The three wineries in the area are working together, rather than being competitive to help make Wichita Falls a destination for wine lovers. The Hook & Ladder Coffee and Wine Company, the 6th Street Winery and Horseshoe Bend Cellars Vineyard and Winery have banded together with the Wichita Falls Conventions and Visitors Bureau (CVB) to create the Wee-Chi-Tah Wine Trail and Passport.
“It was a collaborative effort between the Conventions and Visitors Bureau and the three wineries in town. They had come to us, and they wanted to do something together. We wanted people in and out of Wichita Falls to be aware that we have three wineries in town,” said Cristin Dias of the Conventions and Visitors Bureau, “We were excited that they wanted to work together.”
“One of the things people have a misconception about is that all businesses are competitors, but we want to support each other. We want it to be a friendly thing for people to freely move between businesses and not feel like they have to be secretive. We want to support each other. We are all friends, and we are happy to promote as a unit; because if we all do well the entire area does well,” said Bill Andersen, owner and operator of the 6th Street Winery,
An incentive to travel down the Wine Trail is a desirable prize any wine connoisseur would love. One lucky patron will receive a gift basket from each of the wineries by getting, using and turning in a passport. “The Wine Trail itself already exist and the passports are out,” Bill Andersen said, “The passport basically has three spots for each winery and is similar to a passport you get when you are traveling. When you get into the winery, we actually put our unique stamps on our three spaces. It takes three visits per winery for the passport to be complete. It can then be taken to any of the wineries, and we will make sure it gets to the CVB.” It can also be dropped off at the CVB office or mailed to the office. They are located at 1002 5th Street. “We did a lot of research on other wine trails in the country,” Cristin said, “With this wine trail you could realistically hit them all in one day if you wanted to.”
The passports can be picked up at their office or any of the wineries. “We designed the passports in house at the Conventions and Visitors Bureau, and obviously, we worked very closely with the 3 businesses. We created different stamps for each winery. We are going to do this every year, so this year we gave people a little more time to turn it in. They have to drop off the completed passport by January 31st, and we will draw a winner on February 28th,” Cristin explained.
6th Street Winery is locate in the Depot Square of the historic district downtown. Most of the original structure has been preserved with exposed large wooden trusses in the tasting room area. They are an urban winery that partners with vineyards in Texas and other parts of the country to secure premium grapes that make up their 20 plus wines according to the CVB website. Their premier opening took place at the April After Hours Art Walk, and they are open Friday evenings from 5-9, Saturdays from 2-10, and Sundays from 1-5. They are also open for the monthly After Hours Art Walks.
Hook & Ladder Coffee and Wine Company are also located in the historic Depot Square at 616 7th Street. They are located in an original 1884 building that is a National Landmark. They are the first urban winery in Wichita Falls. “We have approximately 20 different kinds of wine. There is a bottle of wine somewhere on that wall for anybody even if they aren’t a wine connoisseur or wine drinker, they will find something that will appeal to them,” co-owner, Bill Weske, guaranteed. They also roast coffee which they sell in their store too and don’t forget the flatbreads with the original recipes such as taco explosion The Hook & Ladder also host events and the winery can be rented out for parties. Their operating hours are Wednesday from 5:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m., Thursday and Friday they are open from 11:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. and Saturday they are open 10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.
The Horseshoe Bend Cellar Vineyard and Winery is located at 3399 Peterson Road nestled between the rushing waters of the Wichita River and the shores of Horseshoe Lake. The quiet countryside winery features a tasting room and banquet suite complete with a balcony overlooking the vineyard. It is a family owned full production vineyard and winery that creates some of the most unique wines in the Wichita Falls area. They are continuously hosting events like stargazing nights, grape stomping parties, vineyard harvesting parties and many more. They also offer tours of the vineyards and wine production areas. Their operating hours are Thursdays 3-7, Fridays 2-9, Saturdays 12-9 and Sundays 1-7.
Whether you are looking for the convenience of downtown or the tranquility of the countryside, these 3 wineries are all desirable and available for people to bring in their passports and possibly win three great prizes.