait for next year’s festival, the opportunity to visit any of 9 wineries on the trail is always there, you just have to hit the road and drive into the beautiful south Texas countryside.
While I may have been compensated either financially or via goods or services, the opinions expressed in this post are my own and were in no way influenced by the brand.