Article Courtesy of The Brownfield News
With the stroke of the pen in June, Governor Greg Abbott proclaimed that Terry County is the Grape Capital of Texas and with a unanimous vote on Tuesday, the Chamber of Commerce adopted an official seal to affirm the prestigious recognition.
The new seal, which is available for use by any person or organization in Brownfield, was designed in partnership with the High Plains Winegrowers.
The round seal features a banner proclaiming “The Grape Capital” across a cluster of grapes surrounded by lettering reading Terry County and State of Texas.
Chamber officials urge local businesses and organizations to add the seal to their correspondence and advertisements.
Anyone who wants a digital copy of the seal can contact the Chamber at 637-2564.
The singular designation is good for 10 years and sets Brownfield and Terry County apart from every other community in Texas.
A year-long effort to obtain the official title through the proper channels was capped on June 17 with the Governor’s signature.
The resolution started as Senate Concurrent Resolution 41 and was pushed by Sen. Charles Perry and Rep. Dustin Burrows through their respective houses in the most recent Texas Legislature.
The work began prior to that however, when Chamber officials began compiling and sharing documentation of the county’s place in the Lone Star State’s wine grape industry.
The county produces more than 90 percent of the wine grapes grown in Texas and that number is only expected to increase in the coming years.
There are currently more than 3,000 acres of grape vines in Terry County, but industry watchers expect as many as 10,000 acres in the near future.
Chamber director Lorena Valencia told the Brownfield News when the official proclamation was signed that she was ecstatic about the new title.
“We recognized the impact this industry will have on our community early on and we have supported our grape growers and promoted what they do, so getting this designation for Brownfield and Terry County is a really big deal for us,” she said.
Buzz Timmons a past-president of the Chamber and organizer of the annual Taste of Terry County Vineyard Festival said the importance of the statewide recognition can’t be overstated.
“We are already recognized as a leader in the grape industry and this further establishes us as the head of the class,” he said on Friday. “The neat thing about this, to me, is that we had to work to prove that we really are the Grape Capital of Texas. It is documented and supported by fact. It’s not just a slogan we came up with. We gave the Governor of Texas definitive proof that he was not sticking his neck out to sign this.”
Timmons, a local business owner, said he feels the designation and the statewide recognition that will accompany it will benefit Brownfield and Terry County for years to come.
Terry County’s grape industry started more than 40 years ago when the first small vineyards were planted.
Other local farmers have added small acreage through the years and the trend is growing rapidly with more than 2,000 acres planted in just the last few years.
Growers have told the Brownfield News this year that they have more fruit on their vines than ever before after plentiful rain and thus far avoiding serious damage by freezing weather or severe storms.
Recent harvests have proven their positive forecasts true with an abundance of grapes shaken from local vines and processed and shipped across the Lone Star State.
The future is bright in Brownfield and Terry County — The Grape Capital of Texas.