Stories of two west Texas wineries

Llano Estacado stems from Texas Tech University basementWhat started as an experiment in a university basement by two Texas Tech professors has now blossomed into the state's No. 1 premium winery, staff at Llano Estacado said.

A Texas Tech chemist and horticulturist had been told California and Oregon were the only places vineyards would succeed and took that as a challenge. They started by saving a string of hybrid grapes that were being wiped out to make room for asphalt on campus and expanded from there, tour guide Michael Laughlin said.

Knowing they couldn't continue experimenting with wine-making on a dry campus in the 1970s, the two left and started a vineyard backed by a group of Texas investors.

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