It was no accident that Vijay and Subada Reddy found their way to the Texas High Plains. As passionate scientists with a five-generation family history in farming, the Reddys settled in the Texas High Plains town of Lubbock in 1971. Already known for cotton farming, the Reddys were among the early pioneers in the region’s dramatic expansion as an extraordinary winegrowing region in the 1990s.
According to the Texas Wine Grape Growers Guide, a publication produced by Texas A&M University, there were plenty of opportunities for the Reddys to make their mark in the industry. In fact, the guide recorded growth in grape plantings and wine productions from 1,400 gallons in the late 1970s to 1.6 million gallons in the late 1990s.
The Reddys, who own the second oldest active vineyard in Terry County, relied on the Texas Grape Growers Guide as they began selecting the grapes they wanted to cultivate, a number that stands at 38 varieties today, making Reddy Vineyards the most diverse vineyard in the state.
During the period of growth that saw the Reddys plant their 400-plus acres, the state was welcoming a bevy of other Texas grape growers. In a short span, the vineyard holdings in the state swelled to an impressive 12,000-plus acre spread over eight wine-growing regions.
The Texas High Plains AVA, a region that includes Amarillo, Brownfield, Lubbock, and other towns spread out in the Texas Panhandle, is where Reddy Vineyards is located. There are more than 4,000 acres planted with wine grapes in this corner of the state, where the vineyards stretch out along flatlands and mesas and grapes thrive in the region’s higher elevations, averaging 3,500 feet above sea level.
The Vineyards in Texas High Plains are planted at a high elevation of 3,305 feet and benefit from a long growing season with warm days and cool nights. Sandy loam soils with deep limestone deposits protect the vines from pests while forcing the vines to produce grapes with concentrated flavors. This unique terroir, unlike anywhere else in Texas, allows the Reddys to grow grapes with exceptional balance, depth, flavor, and intensity.
This unique terroir also allows the Reddys to cultivate a wide selection of grapes. Among the varieties that the Reddys grow are Agliancio, Barbera, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cinsault, Grenache, Malbec, Merlot, Montepulciano, Mourvèdre, Muscat Canelli, Negroamaro, Orange Muscat, Petit Verdot, Petite Sirah, Pinot Gris, Roussanne, Sauvignon Blanc, Syrah, Tempranillo, and Viognier.
The Texas High Plains is nearly four times the size of the state’s next largest American Viticultural Area (AVA), the Texas Hill Country. And while the Texas Hill Country is home to over 50 wineries, it’s the Texas High Plains where 85 percent of the entire state’s wine grapes are produced.
The Texas Wine & Grape Growers Association, the industry’s champion, tracks the successes of Texas winegrowers, including the $13.1 billion dollars that grapes and wine contribute to its bottom line. It is also the authority on where to go and what to do—an important resource for wine lovers. From wine festivals that take place all over Texas to the more than 75 grape varieties that are grown and used to make Texas wines, the Texas Grape Growers Association is a one-stop source of information about Texas wine.
Texas winegrowers take great pride in their work and are diligent in protecting the authenticity ofTexas wines—wines made with grapes grown only in Texas. The Reddys go a step further and make all of their wines with only 100 percent estate-grown Texas fruit. With their exquisite vineyard and boutique winery, the Reddys will continue to pioneer the Texas wine industry for years to come.
Visit Reddy Vineyards in the panhandle of Texas to see what West Texas grape growers do best—grow premium fine wine grapes to make Texas’s best wines.
Brownfield, TX – “Can you even grow grapes in Texas?” “Texas wine - is it any good?” These are questions I am asked daily when speaking with friends and customers about my work at Reddy Vineyards. Honestly, they were questions that I had myself when first asked to join the Reddy family’s endeavors to launch their own estate wines. Even as a Certified Sommelier I had very little prior knowledge of Texas wines. In fact, you’ll be hard pressed to find any reference to Texas wines in any of the leading primers prepared for those studying for the leading industry certifications. But let me tell you, the answer to these questions is a resounding “YES”!
Unbeknownst to most, Texas is the fifth largest producer of wines in the United States with over 400 wineries generating more than $13 billion annually. The Texas wine industry has experienced an incredible boom in the past thirty years, driven by the craft alcohol renaissance and demand for more locally sourced products. Experimentation by producers still looking to test the qualities of different grape varietals in the state’s various microclimates makes this period of growth fun and exciting. Like most things “Texan”, producers here have adopted certain proven methods of viticulture and winemaking but chart their own path, unconcerned with the dictates of tradition and what people are doing in Napa or Sonoma, to makes wines that reflect the unique character of Texas.
Ask any winemaker anywhere what makes his or her wines special and they will generally provide the same answer: the terroir. A French term referring to the qualities of the place in which the grapes are grown, this concept is equal parts scientific and mystical. I’ve had the fortune of traveling to numerous winemaking regions throughout the United States, France and Spain. Walking through the vineyards, seeing the geography, witnessing the weather and tasting the wines, you begin to appreciate how grapes are expressions of where they are grown. My visit to the vineyards of Dr. Vijay and Subada Reddy in the Texas High Plains AVA (American Viticultural Area), one of the most celebrated vineyards in the state, was particularly eye opening and inspiring.
Plains indeed! Flat land as far as the eye can see. Driving down US-380 it be easy to write off West Texas as boring and uninteresting. The reality, however, is that this region has a unique set of favorable geographic, geologic and climatic factors that makes it well suited for growing premium grapes. In fact, the Texas High Plains AVA accounts for 85% of the grapes produced for winemaking in Texas.
The sandy soils, burnt orange in color resulting from the drier climate, low rainfall and rich concentrations of oxidized iron, provide excellent drainage in the vineyard. Walking through the vineyards is quite reminiscent of walking on a sandy beach. Nutrient poor, the vines are forced to struggle and dig its roots deep into the earth for nourishment. Sandy soils are also a natural protection from vineyard pests, including the infamous phylloxera.
Sitting at an elevation of 3000-4000ft, the region possesses a high dinural temperature range. The warm days and cool nights of the Texas High Plains extends the growing season and encourages the development of fruit ripeness while preserving acidic balance in the grapes. With an average rainfall of less than 20 inches per year, this region sees less annual rainfall than Napa and Bordeaux. Although precipitation is more common throughout the season, the moderate rainfall helps to nurture the grapes through the hot Texas summers. Consistent wind provides a cooling influence and alleviates fungal pressure by keeping the vineyard dry.
Each of these factors could be analogized to those found in the most heralded wine regions. This unique confluence of conditions makes the terroir of the Texas High Plains special and capable of producing fruit of incredible concentration, depth and quality. Even in its infancy, the Texas wine industry is producing many exciting premium wines which rival those made in better-known areas and is poised to reshape the wine industry in the United States at large. Stop by our vineyards or grab a bottle for dinner and experience for yourself what makes our authentically Texas wines so special!
* Eric C. Sigmund is the Chief Operating Officer at Reddy Vineyards. Mr. Sigmund holds a Juris Doctor from Syracuse University College of Law and practiced international law in Washington, D.C. before entering the world of wine. He also holds the Court of Master Sommeliers’ Certified Sommelier credential, the Society of Wine Educators’ Certified Specialist of Wine certification and holds the Wine and Spirits Education Trust III (Advanced) Award in Wine and Spirits.
March 7, 2019
For Immediate Release
For more information, contact: Ed Brandecker, 325.669.7516
Rancho Loma Vineyards is making changes to further their commitment to making fine Texas wines, by moving their winemaking production on site at Reddy Vineyards, a vineyard sourcing grapes for many for RLV’s award winning wines.
Ed Brandecker, M.D., Rancho Loma Vineyards co-owner and director of winemaking, says the winemaking production equipment will move to Reddy Vineyards in Brownfield, Texas. Reddy Vineyards recently completed the construction of a state of the art 12,000 square foot winery facility and with its onsite location at the vineyard, provides many advantages for RLV to further enhance the quality of wines produced.
The Tasting Room of Rancho Loma Vineyards, in downtown Coleman, Texas, will continue normal operations in Coleman and is a premier gathering place for those who love fine wine, unique gourmet meals and sharing these with friends and family. The former production area will continue to serve as a distribution center for our wines.
“This relocation of our winemaking production is to further our commitment to our unique processes for Rancho Loma Vineyards,” said Brandecker. “Being closer to the vineyard offers many advantages in harvesting, logistics, and transportation of the grapes, as well as the art of our winemaking. We are pleased to make this change as another step in offering our award winning wines to our Wine Club members, our Tasting Room customers and through our partnering retailers.
Relocation of the winery’s equipment to Brownfield, Texas will begin this week.
For a complete list of Rancho Loma Vineyards prestigious awards, including the recent 2018/2019 Texas International Wine Competition and the 2019 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition, visit the Rancho Loma Vineyards website at RLV.WINE