West Texans Get In on Growing Texas Wine Industry

Marfa Public Radio - In 2013, Texas made 1.3 million cases of wine – up 37% since 2005, according to the vineyard and winery industry group Texas Wine and Grape Growers Association. And the retail value of all that wine? $134 million.

Kert Platner, a co-founder of Times Ten Cellars, said that the reason the vineyard uses volunteers for the harvest instead of agricultural workers is the lack of a migrant labor force in the area.

"We don't have big groups of people who can come in and do this as part of their work," said Platner.

It's not just an issue in West Texas.

Tim Dodd, the Director of the Texas Wine Marketing Research Institute and the associate dean for Administration and Finance at Texas Tech University, says finding laborers with knowledge of grape-growing and grape-harvesting can be a problem in a state that's relatively new to the wine business.

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