Driving through the Texas high plains near Brownfield, Texas, offers a glimpse at just how serious our wine growers are about producing high quality grapes. Well-manicured vineyards and mature vines rustle in the west Texas winds, tended by farmers having been converted to wine grapes in the last several decades from cotton, peanuts, and other notable crops. Here is a good example of such a vineyard that Jeff Cope and myself visited during our High Plains trip for Newsom Grape Day 2015.
La Pradera Vineyard, LLC is owned by Michael and Barbara Paddack and is managed by Andy Timmons, a gentleman that owns and manages many hundreds of acres of wine grapes. The Paddack’s are west Texas natives, however they call Fort Collins, Colorado, home. La Pradera is a 120 acre vineyard, with 100 acres currently or soon to be planted. Two wind machines grace the skies above the vines, fueled up and poised for action should the need to move cold air arise. The Paddack/Timmons office building is an old converted nightclub, although you would never know by looking at it now.
Grape varieties currently planted are Cabernet Sauvignon, Carignan, Dolcetto, Mourvèdre, Petite Sirah, Petit Verdot, Roussanne, and Tannat.
The grapes are currently sold to the following wineries: Grape Creek Vineyards, Lewis Wines, McPherson Cellars, and William Chris Vineyards.
The Paddacks are another example of long distance growers similar to Bill and Gail Day who we previously interviewed. If anybody wants to get involved with having a vineyard in Texas, this shows you do not need to live where the vineyard is located.
We look forward to revisiting with Barbara, Michael, Andy, and the Paddack’s fur baby, CJ, again in the near future.