Brownfield produces 25 percent of Texas wine - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

7/27/10

Brownfield produces 25 percent of Texas wine

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BROWNFIELD, TX (KCBD) - Brownfield's town slogan is "A Grape Place to Grow," and there is good reason for it.

With over 600 acres of grapes, Brownfield's red soil has been known to produce 25 percent of the state's wine. The mixture of sunlight and few diseases makes this a great place to grow grapes.

A local grape grower, Dusty Timmons said this area is the hub for grape production. Brownfield grows over 30 grape varieties which produces a multitude of wines ranging from chardonnay to pinot noir. "Terry County would be the epicenter of that earthquake and the high plains would be where you feel the impact of it," says Timmons.

Dusty's grandfather, father, brother and now him have been farming land in Brownfield for decades. "It's been in the family for quite a while," he says.

This is no Napa Valley, California, but everything here grows just as good or even better than the region famously known for wine making. "In Napa you'll going to have some chardonnay vines that are 80 years old. In France you'll have vines that are very old. The average age of the vines out here are probably somewhere around three years old," says Timmons.

"Even our young vines are winning awards. Even the Tempranillo just won a gold medal at the San Francisco international wine competition."

Dusty said this area makes one of the best Alvarano wines in the world, however, farmers in this area can't quite pinpoint which grape grows best. "Texas in general, we're still trying to figure out what we're going to be known for."

The harsh winter hail and spring frost cause major concerns for these growers. It makes growing grapes a race against the calender. "If we did the same things that they do in California, our vines would be dead in about 5 years, things don't necessarily translate."

But with a little bit of research and studying, these grape growers can find which one works best for Terry County. "We've been working with wineries to figure out which one we can take to the bank."

In the future these growers hope this becames a "grape" place to grow and an even better place to produce wines on property.

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