The High Plains Winery Estates — a reimagining of the long-vacant Brownfield Industrial Park — took a leap toward reality Monday when the BIDCorp board voted to survey and plat the land to sell portions of it and use the proceeds to install a road and other infrastructure. Plans for the park have been in the works for almost a year with recent changes to conceptual drawings, but the board opted to move forward with the idea after hearing of several interested parties, as well as plans for an event center on the property. BIDCorp executive director David Partlow told the board that even if the imaginative plan doesn’t come to fruition, the park will be more marketable with a road and other improvements.
Partlow already has verbal commitments for several of the parcels that will be planted with vineyards of wine grapes. Seven small wineries or tasting rooms are included in the plans and one potential buyer has shared plans for a bed and breakfast to be constructed on site, while others have expressed interest in building a wedding chapel. A meeting is scheduled next week for investors in the event center to view architectural renderings and cost estimates. The BIDCorp board was told Monday that the center would incorporate a Tuscan style and feature a wall of windows looking out over the acres of vineyards. All interested parties have learned about the project simply by word of mouth, Partlow said. “I think we’ll hear a lot more when we start to actually market the property,” he said. BIDCorp chairman Alan Bayer concurred. “There are a lot of people in this industry in California right now just watching Texas,” he said.
Terry County is known as the grape capital of the state. More than 80 percent of all wine grapes are grown within the county. The High Plains Winery Estates is an attempt to capitalize on that attention and bring some retail and other related businesses, as well as tourism, to Brownfield. Gene Richards, a consultant hired to help market the project, has said it could change the landscape of Brownfield over time. The board voted unanimously Monday to begin the legal process of surveying and platting the land and agreed to meet again to establish deed restrictions. The board agreed that building requirements and appearances, including landscaping, should be governed to ensure pleasing aesthetics throughout the park. The proceeds from the sale of the land will generate roughly $375,000, which will be used for improvements within the High Plains borders. Decorative entrances will be added and other amenities, but those details will come in later planning meetings, Partlow said.