Q&A with Pheasant Ridge Winery
Pheasant Ridge Winery has been serving not only Lubbock, but the state and country, quality wines for decades. To get a glimpse into the history of the establishment and learn more about their tasty wines, we decided to do a Q&A with owners, Bobby and Jennifer Cox.
What is the history of Pheasant Ridge?
After graduating from Texas Tech University, we founded Pheasant Ridge Winery, along with Bobby’s parents, Robert and Jean Cox. We discovered fine wines through a special interest course on wines of the world, taught for Tech’s “Free University Courses” in the 1970s. We met Dr. Clinton McPherson, who was making experimental wines in the basement of the Chemistry building and joined his tasting panel. From that point on, Bobby’s part time job became planting vineyards on the High Plains and working as a sommelier. Following graduation, we traveled the wine-growing regions of the United States and France and in 1978 returned to Lubbock, purchased land and planted the first 15 acres of vines at Pheasant Ridge. In 1986, the winery received national attention with their Cabernet Sauvignon 1983, which received the first gold medal awarded to a Texas red wine in competition in California. The selection, ranging from bold Cabernets and crisp dry whites, were spread from coast to coast as the Southwestern cuisine movement took Texas wine to many national wine and food events. In 1995, the winery was sold to a group of investors and Bobby began viticultural consulting and actively planting vineyards (now over 1,000 acres) on the High Plains. We reacquired Pheasant Ridge in May of 2015, and are pleased to be making wines again from the terroir they selected in the ’70s.
How many awards have Pheasant Ridge wines brought home this year? How many total over the years?
Since returning to Pheasant Ridge, Bobby has vinted and released only one wine to date – the 2015 Dry Chenin Blanc. Entered in the San Francisco International Wine Competition, it received a silver medal in July of 2016. The winery’s 2002 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon also received a silver medal in that competition as a library wine (over 10 years old). Over the years, the total number of awards received by the winery is somewhere around 200.
What are three things people might not know about the winery?
- Pheasant Ridge wines have been on the wine list at Spago in Los Angeles and the 21 Club in New York.
- The wines produced at Pheasant Ridge today are from some of the oldest vinifera grape vines in Texas, planted from 1978 through 1990.
- The man who planted the first grapevine at Pheasant Ridge is the winemaker today.
Our wines are estate grown, and we believe that wine is made in the vineyard and the care of the vines comes first. We love French Oak barrels and the flavor of the bouquet it brings to red wines. Our care and time we take into developing flavors is something we take seriously and it sets us apart from the rest. The South Plains is amazing wine country, and we are so grateful to have this beautiful scenery to do what we love.
What are the biggest events of the year? Anything coming up soon?
We are excited to release our Pinot Noir 2015 this winter! It will be out first red wine since we came back to our vineyard and winery.
What wine pairing recommendations do you have for steak, chicken and fish?
The Dry Chenin Blanc is perfect with all kinds of shellfish, the Pinot Noir is beautiful with roasted chicken or anything with mushrooms, the Cabernets pair perfectly with grilled lamb chops and the Proprietor’s Reserve is great with a good steak! Our 3 Barrels Up is a lovely dessert by itself in a frosted glass or with cheese and fruit.
Anything else you would like to add?
Come and see us! We would love to tell you our story in person and let our wines speak for themselves! We are open Fridays from 3-8 p.m. and Saturdays from noon-7 p.m. or by appointment. We live just down the road and are happy to meet you there at other times if possible.
Address: 3507 E. CR 5700
Hours: Friday 3-8 p.m., Saturday noon-7 p.m., or by appointment
Find out more about local wineries and vine happenings in Lubbock here.