The Temple Chamber of Commerce has extended its annual self-guided tour of Temple and surrounding wineries and breweries from one weekend to nine days. The 2023 Spirit of Santa Fe Trail runs from Friday, March 31 to Sunday, April 9 this year and will feature 13 participating locations.
“One weekend proved too short for guests to truly experience how much the Central Texas craft beverage industry has grown,” said the Temple Chamber of Commerce President Rod Henry. “Plus, this year features more venues to visit, including a new distillery in Little-River Academy, and we want guests to have a chance to see them all.”
The event showcases Central Texas's mark in the adult beverage space and introduces the community to new businesses and new products from old favorites.
For example, Walker Honey Farm, known since 1930 for producing various honey products, began delivering a bee-to-bottle experience in 2011 by introducing honey wine and mead made in-house at Dancing Bee Winery.
“It is our desire that Walker Honey Farm preserve and grow its presence as a valued member of the farm community responding to the evolving needs of the communities in which we live and work,” the Walker family explains on their website. “Honey Wine is a logical and intuitive expansion of our offerings from the hive.”
A newcomer to the trail this year, Wilson Valley Mercantile is the only seed, grain, field, and farm-to-glass distillery in Texas –one of few in the United States.
“It’s about more than showing people there’s more to do in Temple,” said Bobbie Jo Young, Director of Membership Development for the Chamber. “It’s about living up to our mission to preserve, protect, and promote business in this city. The tour is one of the many ways we serve our members.” The Spirit of Santa Fe Trail is one of seven signature initiatives the Temple Chamber of Commerce presents annually. Members can leverage each initiative as a partnership and marketing opportunity to engage and develop lasting relationships with the community.
“The Business Link Lunch and Business After Hours are great for meeting other business owners and people you can do business with,” said Katrina Owens, the Chamber’s Director of Signature Initiatives. “Those happen every month during the work week and tend to be shorter opportunities to interact.” She continued, “The annual events allow more time to interact more festively. People love doing business with those they enjoy, and the signature events set the tone for enjoyment.”
One benefit of a week-long event is guests don’t have to pack multiple locations into one weekend. Participating venues for the Spirit of Santa Fe Trail will operate during their regular business hours, which means guests can visit any place during featured events such as trivia night and musical BINGO. Nearly every spot on the list has something to keep guests entertained. Another benefit of a week-long tour: Safety.
With good planning, guests will have plenty of time to visit each venue rather than try to fit them all into one booze-filled weekend. Organizers of the Spirit of Santa Fe Trail ask that guests drink responsibly, avoid drinking and driving, and have a designated driver.
Trail tickets are $25 and are valid for one exclusive offer at each participating location over the Trail dates. Guests can purchase tickets online at centraltexastickets.com or pick up a punch card from participating wineries, breweries, distilleries, or the Chamber with proof of ticket purchase.
Visit the Spirit of Santa Fe Trail event page, templechamber.com/spiritofsantafe, for a complete list of participating venues and their hours of operation.
The Spirit of Santa Fe Trail is made possible by generous sponsors: City of Temple, Emerson Construction, Polar Texas Bottling, Ludwick Montgomery & Stapp, McLane Company, Perry Office Products, and First United Bank & Trust.