A Texas wine compendium -- that's the first level of reward after visiting four wineries in the GO TEXAN Winery Passport Program, one of the programs sponsored by the Texas Department of Agriculture to spur interest in Texas-grown products, and hopefully, keep more consumer dollars in state. About a month ago, I registered with the program and agreed to report on all the levels I achieve.
For visiting four wineries, I received an almost-pocket-sized guidebook of some two dozen pages, including wine facts, a timeline of Texas wine, lists of red and white Texas varietals, a small map showing the wine growing regions of Texas, and the like. Probably the most entertaining feature of the guide is one you may have seen elsewhere: What is Your Wine Personality? Here is an example:
"THE MERLOT: There's a mystical side to you, slightly mischievous, but that only makes you the life of the party. The fact that we can't really know everything about you makes you all the more intriguing. It's just so hard to nail you down -- sometimes you're subtle, other times you're adventurous."
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Of course, not everyone agrees with that assessment:
The rewards of the program's first levels include kitchen magnets, a sticky note pad and a wine bandanna, culminating in Level Five: Two Stemless Wine Glasses. After this point, the prizes get really juicy: Private winery tours, vineyard dinners and overnight stays. The complete list of rewards is here.
If you wish to earn upper-echelon rewards, it means a lot of travel. However, there are more than 50 wineries in the North Texas region, so that's a good start. And the Hill Country is only a few hours away.