We became intrigued with grape growing and wine during our nine years that we lived in Northern California. Cotton was King when we left West Texas for points beyond. Our family ranch is near the Newsoms, one of the pioneers of the Texas wine grape growing industry. We had to go by their vineyards to get to the family ranch. It then became an idea to try and grow a high value crop that was in demand and that people could appreciate.
In 1997 we bought 80 acres from my dad. Then in 1998 partnership with Kirk’s stepfather and mother, we planted one acre of Cabernet Sauvignon. It took lots of determination and help from our family and friends to turn some mesquite infested pasture into a vineyard. We have continued planting grapes to include Orange Muscat and Riesling. We now have 7.5 acres of grapes planted in varying stages of maturity.
Our vineyard site sits at 3,650 feet on old cultivated field that was farmed by one of Kirk’s uncles in the late 1940’s and early 1950’s. Much of the topsoil blew away during the 1950’s drought. In the 1950’s it was planted back to native grass pasture. As a result, we have a site that produces low vine vigor which allows for excellent fruit quality.
We have grown grapes for award winning wines made by other wineries for 20 years. We are now entering the phase where we put our grapes, our name and our heritage into wine for you to enjoy.
THE WILLIAMS FAMILY
Lillian Long, Kirk’s grandmother, and her family moved to Yoakum County, TX in 1906 from Crosby County, TX. The Long’s built the first hotel in Plains, TX. P.M. “Matt” Williams and his family moved to the current family ranch in 1915 from Lynn County. He was affectionately called Mr. Matt. Mr. Matt and Lillian both lost their spouses and were married in 1925. They built a unique concrete block ranch house in the mid 1930’s that is a landmark in Northeast Yoakum County.
Charles Williams, Kirk’s Dad, was born in 1928. He continued the tradition of farming and ranching on Williams Ranch. Charles married Mary Dale Stinson in 1955. They had three children-Shelley, Matt, and Kirk, all of whom helped out at the ranch and farm. In 1965, they moved from a one-bedroom house to the concrete block ranch house. There were many memories made on the ranch and at the ranch house.
The ranch house is currently owned by the Williams siblings and is in the process of being restored. A portion of it will be used as the forthcoming tasting room by Williams Ranch Vineyard.
The Williams family has had over 100 years of history on our slice of Northeastern Yoakum County. We look forward to visiting and sharing it with you over a glass of wine.