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Grapes of the Texas High Plains

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From Napa Valley to the Texas High Plains, wine connoisseurs and enthusiasts alike will be impressed by the quality of grapes grown in West Texas. As a location unbeknownst to many for its perfect grape-growing climate, dry air coupled with the cooler nights and warmer days, the Texas High Plains AVA is often compared to Northern California or the southern regions of Italy. 

Just over four decades ago, the “father of Texas wine”, Doc McPherson, began his winemaking career in a basement chemistry lab at Texas Tech University. Being a dry county with prohibition restrictions lifted just over ten years ago, it is from humble beginnings that the Texas wine industry was born. 

At Sagmore Vineyards, just 100 miles outside of Lubbock city limits, testing began on the classic grapes like chardonnay, cabernet, merlot and sauvignon blanc against the weather and soil conditions. Winemakers and growers alike must have been pleased with what they saw! Today, approximately 90% of all Texas wine grapes are grown in the Texas High Plains AVA. 

As winemakers began to experiment with different grapes, the industry took on a major expansion. Suddenly, wineries from central Texas, the Hill Country and other regions throughout the Lone Star state began requesting the high-quality fruit produced on the caprock. 

Lubbock is home to several award-winning wineries including McPherson Cellars, Llano Estacado Winery, English Newsom Cellars at Caprock Winery, Burklee Hill Winery and more. With each offering a unique taste, experience and aesthetic in every bottle and tasting room, all pallets will be pleasantly surprised with each sip. 

Being an agriculturally rich area, West Texas is primarily known for its production of cotton and peanuts. For generations, farmers have worked with the land to consistently grow premium plants for a plethora of industries. As they turn the soil each season, a new wealth of knowledge is accumulated. Their commitment and dedication to producing premier wine grapes is reflected by the gold medal bottles awarded at highly respected competitions including the San Antonio Stock Show, San Francisco International, and TEXSOM. In 2020, the English Newsom Cellars Reserve Viognier received double gold at the San Francisco International and a Gold Class Champion at the Houston Stock Show for their delicious Picardan. At the 2020 San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo, Burklee Hill also took home the gold for their bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon. 

Today, Lubbock’s wine portfolio offers varietals across the board. From a light and airy glass of Picardan to a rich, barrel-aged Merlot, each glass of Texas High Plains wine emulates the grit and charm of the region. As Texas gains notoriety as a top wine destination, plan your next trip to Lubbock to see where it all began. That is something we can raise a glass to. Cheers!

“Great cities have great downtowns… We’ve got to have people living, retail, more places to eat and more people working downtown. This all fits together in making Lubbock the kind of place where young people want to live and work.”

Dan Pope
Former Mayor of Lubbock