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Courtesy of William Chris Vineyards

A Texas winery just landed on one of the most exclusive wine lists of them all. At an event held in Argentina's wine capital, Mendoza, the World’s Best Vineyards organization revealed this year’s top wine destinations for 2022. Texas' own William Chris Vineyards came in at No. 56, the only Texas vineyard on the list and one of only seven wineries from the U.S.

Founded in 2008 by Chris Brundrett and Bill Blackmon in Hye, Texas, the vineyard started out in the historic 1905 Dieke Farmhouse and has been rapidly expanding ever since. Now, the company partners with local farms to source the highest quality Texas fruit, utilizing a hands-off, low-intervention approach to allow the fruit's characteristics to shine through in the final product.

“It is such an honor to be included on the prestigious list of World’s Best Vineyards, especially as the first and only Texas winery,” said Brundrett in a release. “We’ve worked tirelessly to show the world that Texas has a place among the great wine destinations of the world, and we see this as a victory not just for William Chris Vineyards, but for the Texas wine industry as a whole. We’re excited to celebrate this with our partners and peers.”

Released annually, the World’s Best Vineyards list highlights the top must-visit vineyards globally, aiming to promote wine tourism around the world. 500 leading wine experts, sommeliers, and travel experts comprise the group's voting academy, submitting their nominations based on a wide range of criteria — from quality of overall experience to cuisine, value for money, and more. Submissions are voted on, and the collated results become the coveted World’s Best Vineyards list.

For a full list of 2022 winners, visit worldsbestvineyards.com.

Photo by Trish Rawls

Charming Hill Country destination named among most dynamic 'micropolitan' areas in U.S.

We’ll toast to that

Fredericksburg reigns as the Hill Country’s wine and tourism hub, with both industries pouring millions of dollars into the regional economy. So it’s no wonder, then, that Fredericksburg now ranks among the country’s most “dynamic” micropolitan areas.

A new study from the nonprofit think tank Heartland Forward places Fredericksburg at No. 21 among the 25 most dynamic micropolitan areas in the U.S. The study look at economic data for the country’s 536 micropolitan areas.

A micropolitan area is a cluster of communities anchored by a town with 10,000 to 50,000 residents. Fredericksburg itself is home to about 11,000 residents, while the entire micropolitan area comprises 27,297 people.

According to the study, the key figures for the Fredericksburg micropolitan area include:

  • Per capita personal income of $75,442, the second highest number among the top 25.
  • 2015-20 employment growth of 4.8 percent.
  • 2015-20 growth in GDP (growth domestic product) of 12.6 percent. GDP is a major indicator of economic strength or weakness.

“Close to both Austin and San Antonio, Fredericksburg is a sophisticated small town, a community that welcomes and supports newcomers. The climate is mild, the location and lifestyle ideal, and our robust economic climate is tailor-made for a number of kinds of businesses, which will benefit greatly from all the area has to offer,” says the Gillespie County Economic Development Commission.

Several factors contribute to Fredericksburg’s status as a standout micropolitan area. These include:

  • More than $241 million in direct spending on travel in 2021.
  • Popular attractions such as the LBJ State Park and Historic Site, the National Museum of the Pacific War, Enchanted Rock State Natural Area, and Wildseed Farms.
  • A full-bodied wine industry.

Los Alamos, New Mexico, stands atop Heartland Forward’s list of the top 25 micropolitan areas. The West Texas area of Pecos sits at No. 4; it’s the only other Texas micropolitan on the list.

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'Freaks' Rob Zombie and Alice Cooper parade through Dallas on 2023 tour

Shock Rockers on the Road

Shock rockers Rob Zombie and Alice Cooper have made plans for the 2023 "Freaks on Parade Tour," which will kick off in Dallas at Dos Equis Pavilion on Thursday, August 24.

Taking place over the course of one month, the tour will hit 19 cities in both the United States and Canada. The Dallas stop is the only date in Texas scheduled. Ministry and Filter will serve as supporting acts in all cities.

This is the second year for Freaks on Parade Tour, which saw Zombie team up with Mudvayne in 2022 for stops in Austin, Fort Worth, and Houston.

Both Zombie and Cooper have had long and successful careers. Zombie has released seven albums in his 25-year career, most recently 2021's The Lunar Injection Kool Aid Eclipse Conspiracy, with each reaching the top 10 on the Billboard 200 chart. Cooper has released music in seven different decades, debuting in 1969. His most recent release was 2021's Detroit Stories.

Tickets for the tour go on sale starting Friday, February 3 at 10 am on livenation.com. Citi cardmembers will have access to presale tickets beginning Tuesday, January 31 at 10 am until Thursday, February 2 at 10 pm through the Citi Entertainment program.

2023 FREAKS ON PARADE TOUR DATES:

  • Thu Aug 24 – Dallas, TX – Dos Equis Pavilion
  • Sat Aug 26 – Tampa, FL – MIDFLORIDA Credit Union Amphitheatre
  • Sun Aug 27 – West Palm Beach, FL – iTHINK Financial Amphitheatre
  • Tue Aug 29 – Raleigh, NC – Coastal Credit Union Music Park at Walnut Creek
  • Wed Aug 30 – Virginia Beach, VA – Veterans United Home Loans Amphitheater
  • Fri Sep 01 – Tinley Park, IL – Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre
  • Sat Sep 02 – Des Moines, IA – Wells Fargo Arena
  • Tue Sep 05 – Clarkston, MI – Pine Knob Music Theatre
  • Wed Sep 06 – Toronto, ON – Budweiser Stage
  • Fri Sep 08 – Scranton, PA – The Pavilion at Montage Mountain
  • Sat Sep 09 – Wantagh, NY – Northwell Health at Jones Beach Theater
  • Sun Sep 10 – Hartford, CT – The XFINITY Theatre
  • Tue Sep 12 – Nashville, TN – Bridgestone Arena
  • Sat Sep 16 - Englewood, CO - Fiddler's Green Amphitheatre
  • Tue Sep 19 – Ridgefield, WA – RV Inn Style Resorts Amphitheater
  • Wed Sep 20 – Auburn, WA – White River Amphitheatre
  • Fri Sep 22 – Concord, CA – Concord Pavilion
  • Sat Sep 23 – Anaheim, CA – Honda Center
  • Sun Sep 24 – Phoenix, AZ – Talking Stick Resort Amphitheatre

Photo courtesy of Rob Zombie

Rob Zombie headlines the Freaks on Parade for a second year in a row.

Winter storm watch issued for North Texas and more Dallas news

City News Roundup

In this roundup of Dallas news, DFW is girding itself for an imminent winter weather event, condemning a brutal death in Memphis, banning TikTok, and waving goodbye to an old-school technology.

Here's what's happening in Dallas this week:

Winter weather
The weather is going to be bad this week. A Winter Storm Watch has been issued across North Texas, beginning Monday January 30 through Wednesday February 1. They're predicting freezing rain, sleet, and ice, with roads becoming most hazardous on Tuesday January 31. TxDOT has already begun pre-treating the roads, and the National Weather Service recommends avoiding travel unless necessary.

Tyre Nichols RIP
Police departments in North Texas and across the U.S. released statements condemning the death of Tyre Nichols, a 29-year-old man who was beaten by five Memphis police officers following a traffic stop on January 7; Nichols died in the hospital three days later. The Memphis PD released videos of the encounter on January 27. Demonstrations were held across the country including a vigil outside Dallas City Hall. The Atlantic posted a story about the ways that public officials have managed the aftermath to reduce violence. The five officers — Tadarrius Bean, Demetrius Haley, Emmitt Martin III, Desmond Mills Jr. and Justin Smith — have been fired and charged with second-degree murder, assault and kidnapping.

TikTok ban
DISD has banned TikTok. Dallas students, teachers, and visitors can no longer access TikTok from school district devices and networks. A DISD official issued a statement said the move is in response to cybersecurity concerns that said “experts believe the cybersecurity risk stems from the belief that TikTok’s parent company tracks data from users — including when, where and how a person uses the internet — that could be used to share sensitive information and ultimately harm our IT infrastructure."

DISD joins a number of Texas universities who've also banned TikTok, including UT Dallas, UNT, UT Arlington, and UT Austin. In 2022, Gov. Greg Abbott banned state employees from downloading or using TikTok on government-issued devices, joining a growing number of states.

Landlines going away
Old-school landline phones are on their way out. In August 2022, the FCC ended a requirement for companies to provide copper landline services. Among major cities, Dallas has the least number of landlines, found in 16 percent of homes. Their demise is anticipated to affect small business owners, people over 65, people with Parkinson's disease who can’t use a smartphone, or people who need a back-up phone.

Nickelback's upcoming tour stop rocks this week's 5 hottest Dallas headlines

This week's hot headlines

Editor's note: A lot happened this week, so here's your chance to get caught up. Read on for the week's most popular headlines. Looking for the best things to do this weekend? Find that list here.

1. Juggernaut rock band Nickelback is touring summer 2023 with stop in Dallas. Nickelback is back: Canadian-born rock juggernaut Nickelback is going on tour in summer 2023 to support their new album, Get Rollin'. Called the "Get Rollin’ Tour," it'll hit 38 cities, including Dallas on July 22 at Dos Equis Pavilion.

2. Behind the wall of greenery and other Dallas restaurant must-haves. If you're a Dallas restaurant in 2023, you're nowhere without a wall of greenery. Walls covered with greenery are among the features restaurants are deploying these days to lure in diners. Food is still the official reason people go out to eat, but restaurants these days are more experience-oriented. Here are few features being rolled out at restaurants around town.

3. Affluent Dallas neighbor cashes in as the richest city in Texas for 2023. North Texans wanting a glimpse into the lives of the 1 percent won't have to travel far to get a peek. Southlake has been named the richest city in Texas for 2023 in a recent study.

4. South Polk Pizzeria in Dallas' Oak Cliff slings perfect pies in pizza desert. Dallas has plenty of pretty pizza these days — but nearly all of it is found north of I-30. So let's hear it for South Polk Pizzeria, a new shop that opened in late December in Oak Cliff, at 3939 S. Polk St #527, just off US-67 and north of Loop 12, slinging the same kind of artisanal pies that are being slung across Deep Ellum, Oak Lawn, and North Dallas.

5. 12 Dallas-Fort Worth restaurants score coveted James Beard Award nominations. The James Beard Foundation has revealed the semifinalists for its 2023 Restaurant and Chef Awards. A dozen Dallas-Fort Worth restaurants have been included in both national and regional categories. Here are the nominees.