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HIT THE TRAIL WITH VALLEY VINES

Enjoy The North Texas Wine Country Fall Wine Trail Through October

Article by Sharla Davenport

Photography by Holly Farrow, Briarland Media and Courtesy

Originally published in Celina Lifestyle

Want to “fall” in love with wine this fall? This season is associated with pumpkins, football, and Oktoberfest, but it is also a time for wine.  During the month of October, the North Texas Wine Association hosts the annual North Texas Wine Country Fall Wine Trail.

The North Texas Wine Country Fall Wine Trail consists of over thirty-five Texas wineries located around North Texas finishing at the Red River.  From October 1-31st you can visit wineries and vineyards in towns like Ovilla, Denison, Grapevine, Muenster, and of course, Celina. Two Celina businesses will be part of this year’s event: Eden Hill Vineyard and Valley Vines Tasting Room.

Once you purchase a ticket, you may visit the participating wineries any day they are open and taste a minimum of three wines at each location. Ticketholders will be able to taste 100 or more wines at their own pace throughout the entire month. It is a $400 value for only $49.95.

Doug Samuelson, owner of Valley Vines Tasting Room in downtown Celina, notes most people will plan their wineries according to location and days wineries are open as many are open at various parts of the week. He continues that most come to Valley Vines on Sunday as they are one of the few that are open on that day.  

Samuelson reports the vineyards and wineries taking part of the wine trail are “absolutely amazing”, picturesque with Texas scenery. They may be located on 400 acres of rolling green grass or, like Valley Vines, on a quaint town square with small town charm. Doug and his wife, Melody, partook in the fall wine trail almost ten years ago as customers. Back then only eight wineries were involved in the tastings, and now the event has grown to over thirty-five. The wine trail brings people from all over Texas and the country with many who return each year, whom a vast majority not from Celina. “It is great for Celina’s commerce and tourism,” says Doug.

Valley Vines Tasting Room has been involved with wine trails for the last two years.  Doug and Melody enjoy meeting people from all over the country.  Doug believes many people would not have come to Celina had it not been for the North Texas Wine Country Fall Wine Trail. “Once they see downtown Celina, they fall in love with it,” he proudly says. 

The Samuelson’s opened the tasting room on a corner of downtown Celina in March 2021. They joined North Texas Wine Association which included the option of joining the wine trail events. Thinking it would bring in business and name recognition, Valley Vines immediately participated. The event allows people to come in and see the shop, taste wines from the Pacific Northwest and some of their four local wines as well. The wines with Celina labels are very popular. Customers usually join the wine club as a result.

The couple has lived in Texas since 1995 as they followed their company’s headquarters relocating here.  They have been in the foodservice industry for their entire careers with many friends working for vineyards or wine distribution. It was their friends’ distribution business which prompted the Samuelsons to do the same.  For six years, they operated a wine distribution business in Texas but really wanted to share wine directly with people and opened Valley Vines Tasting Room. 

Going to the Celina Square with family is how the Samuelsons were introduced to the town as their children and grandchildren live here. “Celina was our first, and only, choice when we decided to open our tasting room,” Doug notes. 

Now as a regular establishment on The Square, the Samuelsons believe Valley Vines has become the “Cheers” of Celina, where everyone knows everyone by name. It is an entertainment spot to taste delicious wines, hear local live music, plus enjoy great food like flatbread pizzas, bruschetta, and charcuterie. 

Valley Vines features wines from Washington State, Napa Valley California, four local labels, and even some from Croatia. They have a very popular wine club that releases a new wine every quarter. This October they will release a special Octoberfest theme label honoring the celebration.  

Make plans to join the North Texas Wine Trail, including a visit to Valley Vines Tasting Room this month.  You can map out your trip via the event’s website which includes an interactive map of all participating locations, websites, addresses, and hours of operations. Visit NorthTexasWine.com/Wineries to purchase tickets and for event details. 

 “Once they see downtown Celina, they fall in love with it.  It is great for Celina’s commerce and tourism." - Doug Samuelson.

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