Pruning is now underway in Texas vineyards
February 3, 2023


Freeze Impacts in Texas Vineyards
Texas Vineyards fare very well during recent freezes. There was concern about the freeze longevity, but it did not get as cold as prior freezes. However, being below freezing was a possible concern. That concern was allayed after visiting with several vineyard owners. Kirk Williams at Texas Tech University School of Viticulture told me, “Damage to grapevines in the Texas High Plains pre-Christmas winter blast appear to be minimal as the vines were in deep dormancy with good Fall acclimation and normal winter weather pattern with multiple cold events prior to that one.” Two vineyard owners echoed Williams’ assessment of Texas vineyards. Susan Johnson of Texas Heritage Vineyard said, “Because the grapevines had already gone dormant for the winter, the freeze should have no effect on the vines. However, the lack of rainfall is scary and moisture, even though the dormant season, is critical to the vines.
The freeze did crack one of our irrigation pipes, which has been repaired. We are actively watering and checking moisture sensors that are 18 inches below the surface. At this time of year, it is very important to watch the weather. A prolonged freeze event, if irrigation lines are not cleared of water, will cause significant damage to irrigation materials.” The rains this week should take care of Susan’s concerns. Nikhila Narra Davis, Owner of Kalasi Cellars told me, “For our High Plains Vineyard, Narra Vineyards, it is still too early to see the impacts from the freeze because we don’t start pruning the vineyard till late January. Vines should have been in full dormancy and protected from the freeze. Pruning starts a bit earlier in the Hill Country. Our Hill Country Vineyard site at Kalasi Cellars faired nicely. We finished pruning back our young vines recently and the trunks and the cross-sections that were cut looked very healthy. We are hoping for a successful growing season for Texas vines!” It looks like Texas has been spared from the winter freezes so far, but the real tests will start in April when the vines become sensitive to freezes during bud break.
Wine Trails during February
Tickets are now on sale for the Texas Hill Country Wineries Wine Lovers Passport Event, which is happening early next year. From January 30th-February 24th, ticket holders will be able to experience 40+ unique Texas Hill Country Wineries on this self-guided tour centering around Valentine’s Day. Take time to relax and say hello to a new year with a loved one or friend, discovering Texas wine and enjoying all that the Texas Wine Country has to offer. Visitors will have 26 days to visit up to four wineries per day. Over 40 wineries are participating, and guests will receive a full complimentary tasting, plus a 15% discount on three of more bottles purchased. Tickets are $100 for a pair, or $65 for an individual ticket. With the average tasting fee around $20, each passport ticket has a value of over $1,000.

Southeast Texas offers the Texas Bluebonnet Wine Trail. With each Passport ticket purchase providing three 1.5 ounce pours of featured wines at each participating winery. Tickets will be emailed with QR scan codes to redeem wine tastings at each winery being:
• Bernhardt Winery,
• Messina Hof Winery,
• Perrine Winery,
• Texas Star Winery,
• Threshold Vineyards, and
• West Sandy Creek Winery.
You MUST have your ticket available (on an electronic device or printed) for scanning when you visit each winery. Groups of 8 or more are asked to contact each winery before arrival. February Wine Trail Passport tickets are valid February 1-28, 2023. Ticket prices are $30/individual or $54/couple (plus tax and fees) and are non-refundable.
Texas Wineries Win Big in San Francisco
San Francisco Wine Competition saw Texas Wineries earning more than their fair share of medals and acclaims. Check out next week’s edition of WINE WALK to see just how really big Texas’ bragging rights are.

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