Fall grape harvests begin this week

Vineyards in the Texas Hill Country, West Texas, High Plains and North Texas begin their harvests of vitis vinifera (the classic grapes like Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Viognier, Merlot, etc.) this week and continue for the next four to five weeks.

This is the busiest time of the entire year for vineyard owners and winemakers. Winemakers are visiting vineyards on a daily basis to determine the right time to pick grapes. Workers and volunteers are on stand-by, waiting for the nod from the winemaker to begin the harvest on that “block of grapes.”

Raymond Haak of Haak Winery in Galveston County anticipates a great harvest in September from his remote vineyards in the West Texas Mountains. Each of these vineyard owners is Texas-proud and is willing to help other Texas farmers learn how to grow Texas grapes. If you are truly interested in growing grapes to make Texas wines, consider the new grape viticulture degree program at Texas Tech University on the High Plains. Information is available athttp://today.ttu.edu/2009/06/viticulture-certification-program/

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