Wine Tourism Conference Heading to Texas in 2016!

We are extremely excited to announce the Wine Tourism Conference will be heading to Fredericksburg in the Texas Hill Country on November 8-10, 2016. Registration is open now. See below for early registration discounts.

The facts about the Texas wine industry and wine tourism are impressive:

  • Texas has 3,500 acres of vineyards and 350 bonded wineries according to the Texas Wine & Grape Growers Association (TWiGGA)
  • The Texas wine industry has a $1.9 billion annual impact a third of that is due to wine tourism
  • There are around 900,000 wine-related tourists in the state each year
  • Texas was recently selected as a Top Ten Wine Travel destination in the world by Wine Enthusiast Magazine
  • While neither Texans nor we think the comparison is apt, both Southern Living Magazine and CNN have called Texas “the next Napa”

What these bullet points don’t tell you is what I saw when I visited Texas Hill Country in September. The wine world there is simply rocking. The Texas Hill Country is nicely situated a couple hours from both Austin and San Antonio, giving it two huge bases for visitors but being far enough away to maintain a rural character. The small town of Fredericksburg, which will host our conference, is a cute town with tons to do and fits perfectly the need for a central hub to wine country. Most impressively, almost every winery I visited in the area not only served great wines but said they were full to the brim with wine tourists, barely able to keep up. It was truly impressive.

At the risk of gushing, which is not my nature, I can also say you will be amazed at the hospitality. Everyone I met warmly welcomed me to Texas and was truly excited about the Wine Tourism Conference coming to the area … even though it was still 14 months away. Check out this lineup of local partners and incredible events:

  • We are very proud and lucky to have Texas Hill Country Wineries, the Fredericksburg Convention & Visitors Center, the GoTexan program of the Texas Department of Agriculture, and the Texas Wine & Grape Growers Association on board as local partners.
  • Woodrose Winery will be hosting everyone for lunch one day and Becker Vineyards is teaming with the local Frost Bank to host lunch a second day, giving us two opportunities to get out and see the area
  • In addition to two lunches, we have a fantastic dinner included at nearby Luckenbach Texas, where we’ll have dinner, wine tasting, and dancing to a local two-step band
  • We have optional dinners at an extra cost planned at William Chris Vineyards on the first night after the Expo and a visit to Fall Creek Vineyards and the legendary Salt Lick BBQ on Thursday night.
  • There is plenty to do in the local area and we are offering great excursions and activities for spouses and families, including a tour of LBJ’s ranch, hiking in Enchanted Rock State Natural Area, a visit of Wildseed Farms, plus winery visits and shopping in Fredericksburg. See the Events page for all the events and activities.
  • In addition, we’ll have the normal excellent content including pre-conference workshops on Tuesday, breakout sessions, and a keynote speaker.

We are offering a significant discount for our early registrants.  Get your name in the hat for WTC Texas before 2016 and save:

  • $295: Through December 31, 2015
  • $325: Through April 30, 2016
  • $350: Through September 30, 2016
  • $395: After September 30, 2016

Having been there recently, I very much believe you will be impressed with Texas hospitality, the Hill Country Wine area, and the wine tourism boom that is happening in the Fredericksburg area. I hope you can join us and we’ll get to work on creating excellent content soon! WTC16 Registration


  1. says

    While some Texas wineries are bringing in grapes/juice from other states, it is nowhere near 70%. Many, if not most, Texas wineries are using Texas fruit exclusively. Unfortunately, the Achilles heel of Texas viticulture is spring freezes. That was the case for 2013 and 2014. When that happens, Texas wineries are forced to look elsewhere for fruit. Our wine grape acreage is increasing dramatically and we should be self-sufficient in the near future, if the weather cooperates.

  2. Mark Roberts says

    Please keep in mind that about 70% of the wineries in Texas are bringing their juice in bulk from California. Please read the label carefully as it must say Texas on the front label and contain a minimum of 75% grapes grown from Texas vineyards.

    • says

      Yes, indeed, this is true that some wineries use purchased grapes. But they are adding vineyards fast and the wineries creating wine from their own grapes are producing good stuff, which is what we will be trying and what will likely be the future of Texas wine.