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From the Ground Up - Texas Wine Industry


“It’s a matter of trying to find the right varieties of grapes that really grow in the right regions of the state,” says Texas A&M Vice-Chancellor and Dean of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

“When you look at a hybrid grape variety like we have here, Blanc Du Bois, it was bred by the University of Florida, and it has resistance to Pierce’s Disease and other fungal diseases, so it grows very well. It flourishes in this area, and makes very good wine,” says Texas A&M Agrilife Extension Vitaculture Program Specialist Fritz Westover Fritz Westover.

Hussey says that wineries are a growth industry in Texas, particularly in the Texas Hill Country.

“When you produce a high quality product such is going on right here at Thomas Ranch, there’s a number of individuals in terms of these wineries that would like to have the product.”

“We want the majority of the wine to be made from grapes grown here in Texas, so there’s a strong demand right now. The number of wineries is increasing at a rate that’s able to keep up with the vineyard expansion,” said Westover.

Texas A&M Agrilife Extension Vitaculture Program Specialist Fritz Westover says that Texas produces high quality wines.

“Grapes grown in different areas will produce different styles of wine, so our idea here and our goal here in Texas is not to produce a wine that is similar to California or similar to Tuscany or similar to Bordeaux. We’re trying to produce a wine that reflects our area, our climate and our environment with varieties that will do well here. The same thing with our signature red grape for the Gulf Coast region, the Lenoir grape also known as the Black Spanish. Don’t drink that wine expecting it to taste like a Cabernet. It doesn’t have the same tannins. It doesn’t have the same fruit structure.”

Westover believes doing a little home work will increase your enjoyment of wine.

“But if you’re educated in what types of wines those grapes will make, and you start drinking those and appreciating what they are, where they’re from, and the story behind them, that’s really what we’re trying to do here, something’s that unique.”

I’m Kailey Carey looking at Central Texas agriculture, From The Ground Up.


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