Award-winning vineyard brings international attention to Plains - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

Award-winning vineyard brings international attention to Plains

PLAINS, TX (KCBD) -

"In the beginning, God created the Heavens and Earth, and we think that He then turned the world around and topped a small area off with cream, sat down the pan with the handle pointed northward and so created our great State of Texas. Along low on that handle, the furthest west, held firmest by the hand of God, likes Yoakum County," reads the Yoakum County history book. 

It is where you will find the town of Plains, Texas which drew early settlers in search of new opportunities. 

And with that came one family's dream of a better life.

And now, more than a century later, the Newsom family's roots continues to flourish with a decade's long endeavor. 

"We have 150 acres total, we have 12 different varieties and we grow for 12 different wineries in Texas," said Neil Newsom, whose desire to grow a vineyard came to him as a student at Texas Tech in the 1970s.

It was a big experiment with a unique set of risks. That is how Newsom described his decision to start a vineyard in the middle of the dry, West Texas climate. 

"There is a lot of things as to why it works so well here. One of the things is the altitude, we are 3,700 feet here, we are a dry climate, and our soils here are shallow, marginal soils," Newsom said.

"We won the first double gold for an all Texas Cabernet in the San Francisco International Wine competition," said John Rivenburgh, founder of Bending Branch Winery in Comfort, Texas. 

"There is no better score than a double gold," Rivenburgh said.

"That gave us bragging rights for a long, long time," Newsom said.

"We've talked about California, we've talked about France, we've talked about Argentina, it's Texas' turn," Newsom said.

Rivenburgh stopped by the Newsom vineyard to look at this year's harvest. He said the Newsom Vineyards are one of their premiere vineyards. 

"The wine industry in Texas is kind of ceiling-less. I think that the 30 years that Neil's been doing this, is literally just the tip of the pen on what is going to be the legacy of this area. I think you are going to see an interesting history that literally, the epicenter was right here in Plains, Texas," Rivenburgh said.

The Newsom family offers tours of their vineyards and also has a bed and breakfast on their property.

To make a reservation, click here.

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