A Guide to Lubbock for Wine Lovers
When it comes to planning a vacation filled with wine tours and vineyards, there’s life beyond Bordeaux or Northern California. Texas is actually the fifth largest American Viticultural Area, with more than 9 million acres of wine grapes growing in the state. In fact, the Lubbock area grows 80 percent of Texas' wine grapes. In addition, the city boasts several wineries to tour, toast and taste. Here’s a guide to some of the top things to do in Lubbock for wine lovers.
If you love to sample a lot of wines at once:
Check out our calendar of events. Lubbock hosts a series of wine events for visitors to gather and taste both local wine and flavors from all over the state of Texas. One of them is Lubbock Uncorked, a popular, annual wine tasting event where wine lovers can also sample dishes from local restaurants. You’ll experience the strong heritage and culture of the Texas grape growing industry as you enjoy the vino along with live music. The annual Wine & Clay Festival is another great event where you can sample wines while admiring the work of clay artists every summer at Llano Estacado Winery.
McPherson Cellars is another prominent winery in the region that hosts its own annual event, the Wines & Vines Festival. Guests can sample wines from across the state and dance to live music, while food merchants showcase their best Texan-inspired dishes. You won't want to miss the Hub City Master Chef competition where Lubbock chefs compete, and you win the prize of tasting their culinary creations.
If you love a good glass of wine over dinner:
Plan lunch or dinner at a local restaurant. Restaurants in Lubbock are a fantastic alternative to wine tasting at the vineyards. To experience a winery and restaurant, visit the Spanish-inspired La Diosa Cellars, which serves tasty tapas to reflect the true, authentic flavors of the homeland. While trying the sardinas, lamb pops, spiced potatoes and more, ask to see the restaurant’s signature wine menu and order a glass straight from McPherson Cellars. It’s recommended to order a bottle of La Herencia, a Spanish-style red wine that pairs perfectly with tapas.
If you happen upon a metallic, funky-looking door with abstract shapes in front of a restaurant, you’ve arrived at The Funky Door Bistro & Wine Room, a favorite hangout for wine lovers who appreciate gourmet cuisine. Of special interest is the enomatic—a self-pouring machine where guests can help themselves to the wine of their choice, filling up their glasses (the amount is charged by how much you self-pour) and sampling. Order cheese fondue to share or get your own salad, burger, steak and more.
Café J is an upscale environment with live music on weekends, where diners can enjoy entertainment with their wine and dinner. The wine menu is impressively large and is sourced both statewide and internationally. Expect to see a wide range of dishes like steak, seafood pasta, pork tenderloin and much more. Plan your visit in advance to catch Café J’s Wine Dinner events, where for a fixed price, guests can have a five-course meal and sample different wines to go with each dish.
If you like to enjoy wines with your friends:
Plan an outing with your wine-loving friends to a local winery and vineyard. You can start with McPherson Cellars’ Patio Nights, held every Thursday evening during the summer months. While snacking on pizza and drinking wine straight out of the barrels, play a round of trivia with friends on the outdoor patio. Or visit the tasting room during the day (11 a.m. - 7 p.m., Monday through Saturday) and enjoy the hip vibe of exposed beams, abstract art pieces and modern furniture.
Llano Estacado Winery provides a pristine setting for wine tastings, especially with their newly renovated tasting room. Be sure to try some of Texas' most award-winning wines, and stay for a quick tour around the facility, provided every 30 minutes and capped off with a complimentary wine tasting (Monday - Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday from noon - 5 p.m.).
CapRock Winery offers daily wine tastings from Tuesday to Saturday, where a talented sommelier will educate you on the wine origins and process. The wine tasting room is outfitted with a posh fireplace, comfy leather sofas and authentic wine barrels used as tables to rest your glass upon. CapRock is an ideal place to enjoy top-of-the-line vinos.
Among the oldest operating wineriers in Texas is Pheasant Ridge Winery, recognized for its gold medal Cabernet Sauvignon and gorgeous vineyard with plush grapes. Make reservations for a group tour through the winery and see the behind-the-scenes process of winemaking. At the end of the tour is the wine tasting room where you’ll sample some of the fresh wines you’ve just witnessed being made.
Find out more about local wineries and vine happenings in Lubbock here.