Prospective wine-grape grower workshop set Oct. 12 in Stephenville

A "Prospective Wine-Grape Growers Workshop" will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., on Oct. 12 at the Texas AgriLife Research and Extension Center in Stephenville.

The center is located at 1229 North U.S. Highway 281.

The workshop will be presented by Fran Pontasch and Fritz Westover of the Texas AgrLife Extension Service viticulture team. Pontasch is the team's North Texas viticulture advisor and Westover serves as the Gulf Coast viticulture advisor.

"This workshop will be useful to those considering planting a commercial vineyard or for those who already have a vineyard and want to expand planting to a commercial scale," Pontasch said.

Presentations will address the most common concerns potential or small-scale producers may have prior to committing valuable resources towards a commercial vineyard enterprise, she said. Topics will include necessary viticulture expertise, vineyard site selection, risk factors, and vineyard labor requirements and economics.

"The goal of the workshop is to provide people with the information necessary for them to make an educated assessment about whether starting a vineyard is right for them," she said.

"This workshop is one of many presented by the viticulture team statewide," added Westover. "We also present advanced grower workshops which delve into even more detailed aspects of wine-grape growing and vineyard maintenance."

The prospective growers workshop is a prerequisite for registration and acceptance into the Texas Tech Viticulture Certificate Program, he added.

Cost for the workshop is $125 per person or $200 per couple, and includes educational materials and lunch. Participants are requested to register on or before Oct. 9.

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