Baltimore Sun Sunday - - TRAVEL -

Of­ten the re­gion is com­pared to both Sonoma and Napa Val­ley, pri­mar­ily be­cause of the cli­mate, and grapes are grown here en masse. In fact, most of Texas wine grapes — es­ti­mates are up to 90% of them — are grown within a 100-mile ra­dius of Lub­bock.

The Lone Star State, as it turns out, is the fourth largest wine­pro­duc­ing state in the U.S. Sev­eral winer­ies dot the swath of fer­tile ter­rain of the Lub­bock re­gion, and the ones we vis­ited had tast­ing rooms and vine­yards just as classy as any found in Cal­i­for­nia.

Among those where we sam­pled the vino were Burklee Hill Vine­yards-Tril­ogy Cel­lars in nearby Level­land, the highly awarded McPher­son Cel­lars that is housed in Lub­bock’s his­toric Coca-Cola Bot­tling Plant, Llano Es­ta­cado Win­ery that is one of the pi­o­neers of the West Texas wine in­dus­try — it’s the sec­ond old­est win­ery in Texas — and has won hun­dreds of awards since it opened in 1976, the pic­turesque Caprock Win­ery that re­sem­bles an Amer­i­can South­west-style mis­sion, and fi­nally the French­style Pheas­ant Ridge Win­ery that fea­tures the old­est pinot noir vines in Texas.

Get your day started at the Cast Iron Grill, a fa­vorite home-style restau­rant. Just in­side the door are sub­tly lighted dis­play cases filled with pie slices, lots of them, rang­ing from the sig­na­ture Texas De­light, a lay­ered con­coc­tion with cream cheese, chocolate pud­ding and pecans, to fla­vors of cheese­cake, strawberry, pumpkin and beyond. Have a slice to com­ple­ment a big ol’ coun­try break­fast of chicken fried steak or bis­cuits and gravy.

If you’re crav­ing cof­fee but not the gi­nor­mous break­fast, it’s al­ways brew­ing in one of Lub­bock’s cozy, trendy cof­fee shops. Take your pick of places such as iconic J&B Cof­fee that’s been around since 1979, Yel­low House Cof­fee with its freshly baked pas­tries, and Sugar Brown’s, where you get to make your own break­fast s’mores.


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