“Membership has its privileges.” Who doesn’t remember this slogan from the 1990’s? Who doesn’t like being a member of a club? It makes you feel like you are part of an exclusive group. Maybe you already belong to a group where you have something in common? There are many different clubs you can join…car clubs, country clubs, service clubs, book clubs, wine clubs…wait, wine clubs? My husband and I are members of a couple of wine clubs: Lost Oak Winery (Burleson, TX), Blue Ostrich Vineyard (Saint Jo, TX), and Wedding Oak Winery (San Saba, TX). There have been a few other ones I’d like to join, but my husband has said three is enough for now! We’ll just have to cycle through the clubs and see what we can do.
There are many reasons to join a wine club and these are just a few membership privileges:
1. Advance release and exclusive release of wines. Many wineries make early release or limited releases of their wines available to wine club members before they make them available to the general public in the tasting room or their website. Westcave Cellars, whose wine club members are known as the Cellar Dwellers, is located in Round Mountain in the Hill Country. They offer to their members access to special releases of wine not available to the public. Spicewood Vineyards is located about 35 miles northwest of Austin near the community of Spicewood. They offer the ability to purchase exclusive wines available only to wine club members.
2. Wine Club release events. Pick up events are usually scheduled around wine club release times where members come and drink the wines being released with special food pairings. Friends of Pedernales Cellars, the wine club for Pedernales Cellars in Stonewall, are invited to exclusive club release events including special passes to Pedernales Cellars’ celebration of Texas Independence Day with cooking demos, wine classes, and more. The Flock, Hilmy Cellars’ wine club located on US Highway 290 between Stonewall and Fredericksburg, are encouraged to pick-up their wine allocations on the date or weekend they are released in order to enjoy the celebrations surrounding each release.
3. Special Events. Many wineries offer member only special events like special pairings, wine pairing dinners at local restaurants, or even wine blending parties. Singing Water Vineyards is located outside of Comfort and their wine club is referred to as the Vintage Wine Club. Among other things they also offer special VIP invitation to special events throughout the year. Driftwood Estate Winery is located in Driftwood and offers discounted event tickets and exclusive Member Only events.
4. Discounts and special pricing. How does 10-20% on average off of wines, merchandise, and event tickets sound?? William Chris Wines is located in Hye and offers four levels of membership ranging from 2 bottles and 10% savings to 12 bottles and 25% savings. Bar Z Winery in Canyon offers 15% discount on wine and merchandise purchases.
5. Free tours and tastings. You and some of your friends can join in for free tastings and tours of the winery and vineyards. Blue Ostrich Winery and Vineyard located in Saint Jo offers complementary tastings and scheduled barrel tastings. Some wineries like Texas Legato in Lampasas offer free barrel and tank tastings with the wine maker with advance notice.
6. Free newsletter subscriptions. Current information is offered on what’s going on in the winery and occasionally recipe and pairing suggestions. Woodrose Winery in Stonewall offers intimate tasting notes from the winemakers and gourmet Woodrose Winery recipes to pair with their wines. Lost Oak Winery in Burleson shares a copy of their From the Vine newsletter that includes winery notes from President, Gene Estes, and winemaker, Jim Evans, and a recipe is shared with each shipment.
I’m sure there are many other reasons to join, but these are the most common I found. Almost every winery offers wine club membership and is able to ship your wines to you, but you will still need to visit the winery in order to take full advantage of your wine club benefits.