Excellent Texas Wine Harvest Anticipated

Wines and Vines - At the end of May, the prospects for a great harvest in Texas this season were dubious. While no grapegrowers reported spring frosts across the state, torrential rains during Memorial Day weekend delivered as much as 13 inches of rain in 12 hours in the Texas Hill Country wine region west of Austin, and other parts of Texas also experienced soaking rains.

After that rain event, the weather in Texas moderated. Ed Hellman, professor of viticulture at Texas Tech University and the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension, summarized the growing season: "Vineyards got started late, and we had a lot of rain and cloud cover in May. We haven't had a hot summer. There have been only two days of 100°-plus temperatures, and harvest will probably go into late September. It could be a very long growing season if it pushes into September, and we get cooler nighttime temperatures. My expectation is that we could have the best harvest ever, as well as the largest." He noted that more than 2,000 acres of vineyard have been planted just in the High Plains region during the past five years, and many of those acres are coming into bearing this year.

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