Wines & Vines Home
   
 
Welcome Guest
LOGIN |  CREATE ACCOUNT
 
ADVERTISEMENT
 
 
 
04.21.2011  
 

Texas Plans Wine Center

Fredericksburg Center for Wine and Culinary Arts takes a practical approach

 
by Paul Franson
 
 
Alternative text
 
Vineyards flourish near Fredericksburg, Texas. Source: Mary Ann McClain
Fredericksburg, Texas—The city of Fredericksburg in the heart of Texas wine country plans to build a Center for Wine and Culinary Arts, but learning from failures elsewhere, it has practical goals, not just the celebration of wine and food.

According to its mission statement, the new center is “dedicated to the awareness, understanding, and celebration of Texas food, wine, and agriculture through educational programming and hand-on experiences.” That translates into classes for enthusiasts including wine tastings and food pairings, plus training for wine, food and hospitality workers.

Ernie Loeffler, director of the Fredericksburg Convention and Visitor Bureau, said that the center was originally envisioned as a tourist destination, but current plans suggest the center would serve more as a training location for visitors involved in the wine, culinary and hospitality industries.

texas wine
 
An implied goal of the center will be to promote Texas wine, particularly that from the surrounding Hill Country, but it will also offer corporate team-building, casual dining and shopping and space for special events and meetings. Being in Texas’ most agriculturally diverse county, it will also feature exhibits about Texas agriculture.

Plans suggest a 25,000-square-foot facility with a wine-tasting room, restaurant and patio grill, demonstration kitchen with tiered seating, hands-on kitchen, retail sales area, and permanent classroom and event space. 

A steering committee of 27 local business leaders has incorporated The Texas Center for Wine and Culinary Arts, Inc. as a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt, nonprofit corporation and selected an organizing board of directors. It has also created a development timeline, and a sub-committee has begun work on defining space requirements, which will be used to develop a capital budget. A site selection committee has begun identifying potential locations for the center in Fredericksburg. One possible site is near the new Hill Country University Center, an innovative facility shared by operations from Angelo State University, Austin Community College, Concordia University and Texas Tech University.

A feasibility study completed in 2009 by Fairweather Consulting indicated the center could attract some 34,000 deliberate culinary travelers to Fredericksburg during its first year of operation. The annual economic impact of these 34,000 new visitors could reach $11.2 million for Gillespie County, with a total annual estimated $16.1 million impact for Texas as a whole. 

Local businessman Dave Davenport is serving as chairman of the board. Ken Maxwell, owner of Fredericksburg’s 5,200-case Torre Di Pietra Winery, is vice-chair. Ernie Loeffler, director of the Fredericksburg Convention and Visitor Bureau, will serve as secretary, and Ross Burtwell, owner of Cabernet Grill, will hold the treasurer slot.

Also named to the board of directors are Nichole Bendele, public relations director for 65,000-case Becker Vineyards, Stonewall; Shelley Britton, secretary, City of Fredericksburg; Ken Carr, of Austin-based Carr Development; Joe Cloud, owner of All Seasons Retreat; Debbie Farquhar-Garner, owner of Creative Marketing; and Tim Lehmberg, executive director of the Gillespie County Economic Development Commission. 

Additional board members include Kevin MacWithey, Fredericksburg City Councilman; Mike Raymer, owner of Navajo Grill; Bill Renfro, retired banker; Cord Switzer, owner of 7,000-case Fredericksburg Winery; and Terry Thompson-Anderson, chef and cookbook author.

Avoiding Copia’s pitfalls
Ken Maxwell, the board’s new vice chair, told Wines & Vines that the steering committee had looked closely at other wine centers, some of which have struggled. Most notable was Copia, the American Center for Wine, Food and the Arts in Napa Valley, which spent more than $75 million to build a “temple to wine, food and the arts,” but had no clear mission when opening and never attracted a fraction of the crowds it had projected.

Specifically, Copia did not promote local wines, so received little support from local vintners other than founding donor Robert Mondavi; it had limited facilities for wine and food classes for consumers or professionals. It remains closed as the mortgage holder tries to figure out how to recover more of the $70 million mortgage for a property now supposedly worth $25 million.

Maxwell envisions the Texas center will probably cost only $6 to $8 million, and he anticipates that the center will have a heavy emphasis on training high school and college students and other people needed for wineries, lodgings and restaurants in the area. He also says it will have an audio-visual studio to produce educational and other material.

Fredericksburg is already home to a Texas A&M extension center and research facility, and sits amid more than 30 wineries.

The first event planned to raise seed money for the TCWCA is the Hill Country Wine and Music Festival scheduled for May 7 at Wildseed Farms. The event is being organized by Ken and Jenise Maxwell of Torre di Pietra Winery and HCWM Festivals Inc.

SHARE »
Close
 
Currently no comments posted for this article.
 
CURRENT NEWS INDEX »


 
Wines & Vines Home
 
866.453.9701 | 415.453.9700 | Fax: 415.453.2517
65 Mitchell Blvd., Ste. A San Rafael, CA 94903
info@winesandvines.com
Wine Industry Metrics
 
Off-Premise Sales » Month   12 Months  
March 2015 $622 million
7%
$7,995 million
5%
March 2014 $582 million $7,588 million
     
Direct-to-Consumer Shipments » Month   12 Months  
March 2015 $252 million
19%
$1,863 million
14%
March 2014 $213 million $1,634 million
     
Winery Job Index » Month   12 Months  
March 2015 356
22%
243
16%
March 2014 292 210
     
 
MORE » Released on 04.15.2015
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Direct To Consumer
Wine Shipping Report
2015
 
Download full report »
 
 

Practical Winery & Vineyard Library
 
Search the PWV archive »
 
 

CALENDAR
  • April 21
     
    Ahead of the Curve
     
  • April 25
     
    Vineyard Mechanization Workshop
     
  • April 25-26
     
    Vineyard to Vintner in Stags Leap
     
  • April 25-27
     
    World Wine Meetings America
     
  • MORE »
 

READER COMMENTS
 
Article: Bedroom Communities Seek Vineyard AVA »
 
Why not just bottle under a vineyard designation? The bond will have a city or...
Reader: Guest
 
Article: Is Organic Grape Growing Possible in the East? »
 
FWIW, We make a few wines from a certified Organic vineyard growing cabernet franc, merlot,...
Reader: southoldfc
 
Article: Specialty Tanks Encourage Oak Extraction »
 
According to the manufacturer, the logs are made through compression and not with a binding...
Reader: Andrew Adams
 
Article: Specialty Tanks Encourage Oak Extraction »
 
What is the bonding agent of the Pressed Oak Logs?
Reader: Guest
 
Article: Is Organic Grape Growing Possible in the East? »
 
Some Long Island, NY, vineyard farmers are already using nearly organic methods. They have worked...
Reader: envcat
 
 


Directory/Buyer's Guide — Your Wine Industry Marketplace
 
 
WINERY SEARCH
 
 
Advanced Search »
SUPPLIER SEARCH
   by Product
 by Company Name or Brand
 
Browse by Category »
2015 Directory/Buyer's Guide
The Wines & Vines Directory and Buyer's Guide
 
 
EXPANDED ONLINE SEARCH INCLUDED WITH PURCHASE
 
ORDER NOW »
 
LEARN MORE »
 
 
Wines & Vines Magazine
 
 
LEARN MORE »
 
SUBSCRIBE »
 
Digital Edition Now Available!
Wines & Vines Digital Edition Now Available
 
LEARN MORE »
 
ORDER NOW »
 
 
The Wines & Vines Online Marketing System
 
The Industry Standard winery marketing application
 
FREE LIVE DEMO »
 
VIEW VIDEO »
 
 
 
 
Latest Job Listings
 Harvest Intern
 Oakville, CA
Cellar, Lab and Production
 Head Of Fulfillment An...
 Santa Rosa, CA
DTC, Tasting Room and Retai
 District Manager - Ten...
 Nashville, TN
Sales and Marketing
 Sales Analyst/Field Sa...
 Napa, CA
Sales and Marketing
 Lab Tech (Columbia Win...
 Sunnyside, WA
Cellar, Lab and Production
 Sales & Hospitality As...
 Napa, CA
DTC, Tasting Room and Retai
 Seasonal Field Scout
 Lodi, CA
Vineyards
 Enologist
 Lodi, CA
Winemaker/Enologist
 District Sales Manager...
 Northern, NJ
Sales and Marketing
 Fine Wine Shop Stock &...
 New York, NY
DTC, Tasting Room and Retai
 
More Job Listings >>
Follow Us On:
 
 





Home  |  About Us  |  Editors  |  Subscribe  |  Print Edition  |  Digital Edition

Advertise  |  Site Map  |  Contact Us  |  Privacy Policy
 
 
Copyright © 2001-2015 by Wine Communications Group, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
No material may be reproduced without written permission of the Publisher.
Wines&Vines does not assume any responsibility for any unsolicited manuscripts or materials.