Terry County official ‘Grape Capital of Texas’

On Wednesday, June 17 Governor Greg Abbott put his stamp of approval on a proclamation that names Terry County the Grape Capital of Texas.

Waving brilliantly in the West Texas wind and above Bicentennial Park is a flag boasting that particular stamp of approval.

However, Lorena Valencia, executive director of the Brownfield Area Chamber of Commerce, said she raised that flag on Monday, June 15 before she knew the proclamation had been signed.

flag“I had hung it up on Monday not knowing the proclamation had been signed already,” Valencia said and laughed. “We were going to be self-proclaimed anyway and nobody is going to take it away from us.”

Valencia and other individuals in Terry County were determined to get the official proclamation done and started gathering data to give to Rep. Charles Perry’s office as well as to Rep. Dustin Burrows.

They want to prove to Texas that Terry County is truly what it says it is. And with an estimated 3,000 acres of grapes in the area, there was no disputing that fact. It is also expected that number will increase to 10,000 in the near future.

“Since the beginning of the year, we’ve been trying to gather information from our growers about how many crops there would be,” Valencia said. “We were trying to get it to Representative Charles Perry’s office so that we could get Terry County proclaimed as the Grape Capital of Texas.”

Terry County will hold that distinction for the next 10 years.

Other efforts to increase Terry County’s reputation as the sweetest plumb of the Texas grape growing industry included hosting the Texas Plains Trail Region board of directors meeting last week at the American Legion Hall, where they heard the history of grape growing in Terry County as well as the future of the business in the area. The speaker for the event was Andy Timmons of Lost Draw Vineyards.

Board members also got to tour a vineyard as well as get information on the upcoming “Taste of Terry County” event, which is scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 1 at the American Legion Hall.

Valencia said she thinks the official distinction will be good for the area because it will promote tourism. People will through the “grape vine” hear that Terry County is a grape-growing mecca, and they don’t have to travel far to see it.

“I think more people will find out about all of the vineyards and that we are just down the road,” she said. “They can come visit and tour a vineyard here. That’s not something people think of when they think of West Texas. That’s just amazing to them that they can come see all of these vineyards that we have locally.”

Valencia said the Brownfield Chamber of Commerce is honoring the Terry County grape growers on July 31 with Perry and Burrows expected to attend to present the proclamation.

Article Courtesy of TownTalk Radio

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