The wine business is one of the fastest growing agricultural sectors in the state, and with that comes a tremendous demand for Texas grown grapes.
There’s a new vineyard just down the road from us outside of Richards that has experienced some early success.
“I suppose we’ve been successful beyond our wildest expectations, but we started out by getting good advice for the Ag Life Extension Service, Mr. Fritz Westover, who was the area viticulturist for the Gulf Coast region ”
Bill Thomas runs a cow/calf operation about a mile from Richards, but the ranch also is home to Grandview Vineyards.
“Visiting with him, we learned that the gross amount per acre in vineyards is very difficult to be matched with other agricultural endeavors, and through his step by step guidance, we have eventually planted just under seven acres.”
New vineyards won’t produce a crop for the first two years.
“This is our fourth season which will be our second harvest and our first harvest last year off of the six and a half plus acres we were able to sell about twenty seven thousand pounds of grapes.”
That result for Grandview’s first harvest year was exceptional. Prices per ton vary depending upon the type and quality of grape.
“I would say the return on your investment would probably, you ought to start breaking even around your third or fourth year depending upon what it costs you to maintain annually. How much labor can you put into it, or how much labor you have to hire.”
Messina Hoff Winery has a four year contract for Grandview’s grape production.
“It’s interesting. Obviously we’ve been in the cow and calf business for 60 years so this was a new adventure for us, but the gross return per acre, I would speak, could vary anywhere from two thousand dollars per acre gross, up to five or six thousand.”
I’m Kailey Carey looking at Central Texas agriculture, From The Ground Up.