1971: Texas Tech horticulturist, Bob Reed, begins High Plains grape growing experiments.
1974: First commercial planning of hybrid grapes by the Sandyland Grape Growers in Whiteface, Texas (first High Plains grape growers).
1975: Llano Estacado Winery charted in Lubbock, Texas.
1976: Llano Estacado officially opens in January. First bottle of wine placed underneath cornerstone, taken from Lubbock’s first courthouse. Production: 1,300 cases.
1977: Llano Estacado bottles its first wines (Cibola Blanca and Cibola Roja) under the “Staked Plains” label.
1978: Llano Estacado’s first commercial vinifera vineyard planted – 10 acres.
1979: First significant commercial plantings of vinifera grapes on the High Plains spurred by market acceptance of vinifera-based wines vs. hybrid-based wines.
1980: Production more than quadruples: 6,000 cases.
First vinifera varietals bottled under “Llano Estacado” label.
1981:Llano Estacado awarded “Best Wine” Cup at Texas State Fair.
1983: State-of-the-art winemaking equipment installed.
1985: Major increase in vinifera planting in High Plains region. Production increases to 15,000 cases. Walter M. Haimann, former president of Seagram Distillers Company, joins Llano Estacado as consultant. Extensive distribution developed within Texas.
1986: Llano Estacado 1984 Chardonnay receives the “Double Gold” award at the San Francisco Fair. (First national award given to a Texas Winery.)
1987: French and American oak barrel use increases substantially, allowing for increase fermentation and aging capacity. Llano Estacado wine served by President Reagan at the White House. Expanded distribution to United Kingdom. New investor group takes control of the winery. James G. Morris, M.D. elected Chairman.
1988: New tasting room opened at winery. Gold Medal awarded to the 1985 Cabernet Sauvignon at the London International Wine and Spirits Competition. Llano Estacado named NASA’s official wine honoring the 20th anniversary of the lunar landing.
1990: Llano ships its first wines to France, Belgium and Germany. Wines served at the Bush/Gorbachev Summit and at the Houston Economic Summit. Llano Estacado wines earn over 60 medals at international, national and state wine competitions, including gold medals at the Dallas Morning News National Wine Competition, the San Francisco Fair National Wine Competition and the San Diego National Wine Competition. Walter M. Haimann named C.O.O. and takes over day-to-day management of the winery.
1991: Llano Estacado Winery named “Texas Quality Leader” in Wine Spectator feature. Llano Estacado wines selected to be served to Queen Elizabeth during her visit to Texas.
1992: Llano Estacado ships wine to Russia. Gold Medal and “Best of Class” awarded to 1991 Chenin Blanc at the San Diego National Wine Competition.
1993: “Texas High Plains” given appellation status by the BATF. California-trained winemaker Greg Bruni joins Llano Estacado as Vice President/Winemaker.
1994: Mark Hyman joins Llano Estacado team as Vice President Sales & Marketing.
1996: Llano Estacado celebrates 20th anniversary. 1995 Signature White awarded Best of Class and Gold Medal at prestigious New World International Wine Competition. First ever Zinfandel released. Llano Estacado purchases Double LL Vineyard. Llano Estacado introduces Cellar Select Port and a Muscat Canelli.
1997: Llano Estacado releases Texas’ first ultra premium wine: 1994 Viviano. Work begins on major winery expansion project.
1998: Llano Estacado featured on the front page of the San Francisco Examiner with the tagline, “Move over Napa, other states rival California’s finest.” The San Francisco Chronicle also does a story/feature on Llano Estacado.
Upgraded to a bigger crush pad.
1999: Wine Enthusiast magazine names Llano Estacado’s 1997 Signature Red Meritage as the top Cabernet Sauvignon and/or blend in the world for the year, under $15.00.
2000: Llano Estacado’s Passionelle is touted as one of the Top 100 Best Value wines in the world for the year by Wine & Spirits Magazine. Houston Chronicle picks Llano’s 1999 Cellar Select Chardonnay as the White Wine of the Year.
2001: Mark Hyman named President and C.O.O. Llano Estacado served at the first formal dinner at the White House by the new president.
2002: Llano Estacado introduces a Shiraz. Llano is featured in the Quarterly Review of Wines magazine’s 25th anniversary issue.
2003: Llano Estacado introduces their Cabernet/Shiraz. Publicized in USA Today. Llano Estacado introduces the first two of their new “small batch” wines: a Viognier and a Shirz/Mourvedre.
2004: Llano Estacado introduces Sweet Red to their line of wines.
2005: Llano Estacado poured at President Bush’s Inaugural Ball in Washington, D.C.
Expanded and got a new warehouse, bottling line, truck docks, and enlarged our lab by three times.
2006: Llano Estacado celebrates their 30th anniversary.
Chris Hull promoted to Winemaker
Winery introduces two 30th anniversary wines: 2002 Reserve Port, 2005
Llano Estacado Signature Rhone (now Signature Melange) featured on NBC’s Today Show.
Llano Estacado case sales exceed 100,000 cases.
2007:Bill Freidhof hired as Vice President of Sales & Marketing.
Major expansions of winery begins.
Phase 1 of winery expansion completed
2004 Viviano awarded “Best Red Wine” in Texas at the Lone Star State International wine competition.
2008 Llano Estacado expanded our tank facilities by 55,000 cases to bring it to approximately 220,000 cases.