Terry County was declared the Grape Capital of Texas in 2015 by Governor Greg Abbott and is celebrating their 10th annual wine festival.
Brownfield, Texas is the county seat of Terry County. For those of you unfamiliar with Texas geography, Terry County is in far West Texas in what’s known as the South Plains. Terry County is in the Texas High Plains AVA.
It’s about a five hour drive from the DFW area. And really not an unpleasant one – especially if one takes Highway 380 all the way out. Some lovely West Texas driving and cute small towns made for a great trip. Especially since the Texas High Plains AVA is located on a huge high plateau, the height of which ranges from 2,800 to 4,000 feet above sea level.
In an interview with KFYO News, Lorena Valencia, executive director of the Brownfield Chamber of Commerce, was able to tell us there are over 60 varieties of grapes grown in the 10,000 acres set aside for the growing of grapes in Terry County. The reason the grapes do so well she says is because of the soil, which is a sandy clay that drains very well with no chance of mold growth like other soils and are also watered through a drip irrigation system.
According to TXWineLover
The Texas High Plains (THP) is the second largest Texas AVA (third largest in the U.S.). It is centered around the Lubbock-Brownfield-Plains area, from the Caprock escarpment westward to New Mexico.
The AVA contains approximately 8 million acres or 12,500 sq miles and includes parts or all of 24 counties. Currently, about 5,000 acres of vineyards are in production, but more acreage is being planted each year.
Day 1 – July 29, 2022
Day 1 began at 7 pm with a mix and mingle event at the Farmhouse Vineyards – The Armory, 101 W. Webb, Brownfield, Texas. It includes live music from Jake Pyeatt, a silent auction and the opportunity to purchase wine by the glass or bottle.
Wait? What? That wasn’t in the information I read when I booked this excursion. But I guess shame on me for not paying more attention to the text on the “brochure” (below) on the Brownfield Chamber of Commerce Site. I saw the Saturday I have to buy my own wine to go with the catered dinner, which is a bit odd, but thought maybe it had something to do with the liquor laws related to dining versus a “festival.” After all, my ticket to Grapefest in Grapevine, Texas (which is only a 45 minute drive) allows me to buy a ticket that includes wine. Even Denison’s Art and Wine Fest (again a 30 minute drive) included wine.
Ok, lesson learned. Pay better attention before driving 5 hours to an event.
Despite my reservations after the drive, it really was an amazing event. Kudos to the Brownfield Chamber of Commerce and other organizers. There were 8 wineries on site. They were: Llano Estacado, Blue Duck, Farmhouse Winery, Triple D, Prairie Chick. Reddy Vineyards, Oswald Vineyards and Adelphos. I have tried wine from 5 of them since each had more than one option and it really was only a three hour event. [More to come on each of the wines.]
The food was amazing, and somehow I missed taking pictures of it (great barbeque, prime rib, Mexican food and desserts). The local artists work made me wish I had money to spare (and wall space) and the silent auction was well received. Since it was a charity event too, I do hope they raised quite a bit. And honestly, Jason Pyeatt was an amazing singer and I had to dance to his cover of George Strait’s Baby Blue.
Those of you who know me, know I showed up in something that meant I was way overdressed. So, yes, the vintage style dress was a bit over the top for the event (despite the compliments) and I stood out. It was obvious I wasn’t from Brownfield. That’s ok… DeAnn from Farmhouse Vineyards made sure to introduce me and my husband to enough people we weren’t alone and made friends. She reminds me of my Aunt SuEllen – never met someone she couldn’t be friends with once she said hello. It made the event even better and I honestly can’t wait for Day 2