After having so much fun on Day 1 of the Vineyard Festival, I was really looking forward to Day 2.
If you didn’t see the Instagram photos from Day 1, check them out here. Plus a few from Day 2, but honestly, the good pictures are on the good camera, so you’ll have to wait for those.
Day 2 was the Vineyard Tours and catered dinner. We toured two vineyards. The first was Whitehouse Parker, which is part of the Farmhouse Vineyards Family. Headed by Traci and Anthony Furgeson, this farm family has “7,000 acres of Cotton, Peanuts, Peas, Hemp, Melons, Various Grains, Dorper Sheep & Premium Texas Grapes.” About 22 acres surround the Whitehouse Parker tasting room in Brownfield. You can see the original 1940s house turned tasting room below. Sadly, I didn’t take any interior pictures, but it reminded me of if my Aunt SuEllen had a winery. Just felt like home.
We tasted the Sangria, which was heavy on the pineapple, but super refreshing in the late afternoon heat.
We also tried the Proving Ground Red, which I will highlight in a separate post, since we ended up buying a bottle to go with dinner.
The next stop on the tour was Lahey Vineyard, which is probably the largest vineyard in Texas with about 1,200 acres of grapes, although they really only plant 1,040 acres.
They no longer produce wine at the vineyard and are strictly a grower of grapes for other premier wineries in the State of Texas.
To the right you can see a map of how some of the acreage is planted. They have 40 varietals planted across the entire vineyard and for those of you who love stats – check out a few more here.
I love wineries and vineyards, but this one really appealed to the analyst side of me with the information I gained on production and harvest of grapes. I broke from my Southern Belle persona to ask the “tacky question” – how much do they cost?
Let’s just say that I’d need more than the mortgage on my house to be able to buy one of these amazingly complex picking machines (I’m sure it has a technical term, but I was enjoying my Petite Verdot and missed that part of the conversation
If you really want to see the video of the “frost” fans in action, you can ask and I can share it. Amazing the technology used now to try and keep mother nature from completely ruining a crop. Although, this year (2022) has been too hot and dry for the grapes, so production tonnage will be less than in other years. I think Jerry said production might be down by a third…. So, some of Texas’ best known wines may suffer a bit… since Lehay has an amazing client list that includes Messina Hof, Becker, Grape Creek, Pedernales, McPherson, and more.
After the tour of Lehay, we headed back to the Armory/Farmhouse Vineyards in Brownfield for dinner. A lovely catered steak dinner, with cheddar bacon mashed potatoes, and bacon green beans was served. The steak was tender enough you could cut it with a plastic knife. And amazingly flavorful.
Sadly, we had to say goodnight after a spin on the dancefloor to a love song sung by “The Good, The Bad and The Ugly.” But honestly, at that point the band closed their set with “Sweet Home Alabama” and the wineries started packing up.
But to be honest, people were still sitting around, talking, drinking and laughing. It made me miss the small town camaraderie from my summers. We might have been new this year but I have a feeling if we head back out next year we’ll just be one of “locals.”
I highly recommend this event for anyone into Texas Wine and having a good time. Put it on your calendar now for next year and check out the other wineries in the area. (Unfortunately, I could only find a 2018 map.)