High Plains Winegrowers Hires Executive Director and Other News

High Plains Winegrowers Association logo

The High Plains Winegrowers Association (HPWA) hires Executive Director Katy Jane Seaton of Meadow, TX

Review of Llano Estacado Winery Viviano 2010

Vivano label

Wind swept dusty plains and red dirt as far as the eye can see. Is it Mars? Of course not, this is the Texas High Plains! A combination of high altitude and a wide diurnal shift make this region of Texas exquisite for growing grapes. The near constant daytime sunshine and heat fully ripen the clusters as they hang waiting for their new life as a bottle of wine. Llano Estacado Winery has been making wine in Texas since January [Read More…]

TWL005: Bill Blackmon of William Chris Vineyards

Bill Blackmon of William Chris

In Podcast #3, Jeremy Wilson talked to Chris Brundrett of William Chris Vineyards. Chris mentioned how co-owner Bill Blackmon handled the vineyard management at William Chris, so it was only natural that we visit again and talk to Bill.

Review of Llano Estacado Winery’s 2010 “1836”

Llano Estacado Winery "1836"

Llano Estacado Winery in Lubbock has been producing excellent wines since 1976 and is the largest premium winery in Texas. I enjoyed visiting Llano Estacado in May and since that visit, they will be building a new public tasting room and visitor’s center this year. One of their recent releases is the 2010 vintage “1836” Texas Red Table Wine which is a blend of 51% Cabernet Sauvignon and 49% Syrah. There was a 2008 vintage of the “1836” with a [Read More…]

Texas Sangiovese and Pasta Pairing

Baked Ziti with Sangiovese

Any cook and wine lover can tell you that pairing wine and vegetables can be a bit of a challenge. But if you’re a vegetarian, or you have vegetarian friends or family members, you’ll eventually have to find some good combinations. In our case, we have both vegetarian friends and family members, so I’ve got a couple of tricks up my sleeve, one of which I’ll share with you in this post. My favorite trick will likely be no big [Read More…]

Review of Westcave Cellars Reserve Merlot 2012

Westcave Cellars Reserve Merlot - bottle

Westcave Cellars is known for producing boutique, handcrafted wines using only Texas fruit. Estate vines as well as vines from across the Lone Star State provide the fruit for the wine program. Tempranillo is not the staple grape variety chosen by owners/winemakers Allan and Margaret Fetty. The estate vineyard on the winery property sits in a valley at a lower altitude than some of the surrounding area therefore the temperature is several degrees cooler in the afternoon and evenings. This [Read More…]

Randy Hester Winemaker – From Texas and Back Again

Randy and Brooke Hester

I met Randy and Brooke Hester last year at Newsom Grape Day. We talked briefly and I learned they were native Texans but currently living in California while making wines there with the name Lightning Wines. However, they would soon be moving back to Texas and had some ideas on what they wanted to do when that time came. I heard from Randy earlier this year when Edible Marin & Wine Country had a post on winemakers who were in California [Read More…]

Meet the Oswalds: The Family behind Oswald Vineyard

Dina-Marie and John Oswald

The Oswald Vineyard is located in Brownfield, Texas, in Terry County of the High Plains. The Oswald Vineyard is owned by John and Dina-Marie Oswald. They may not have the largest vineyard in the area, but they have one of the most unique and interesting stories among Texas growers. Other growers I have talked to have called the Oswald’s story a story of grit and determination, and a family who has sacrificed more than most growers have ever thought about [Read More…]

Touring High Plains Vineyards and “That’s a Lot of Vines!”

Wind Machine

Visiting the High Plains requires visiting some of the top vineyards in the state of Texas. With the number of High Plains vineyards, it is very tough to visit all, so I planned with Bill and Gail Day of Buena Suerte Vineyards on which vineyards to visit. Of course, the first vineyard to visit was Buena Suerte Vineyards. We started our vineyard tour on Thursday, May 8th, over three weeks after a major frost occurred on April 15. Many vineyards tried different methods [Read More…]

CapRock Winery – Revisited

CapRock Winery

It had been a couple years since I last visited CapRock Winery and a lot has changed since then. The biggest thing was the sale of the winery to Gary Sowder and Matt Hess, owners of Florida’s Vineyard Agent, early in 2013. As I learned when I recently visited, things have changed even more. Gary Sowder is now sole owner of CapRock Winery and it’s now a family run operation. At the initial purchase, it was announced that Napa Valley’s [Read More…]