February 17, 2015, Lubbock, Texas. Executive Director Katy Jane Seaton of Meadow, TX is new to the High Plains but not the wine and wine grape industry. For 7 years she led the Texas Hill Country Wineries, located in the popular tourism mecca of the Hill Country, from a small grassroots wine trail to a nationally recognized industry organization.
“It was always exciting at trade events when growers from the High Plains were present,” Seaton says. “Seeing the souls and faces behind award winning fruit, growers who take the greatest share of the risk, makes for a pleasurable full circle moment in the world of wine.” Seaton’s 12-year career spans from group leadership with wine conferences, wine and music festivals, consulting, and social media. In 2014, she married into a farming family with 42 acres of wine grape production and can truly attest to having agricultural “skin in the game.”
Members of the High Plains Winegrowers Association (HPWA) are looking forward to great things in 2015. The recent annual meeting held at McPherson Cellars brought new faces to the existing board and ultimately leading to the decision to obtain their first ever staff member. Newly elected president Andy Timmons said, “A few of our more active members have taken a volunteer effort above and beyond for a while now. It was the obvious step toward positive growth and the evolution of our organization.”
Terry County is the leading contributor to the High Plains AVA supplying 80% of the Texas fruit within the state. Texas is 5th in the nation’s wine production and 4th in consumption. “It is a beautiful business model to have,” states Seaton. “We’re looking forward to the continued expansion of acreage in the High Plains with quality vs. quantity at the forefront of our efforts.”
The High Plains Winegrowers will be hosting a grower gathering and Saturday Night Gala April 16th and 18th – in conjunction with Newsom Grape Day in Plains, TX which will be held on April 17th.
For more information or to partner with HPWA please contact Katy Jane at (575) 649-9578 or mailto:HighPlainsFruit@gmail.com and follow the viticulture adventure at www.facebook.com/HighPlainsWinegrowers and www.HighPlainsWinegrowers.org