You may not think of West Texas when you think of wine, but you should. The High Plains grows 90% of Texas’ wine grapes. With a semi-arid climate similar to central Spain and the southern region of France, the conditions are ideal for growing wine grapes. With more than eight area wineries and four annual wine festivals, the High Plains is home to the vineyards, tasting rooms and award-winning wine for connoisseurs and amateurs alike.
Thanks to our warm, dry climate, the High Plains is ideal for growing many varietals of wine grapes. Most notably, Spanish varietals like Tempranillo, Grenache, and Albarino flourish here. Italian grapes such as Sangiovese and Montepulciano as well as French varietals of Mataro and Shiraz also grow right here in West Texas. Don’t be fooled; while Texas is relatively “new” to grape growing, we have plenty of gold medals up our sleeve.
When it comes to varietals, Texas is shifting from growing grapes that fit the fad to growing grapes that fit the landscape. For those who enjoy a glass of Pinot Noir or Chardonnay, Texas offers a few wines to match. For a Chardonnay, try a Viognier, and for a Pinot Noir, try a Cinsault.
Visitors will also find delectable dishes throughout the city paired with a carefully curated wine list. At the West Table Kitchen & Bar, the seasonal menu always offers a savory tribute to Texas beef which is best paired with a glass of Sandfighter Cabernet. Savor authentic Spanish tapas such as Albondiags de Madrid and Sardinias with a glass of McPherson Cellars’ EVS Windblown at La Diosa Cellars. Next, check out Lubbock’s very own traditional English tavern, King Street Pub, for the Scallop Scallopini alongside a glass of English Newsom Cellars Roussanne. And, cheese lovers shouldn’t miss The Funky Door Bistro & Wine Room for their international cheese board and cheese fondue paired with a glass of Burklee Hill Vineyards’ GSM. Last, dine along the coast with La Sirena’s Latin American cuisine and order the brussels sprouts, poblano “fries”, and pulled pork empanadas to go with a pouring of Texoir’s Carignan.
Throughout the year, visitors can taste Texas wine at these eight area wineries: McPherson Cellars, Llano Estacado Winery, Burklee Hill Vineyards, English Newsom Cellars, Pheasant Ridge Winery, Texas Wine Company, Farmhouse Vineyards, and La Diosa Cellars. Each tasting room offers guests a distinct experience and insight into the largest viticulture area in the state.
Try a variety of wines grown here in the Texas High Plains during one of four annual wine festivals in Lubbock. The first wine festival of the year celebrates everyone’s favorite pairing: wine and chocolate. Llano Estacado Winery hosts Wine & Chocolate Fantasia in February, and features sculptures made from chocolate along with wine tastings. Next, sample an array of wines from the area and throughout the state at Lubbock Uncorked every April, check out Wine & Clay Festival at Llano Estacado Winery, and browse locally made art while sipping Texas wine in June. Finally, commemorate grape harvest day at Llano Estacado’s Grape Day in October.
A true hidden gem, Texas wine is budding, and visitors are raising a glass to the High Plains. Experience wine country for yourself the next time you visit Lubbock! Catch a direct flight from Austin, Dallas, Denver, Las Vegas, Houston or Phoenix, and you’ll be here before you can say Napa.