Looking for a memorable wine tasting experience? Visit Pheasant Ridge Winery in Lubbock, TX. This winery and vineyard got its start in 1978 following a trip to France. The Cox family searched for the perfect grape to grow in the High Plains climate and came across the French vinifera wine grapes. These grapes grew perfectly in the dry weather and produce a bold flavor, so the family planted 15 acres of them on their property. During this time, it was the largest of its kind in the whole state of Texas.
After years of production, the land was extended to 48 acres and the vineyard sat atop. With the expansion, Semillion, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc were all planted and grown by the vineyard. These French style blends are what got the vineyard recognized when in 1986, Mr. Cox’s Ridge Cabernet Sauvignon from 1983 won a gold medal in the San Francisco Wine Competition. The vineyard continued to rack up awards as the years rolled by with their award winning wines, some being listed at the most “highly acclaimed restaurants” in the U.S.
The Cox family sold the vineyard in 1996, but Mr. Cox continued his work in the industry in both management and wine making. He has been involved in the industry since 1973 After his departure from the vineyard, he continued to produce award winning wines winning “ the Grand Star Award, Reserve Champion Double Gold Medal at the 2008 Houston Livestock and Rodeo International Wine Competition for his ’06 Viognier made at Brennan Vineyards.”
As a student at Texas Tech University, Mr. Cox was a wine salesman and vineyard manager while getting a bachelor’s degree with a minor in horticulture. The Texas A&M Research Vineyard where over 700 grape varieties were studied was overseen by Mr. Cox following his graduation from the university. He fostered his knowledge of grape growing in the High Plains region through his work at the research facility. After exploring California and France’s vineyards, Mr. Cox concluded the vinifera grapes grow the best in the High Plains climate. Because of his education of the vinifera grape, he has planted more than 400 acres of this plant here in Texas. He has been recognized with many awards from the Texas Wine & Grape Growers Association including the T.V. Munson Award in 2004, the John Crawford Lifetime Achievement Award in 2008, and the President’s Award in 2010.
Pheasant Ridge Winery is open from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm on Friday’s, and 1:00 pm to 6:00 pm on Saturday’s and Sunday’s. It is located at 3507 E County Road 5700, Lubbock, TX 79403. The tasting room is open Friday from 3:00 PM to 8:00 PM and Saturday and Sunday from 1:00 pm to 7:00 pm. The tastings are held in the barrel room of the winery and visitors are given in depth descriptions of the different blends of wine being tasted. For each person to participate in the wine tasting, a $5 is charged. Every tasting includes six to eight different wines. You can also make a day of your tasting and have a picnic at the winery. They sell wine by the glass as well as bottles for full tables of guests.
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