A Tale of Two Families.
From Left: Kathy Conklin, David Conklin, Manuel Lechuga (Winemaker), Barbara Irwin, Jim Irwin
Even before we built our facility and bottled our first vintage in 2019, before discussions about founding a new winery, before the first vines in our Cerro Santo Estate vineyard were planted in the spring of 2006, our story had long been started. In the mid-90’s, three families (all with children of varying ages) met at church in Idalou, Texas and began to spend time together. This relationship soon turned to friendship, which grew and sustained us through joys, hardships, and the changing of life seasons for the next twenty years. Co-owners Jim and Barbara Irwin and David and Kathy Conklin committed at the outset to making sure that the strong ties of friendship would be the backbone of the new business, and that our goal would be to grow and strengthen the fellowship and community of others through great Texas wine. With this virtue in mind, we decided to name this new venture Adelphos Cellars, in honor of the brotherhood that has bound us together for two decades.
We are proud of the long history and deep expertise of our team, and believe that this gives us the ability to endure the exciting opportunities and challenges of the young Texas wine industry. We are committed to producing the highest quality wines from only Texas grapes, in a continued effort to demonstrate that Texas is capable of making truly world-class wines, as borne out by the dozens of awards we’ve won over the last few years.
Adelphos Cellars is founded on the ideals of commitment to quality Texas wine, produced by hand, and with the conviction that wine truly can create a brotherhood in which we become closer to one another through the sharing of a wonderful glass and striving toward a common goal. We lovingly tend the vines, as we tend to each other, and we believe that this is a noble pursuit.
We are building a legacy.
Learn more about the Adelphos families...
Jim & Barbara Irwin
Jim Irwin was the Grape Research Technician at the Texas A&M Experiment Station in the mid-90s, during which time he traveled all over the High Plains AVA on a regular basis, taking long walks through the vines with vineyard managers and owners, speaking to them about their challenges and triumphs. During the evenings in the fall, Jim’s wife Barbara would bring a pizza and their two children, Sarah and Garrett, out to the research vineyard at the experiment station where Jim was working late. The kids roamed the vineyard, tasted the ripening grapes, learned how to measure Brix with a refractometer, and helped weigh and measure the clusters Jim had picked that day. Those autumn evenings in the vineyard had a profound impact on both of them; Garrett is now the vineyard manager of our Cerro Santo estate vineyard, and Sarah has completed a Master’s degree in Viticulture & Enology and Wine Marketing at Texas Tech University. Both are heavily involved in the daily operations of Adelphos Cellars.
David & Kathy Conklin
Jim’s enthusiasm for the eminent suitability of the High Plains land and climate for growing superior wine grapes was infectious, and in the late 90’s, owners David and Kathy Conklin decided to plant a small vineyard on the 10 acres behind their house near Idalou. When their Beso del Sol Vineyard began producing fruit, they formed a relationship with nearby Pheasant Ridge Winery, which purchased some of their grapes. That relationship introduced them to Manuel Lechuga of Pheasant Ridge, who came out to their vineyard to assess the grapes and to provide advice gleaned from years of viticultural experience. David and Kathy enjoyed working with Manuel, whom Jim had also met and befriended in the course of his High Plains vineyard visits. Their friendship, and the growth of their esteem for Manuel as a gifted enologist, was to form the basis for our plan much later to bring him on to the Adelphos Cellars Team as our Winemaker. David and Kathy’s daughter, Lacey Arismendez, is also integral to our operations as a marketer who helps us to manage and build our strong social media presence.