Alumna launches bike and wine tour company

SHREVEPORT, LA — Ashley Hunter '00 has founded Hill Country Bike and Wine, a leisurely paced 22 mile guided bike tour along Highway 290 in the Texas Hill Country. Hunter created the company after she experienced a life transformation.

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"What prompted me to start Hill Country Bike and Wine was weight loss," said Hunter. "I lost 70 pounds last year, and a lot of my weight loss was a result of biking and pure barre method. I figured, what would be a better way to drink fine Texas wines than on a bike? Fun and exercise!"

The one-day bike tour takes participants through Fredericksburg and Stonewall, Texas, with stops at local vineyards and a catered picnic lunch. Tour groups, limited to 20 guests, are led by a local, knowledgeable tour guide to enhance guests' knowledge of the vineyard-to-bottle process.

"Wine production and tourism are at an all-time high in the Texas Hill Country," said Hunter. "The area accounts for more than 38 wineries and 25 vineyards and is continually growing, according to the Texas Wine and Grape Growers Association. I believe it is important that we offer an array of options that meets the unique needs of new and returning customers to the area."

Hunter also owns a boutique insurance brokerage she started six years ago. Her experience there and at Centenary led to the creation of Hill Country Bike and Wine:

"I realized that if I wanted to do business with people who valued a true connection with their customers, I would have to create it. Centenary gave me so many invaluable experiences but the one that really comes to mind is what Dr. Leta Carson taught me: Determination + Timing + A Dash of Luck = A Lifetime of Success!"

Hill Country Bike and Wine will begin tours May 4, in conjunction with the Hill Country Film Festival. Tour options include standard weekend tour, private groups, girl's weekend, and corporate team building. Visit the website for more information.