How did the Annual Wines & Vines Festival get started?
The festival got started in 2012 to help bring awareness to the growing Texas wine industry. Llano Estacado Winery and McPherson Cellars jointly hosted the first Wines & Vines festival, but McPherson Cellars hosted last year’s event on its own and will do the same this year.
McPherson Cellars donates all entrance fee proceeds to Lubbock’s Meals on Wheels in memory of Bob Reed, who was Clinton “Doc” McPherson’s finest friend. Together, they started Llano Estacado Winery in 1976.
In the past we’ve had a chef competition and wine tastings, but this year we’re adding a Texas vendor show and a local brewers tasting and competition.
What makes this festival different from other wine festivals?
The Wines & Vines Festival is a unique event focused on giving back to the community by bringing several of the best wineries from across Texas to one central location. Since the majority of Texas wineries get their grapes from Terry County (Brownfield), we feature many growers in our area. The festival helps bring awareness to the High Plains grape growers, as well as numerous Texas wineries. Our festival pairs Texas wine with live music, local chefs and brewers, food trucks and vendors featuring Texas specialty products to create a truly one-of-a-kind event.
What do you see for the future of this festival?
We see it getting bigger and bigger as the Texas wine industry grows and more people become aware of the quality of wines being produced in the state. In the future, we hope to have a few big name chefs participate in live cooking demos, a winemaker discussion panel, along with a cheese and wine pairing class. Last year we were able to donate more than $13,000 to Lubbock Meals on Wheels, and we hope in the next few years we can donate more than $20,000.
What is your favorite part of the entire event?
My favorite part of the entire event is the Hub City Master Chef Competition. I enjoy watching the chef’s faces as they’re handed their “mystery box” full of random food items (that all must be used) and prepare an entrée plate for taste and presentation in just 45 minutes. Last year’s mystery box contained a Goodart’s peanut patty. I’m not sure about you, but I would have no idea what to do with that, along with protein, vegetables and a starch, but somehow chefs can always pull it off!
Lastly, I enjoy watching the public get excited about the wines offered in our home state and networking with all the different wineries.
Why should Lubbockites and visitors make plans to attend the Annual Wines & Vines Festival?
This is the only wine festival Lubbock offers, and at the same time you’re helping give back to our community. It’s also a good opportunity for the public to taste Texas wines and become familiar with the different winemaking styles that Texas has to offer. The public also has the opportunity to visit with winery representatives and grape growers to ask any questions they may have.
Whether people are just starting out drinking wine, enjoy drinking wine or don’t enjoy wine at all, this festival has activities to please everyone! Wine, local food trucks and bands, Lubbock home brewers and chefs, along with Texas specialty products in one location, what could be better?
Here are the Fast Facts for this year’s Wines & Vines Festival:
Day/Time: Saturday, Nov. 8 from noon – 10 p.m.; Sunday, Nov. 9 from 1-5 p.m.
Cost: $20* for one day only (Saturday OR Sunday), $30* for two days (Saturday AND Sunday), $15 per day without wine or beer tasting
*One-day rate includes 10 wine tasting tickets
*Two-day rate includes 20 wine tasting tickets
Saturday includes 10 beer tasting tickets
Includes commemorative wine glass
2014 Participating Food Trucks:
Pot Belly Slims
Simply Decadent Bakery
Texas Specialty Products:
By: McKenna Dowdle
By: Guest Blogger
By: Courtney Nelson
By: McKenna Dowdle