East Texas Sip and Shop

This group came from all around Texas and Louisiana for a fun Sip & Shop tour in February that included First Monday Trade Days in Canton, Valle della Pace Vineyards & Winery in Van, and historic downtown Ben Wheeler, and they enjoyed this long table offering in the Hemingway Tasting Room for Red 55 Winery located inside The Pink Pistol in Lindale.

Love wine? Love to shop? Kristi McDonald has come up with an exciting way to enjoy both pastimes – East Texas Sip & Shop. Her 15-passenger van takes guests on guided tours to select wineries, breweries, restaurants, art galleries, and boutiques, promising discounts and a good time along the way. Free wine tastings and introductions to fun, funky shops are part of the experience.

Some tours begin at Canton’s First Monday Park and go to fun stops in Lindale including Miranda Lambert’s Pink Pistol Boutique and The Old Mill Pond Museum as well as Valle Della Pace Winery & Vineyard in Van and Pella Legna Winery in Tyler. Other tours begin at Tyler’s East Texas Brewery. Some newly introduced routes include the unique artist community of Edom and the shops and restaurants of Ben Wheeler, as well as Green Goat Winery in Edom and Tara Vineyard & Restaurant in Athens. There are numerous scheduled tours to choose from or guests can request a private tour with a specialized list of tour stops.

East Texas Sip & Shop began their unique tour business in November 2018 and McDonald says people really seem to enjoy the experience.

She says, "We are getting people out to these communities and building awareness of what all this area of Texas has to offer."

A fun twist on an already exciting idea is to join the 2019 Sip & Shop Race. This is an opportunity to sip and shop for a good cause. By participating in the Race, guests get a t-shirt, race passbook and map, exclusive discounts from vendors, free wine tasting tickets, and half off any available Sip & Shop tours. The goal of the race is to visit all the wineries, shops, boutiques, galleries, and restaurants listed in a passbook within three months of the race start date, which is March 1 (late starts are okay). The first team to finish the race wins cash to donate to any charity of their choice. Race participants come across special prizes along the way at the different stops.

Whether following the race passport and exploring individually or sitting back to let the guide do the driving, East Texas Sip & Shop promises a fun and memorable experience.

Upcoming tours include: March 2, Sip, Sip, Rose’; March 30, Gone with the Wine Tour; April 6, Grape Expectations Tour; April 7, Zin it to Win it Tour; and May 4, One Last Syrah! Get more information about these custom private tours and the race at etxsipandshop.com.

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