June 30, 2023


June 30, 2023
An Early Harvest and Texas Wine Club
The Texas Winter and Spring have been mild, producing an early bud break in the vineyards along the Texas Gulf Coast and inland. This has been the earliest harvest I can remember in Texas, starting on Friday, June 2, 2023 down in the Rio Grande Valley. In the Houston area, the first grapes came in on Saturday, June 17th, about two weeks early. You can still get in on the harvest fun at Bernhardt Winery this Saturday, July 1st! You should register online at www.BernhardtWinery.com to participate. Their website has all of their recommendations for your consideration if you wish to experience this harvest. Bernhardt Winery normally harvest the second to third week in July.
Verasion is beginning to occur in many Texas Vineyards. This term is used to describe the maturing of the grapes on the grape vines. The hard little berries of the vitis vinifera (classic wine grapes) are beginning to plump up with sugar water with the hard skin thinning while the grapes, particularly the red wine grapes, start to turn colors. In addition, the four grape seeds with turn from a green, woody material, to a brown, nutty-tasting seed. The red wine grapes will evolve into dark red to black skins while the white wine grapes evolve into shinny green to yellow skins.
Texas has been experiencing a “heat dome,” mainly in East Texas. When air temperatures reach and exceed 100 degrees, the grape vines and a lot of other plants have a built-in mechanism to shut down photosynthesis to conserve moisture. These excessive air temperatures also cause problems in phenolic ripeness development. In addition, night temperatures need to drop to the low 60’s to mid-50’s. This temperature cycle of warm-hot in the day and cool at night is essential to maturing grapes and getting the essence of the grape into the sweetening grape juice. As these grapes mature, bird netting is being placed to cover the vines and make the grapes inaccessible to birds. A large flock of birds can easily strip the vineyard in a day of its sweetening grapes. Vineyard managers are also watching for night animals to feast on their grapes. Vineyard managers are also reviewing the leaf mass of the vines since too much photosynthesis does not allow the grapes to slowly mature to develop their essence. Also, vineyard employees are cutting off fruit to lower the grape crop yield to provide a better quality grape. It is all about quality over quantity.
Weekly Blind Wine Tastings of Texas vs. the World’s Great Wines
The Texas Wine Club based in Fredericksburg near Hye, Texas has a challenge for those of you who think that Texas doesn’t produce great wines. Join them at their tasting room at 272 Rocky Road at 2 pm Saturdays. This is your opportunity to try quality Texas Wines against wines from Napa, France, and other great wine regions. The Texas wines they serve are not those common, mass-produced Texas wines found at HEB or other wine shops. Do a taste test to see the Texas difference. Texas wines in today’s world have evolved into great wines. Last January at the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition, Texas Wines took 13 BEST OF SHOW, 23 Double Gold Medals, and well over 100 Gold Medals against the best of California wines under California wine judges. I challenge you wine snobs to do the blind waste tasting on Saturdays at the Texas Wine Club! You will experience greatness!

Leave your comment

Please enter your name.
Please enter comment.