11th Annual The Grape Capital of Texas Vineyard Festival

Once again I headed out to Terry County and Brownfield for the Grape Capital of Texas Vineyard Festival. This is the 11th year it has been held and the 2nd time I’ve participated. You can see a gallery of photos below.

On Friday night there was food, wine and music. On Saturday there were Vineyard Tours, dinner and music.

The festival this year had its pros and cons. It was held at Reddy’s event center, and while it was a nice venue – it was packed Friday night to the point of it being hard to find a place to sit or be able to talk the band was so loud. Plus getting through the food lines was impossible as it required you to snake through tables. However, had a good tasting with Reddy Vineyards (website), although I was disappointed to see it was mostly what I can find in the grocery stores. Great tasting with Adelphos Cellars (website), so more on their Scarlett Letter Red Blend in another post. Amazing tasting with Bingham Family Vineyards (website), so more on their Turnrow and Dirt Farmer blends in other posts. Also present were Llano Estacado, Triple D Winery (more on them in another post), Farmhouse Vineyards (also another post) and Prairie Chick Vineyards. So, one less vineyard than last year

Saturday’s tours were amazing, but I really wish they’d start a bit earlier in the day. Else not getting to eat dinner until 9 pm is a bit of a bother when not every vineyard serves food. However, it was interesting to visit Blackwater Draw Vineyard (they grow grapes for Hilmy), Phillips Vineyards (they grow grapes for Wedding Oak Vineyards, Lewis Wines, Wine for the People, and William Chris) and finished up at the Whitehouse Parker tasting room for Farmhouse Vineyards, where I learned a lot about their organic efforts to improve soil (I don’t get all the technical scientific side – but it boils down to probiotics for grapevine soil).

The tours really stepped up their game this year. Phillips and Farmhouse both had live music. Blackwater Draw and Farmhouse had snacks. Phillips had food pairings.

At Phillips, I really enjoyed Lewis Wines Chenin Blanc, paired with Key Lime Pie Balls. My husband liked the Wedding Oak Roussanne paired with apricot, pecan and goat cheese puffs. We both loved the chocolate caramel brownies that were paired with William Chris’ Sangiovese. And agreed that we would have never to have thought to pair watermelon (with honey, lime and mint dressing) with a bubbly. But it went well with Wine For The People’s 2022 Dandy Bubbles (Cinsault). We had a great chat with Madonna Phillips and some other locals, about the wine and the festival in general

At Blackwater Draw Vineyards, I liked Hilmy’s Orange Muscat more than I thought I would. The Cabernet Franc has won awards, and I could see why. The Mourvèdre wasn’t bad either.

Farmhouse had Kristen Kelly (website), an up and coming country artist playing. I was fortunate enough to get her perform earlier, as we were a bit rushed since Farmhouse was the last stop. You can hear her do an acoustic rendition of one of her songs here on my Instagram reels (link). If you like country – well worth following. If you don’t – she still has an amazing voice – so worth watching out for her to crossover into other genres.

Final Thoughts

All in all, it was well worth the trip to Brownfield for the festival. At first we were disappointed some of our neighbors (friends) couldn’t join us – but given the crowding and the noise on Friday, it wouldn’t have worked for them – neither would have waiting to eat dinner until 9pm on Saturday – and as such being rushed through some of the vineyard visits. The tours really should start at 5 pm or even 4 pm to make sure everyone can spend enough time seeing the operation and hearing the winemakers/grape growers – instead of chugging and running.

But, like I said, well worth the trip and I look forward to heading back out next year.

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