The second annual Taste of Terry County Vineyard Festival is in the books and organizers wasted no time in declaring the event an indisputable success.
Early figures show more than 600 people participated in one facet of the day’s events or another, with a large portion visiting from out of town.
“It exceeded all our expectations,” said Buzz Timmons, Chamber of Commerce President. “I’m already looking forward to next year, with wishes and hopes that we could have a venue capable of holding more people.”
Nine full bus loads of people toured Terry County’s vineyards Saturday morning, with well over half of those residing outside Terry County.
Many of the visitors shared the opinion that Brownfield is lucky to be home to most of the state’s vineyard acres.
Hundreds of people also made their way through the American Legion Hall during the day, where vendors set up booths to sell their goods.
Organizers reported good reviews from vendors who saw strong traffic through much of the day.
The crown of Saturday’s day-long events was the Texas Food and Wine event held in the Terry County Seniors and Community Center on Tahoka Rd.
The facility’s banquet hall was packed with people, co-mingling with and through each other to get to the excellent food and wines available at tables set up on side walls.
Chamber Executive Director Lorena Valencia said 325 people attended the dinner and there was little room for any more.
“It got pretty crowded,” she said. “But everyone I have talked to enjoyed themselves. It got a little warm with that many people, but the night was still a success.”
Food was provided by H-Bar-C of Brownfield and Lubbock fine dining establishments Las Brisas and Harrigans, as well as stone-fired pizzas cooked on site by Crusty's of Lubbock.
Timmons said the only arguments about the food were good natured and pertained to which was best.
The same comparisons could be heard about the many options for wine offered throughout the evening.
The day also drew area politicians to Brownfield.
State Rep. Charles Perry (R-83), currently running for the State Senate, was on hand for a ribbon cutting of the tasting room at Texas Custom Wine Works.
Sondra Ziegler, vying for the nomination for a spot on the ballot to replace Perry in the House 83rd District was in attendance Saturday night.
Timmons said a campaign aide for Ziegler commented that there were so many out of town guests, they had a hard time visiting with potential voters.
“That’s unfortunate for them, but goes to show how many people came into Brownfield for this event,” the chamber president said. “Our goal is always to promote Brownfield and bring people to the city and this did both extremely well.”
Valencia said with this being only the second time the chamber has hosted the vineyard festival, there was still much to learn, but she plans to continue the annual celebration of Brownfield’s fastest growing industry.
“The band was great and the food was amazing,” she said, “and of course, the wine was wonderful.”
Timmons credited Valencia for the event’s success.
“This was her idea and she put in hundreds of hours on the clock and off the clock to make sure it went well,” he said. “We’ve got a great board and they support Lorena, who is without a doubt the best chamber director Brownfield has ever had.”