After 26 years as the The Texas Hill Country Wine and Food Festival, held in Austin each spring and considered one of the premier epicurean celebrations in the Southern United States, we’ve now become the Austin Food & Wine Alliance, a non-profit organization dedicated to fostering awareness and innovation in the Central Texas food, wine and spirits community through grants, educational programming and events.
The Alliance is the non-profit partner of the Austin FOOD & WINE Festival in Austin, Texas. As the beneficiaries of the festival, we’re excited to further support the amazing food and wine talent and happenings in Central Texas and with our non-profit status, will be able to give back to the culinary community through a vibrant grant program to fund projects focused on culinary innovation.
The Austin Food & Wine Alliance is a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization dedicated to fostering awareness and innovation in the Central Texas culinary community through grants, educational programming and events. Guided by an all-volunteer board of directors and committees made up of culinary-and-community-minded professionals, the Alliance’s commitment is to promote Texas food, wine, spirits and craft brews and to increase appreciation of Texas’ culinary impact.
The Texas Hill Country Food & Wine Festival (THCWFF) now has evolved into the Austin Food & Wine Alliance and will benefit from the success of the new Austin FOOD & WINE Festival. The Alliance will remain true to the THCWFF mission established nearly three decades ago — to bring together innovative culinary artisans and wine producers who celebrate the rich traditions that influence Texas wine and food.
After completing the most successful festival in the history of the Texas Hill Country Wine & Food Festival in 2011 and attracting close to 5,000 attendees to more than two dozen unique food and wine events, we’re ready for an exciting year of Alliance events ranging from the Wine & Swine Annual Pig Roast, the hugely popular Live Fire! at the Saltlick to feasting with some of Central Texas’ most talented chefs with the Wine & Dine Dinner Series.
Prior to becoming the Austin Food & Wine Alliance in 2012, the Texas Hill Country Wine and Food Festival has been one of the premier epicurean celebrations in the southern region of the United States for 26 years. It has attracted top culinary stars like Bobby Flay, John Besh, Robert Mondavi, Colman Andrews and other popular food-world icons to Austin. The festival has created its own unique brand presence that has reinforced the reputation of Austin and Central Texas as top food and wine destinations.
By the early 1980s, regional foods and wines throughout America were experiencing an exciting cultural renaissance. Winemakers Ed and Susan Auler of Fall Creek Vineyards decided it was time to turn the spotlight on the fledgling Texas wine industry. They began talking to others about creating an event for visitors to learn about and enjoy the beauty and bounty of the Hill Country. A dedicated group of Central Texas winemakers and culinarians began kicking around the concept of a wine and food festival. It was clearly an idea whose time had come. The first Texas Hill Country Wine & Food Festival was held in April 1986 during the Texas Sesquicentennial year.
Bringing winemakers, chefs and wine-and-food lovers together in the Hill Country for the first time made the initial Festival an unqualified success. Programs and events expanded each year, and attendance grew steadily, as did community support, sponsorships and national media attention. Every year, more local, regional and national chefs, restaurants and wineries participated, and guest chefs and winemakers came from around the globe.