Irrigation is a must in this large appellation located in the Texas Panhandle, 3,000-4,000 feet above sea level. The Texas High Plains climate is very dry, though vineyards benefit from cooling winds. Vignerons depend on the subterranean Ogallala Aquifer, which spans almost the entire area underneath very well-drained soils. This AVA covers around 8 million acres of flat, intensively-cultivated land, where cotton, sorghum and wheat are the predominant crops. There are approximately 3,500 acres of vineyards, with a growing interest in viticulture and a growing number of prestigous awards to back the promotional image of the appellation. Both vinifera and hybrids have been made into quality wines in this appellation since the first commercial winery opened its doors in 1976.