September 11, 2020

Texas Grapes are Coming!

Texas is enjoying another great year of a quality harvest. The grapes have been harvested along the Gulf Coast and the Texas Hill County. The grapes on the Texas High plains have everyone abuzz about 2020 being another awesome year for Texas! About 80% of the Texas grapes are harvested on the flat lands of the Texas High Plains. These flat lands make harvesting grapes easy with mechanical grape harvesters. These machines have vibrating sides on each side of the rows of grape vines guided by a wheeled mechanism. About 100 grape pickers equal the daily output of these mechanical harvesters. With COVID19 and lack of farm hands, Texas is not being impacted unlike California with its steeply sloping vineyards and lack of farm hands during this pandemic. These harvested grapes come into the winery cleaner and faster than hand-harvested grapes. As a result of a faster accumulation of grapes via mechanical harvester, the grapes arrive at the wineries in less than 90 minutes vs. several hours of vineyard storage and accumulation of grapes to justify transportation to the winery by truck. The grapes that arrive faster from mechanical harvest have a temperature about one to two degrees above ambient air temperature. However, grapes that have to reside in the vineyards for hours start fermentation via rogue yeasts and bacteria. Winemakers have no control over these rogue fermentations and sometime have unusual tastes that the winemaker does NOT want to have in his wines. With this type of mechanical harvesting, Texas wineries are experiencing better quality grapes at the winery. Although the final end of the grape harvest is several weeks away, most everyone agrees that Texas is finding its identity and making lots of award-winning wines. As we look into another quality grape harvest, it appears that Texas is poised to continue to earn the recognition it has earned year after year with more Gold Medals and Double Gold Medals.
On a different note, California is experiencing wild forest fires, especially in the areas of vineyards. Grapes in California have not been harvested to the extent that has been seen in Texas. As a result, these California grapes could experience smoke taint before grapes are harvested.
Bernhardt Winery Concerts
The Bernhardt winery folks are looking forward to sharing their wines, stories, poetry, and music with you! Jerry and Jerri Bernhardt invite you to join them on the north winery lawn for another year of Sunday evening concerts paired with fellowship and great wines. The reputation for the Bernhardt Winery concerts has grown over the years with large crowds enjoying each other, Bernhardt Winery Wines, great foods, and outstanding music. I suggest getting to the winery to stake out your perfect spot with your chairs and tables, foods, and of course your choices in Bernhardt Wines. You can bring your own foods or buy available foods on the winery site. This winery is both kid and dog friendly, but you still must take full responsibility for both! You can bring it ALL to the winery concerts, EXCEPT outside alcohol since the TABC says that is a BIG No-No! There is a cover charge of $10 to $15 depending on the concert for those over 18 with youngsters and dogs free. Upcoming concerts include:
• September 13th – Yelba and the Latin Fire
• September 20th – Fab Five
To further enjoy these concerts, I suggest bringing lots of friends.
Jerry Bernhardt told me he is now using 100% Texas grapes in his award-winning wines. This will be his second harvest with 100% Texas grapes! This past year was the first year when Texas actually was able to produce enough grapes to satisfy some of the Texas winery demands!

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