Kim McPherson has painted the modern portrait of high-quality winemaking in Texas for over 40 years. Kim’s Father, Clint “Doc” McPherson, provided all the requisite tools, expertise, and knowledge to forge a great representation of what it means to be a quality Texas wine producer. What started out as experimental vine planting in the 1960s— at a time when there were virtually none in the entire state—evolved into an extraordinary framework that has since shaped the Texas High Plains landscape today. Doc is, and will always be, recognized as one of the founding fathers of modern Texas wine. Feeding off the tenacity and vision of his father, Kim completed his enology and viticulture studies at world-renowned UC Davis in the 1970s before heading off to work in Napa Valley. Believing in the vastly unexplored terroir of the High Plains, Kim came back to Lubbock where he crafted wine at local wineries (including his father’s Llano Estacado Winery) for the next twenty plus years. In 2000, Kim proudly launched his eponymous label in dedication to his father. Since then, McPherson Cellars has flourished into a thriving operation focusing on sustainably farmed, expertly crafted, quality wines exclusively from the Texas High Plains.
The Texas High Plains AVA lies within the High Plains sub-region of the Great Plains, stretching from Amarillo in the north to the New Mexico border and extending just south of Lubbock. Grapes and wine have been produced in this region since the mid-1970s, and High Plains vineyards have become a major supplier to wineries throughout the state. The eastern border of the Texas High Plains AVA follows the 3,000ft elevation contour line along the Caprock Escarpment, the steep transitional zone separating the High Plains from the lower plains to the east. The High Plains AVA is located on a huge high plateau, with elevation ranges from 2,800 to 4,000 feet above sea level—most vineyards are on flat terrain between 3,000 feet and 4,000 feet. This positioning provides continental climate of long, hot, dry summers and cool evenings—significant diurnal shifts that aid in retaining grape acidity and slower ripening. The region is also windy and arid, relieving it from any fungal pressures felt elsewhere in Texas. There are 31 soil associations within the AVA, with the second and third most prevalent associations are sandy clay loams that are very well suited to grape production—almost all vineyards are own-rooted because of the sandy soils. The higher elevation and semi-continental weather patterns here provide the best growing environment for grape growing in Texas. McPherson estate’s Sagmor vineyard is located in southeast Lubbock, planted with Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Touriga Nacional. They also source fruit from Terry County growers Lahey Vineyards, Castaño Prado Vineyard, Lepard Vineyards, Lost Draw Vineyards, and Reddy Vineyards.
The renowned James Beard Foundation has twice nominated Kim as a semifinalist in the “Outstanding Wine, Beer, or Spirits Producer” category. McPherson Cellars wines have been recognized and awarded in several international wine competitions, including the prestigious Texsom International Wine Awards, San Francisco International Wine Competition (Awarded Best in Show), and more.
77% Tempranillo, 7% Grenache, 6% Carignan, 5% Mourvèdre, 5% Syrah, planted on sandy loam, average vine age 12yo. 4 days cold soak in stainless-steel tanks, followed by 3 days fermentation at 60°, 4 days at 75°, and remaining days at 83°. Aged for 11 months in French oak barrels, 20% new.
25% Mourvèdre, 20% Syrah, 20% Carignan, 18% Petite Sirah, 17% Grenache, planted on sandy loam, average vine age 8yo. 24 days cold maceration, followed by 3 days cold soak in stainless-steel tanks. Fermentation for up to 7 days, at 78°. Aged for 10 months in French oak barrels, 15% new.