August 12, 2022


The Texas Hill Country has been bringing in grapes to the wineries the last two weeks with the Texas High Plains where most of the grapes in Texas are grown just starting their harvest. The quality of the grapes is outstanding. Now for the bad news! The quantity of grapes has decreased to around 40% of what the Spring “bud break” had forecast. Two factors played in this significant decrease in the quantity of incoming grapes. First, the extended drought coupled with the heat wave have caused the grape quantities to decrease. Temperatures above 100 degrees have been experienced on the Texas High Plains. Grape vines will start to shut down to conserve water around 98 degrees. This has caused berry size to be smaller, but the quality of the grapes is outstanding with the grapes concentrating their essence in those smaller berries. The second obstacle that grape vineyard managers are trying to overcome is the Diacamba herbicide that cotton farmers are spraying to rid their cotton fields of weeds. Lawsuits against Bayer who makes this super killing herbicide have sprung up with many Texas vineyard owners involved in a major lawsuit here in Texas. Diacamba has also caused problems in orchards and other agricultural areas in numerous states with thousands of complaints filed due to wind drift taking this hazardous chemical as far as ten miles, impacting agricultural products, according to the thousands of claims. I spent several years on the Texas High Plains with the wind constantly blowing which is the vehicle for wind drift of these toxic chemicals. The bottom line is that both the weather and Diacamba have caused the Texas grape harvest to be less than anticipated. Llano Estacado Winery on the Texas High Plains has reported about one-third of anticipated grapes being brought to their winery. Terry County on the Texas High Plains harvested white wine grapes, starting last week. The red wine grapes are predicted to be harvested, starting this weekend. This harvest schedule is similar to what is happening in the grape regions of California. As a result of Texas grapes coming in smaller quantities, expect higher prices for Texas wine. In addition, expect outstanding wines from Texas wineries using Texas grapes. The last of the Texas grapes should be harvested by mid-September unless Texas vineyards get some well-deserved rains. The same harvest schedule is hold true in California, but they are not plagued by Bayer’s Diacamba like Texas is.
Texas Restaurants Serving Texas Wines
The 1836 Steakhouse is housed in a historic building in Huntsville, home to Sam Houston. This Texas-sized restaurant is home to outstanding steaks and seafood, along with several of Llano Estacado Winery wines. Llano’s 1836 series of a red wine and a white wine along with its award-winning Pinot Grigio grace the wine menu of this historic icon. In addition, Messina Hof Barrel Cuvee’ and its GSM (aka Grenache, Syrah, Mouvedere” along with Fall Creek Vineyards’ GSM provide great opportunities to pair Texas foods with Texas wines.

Leave your comment

Please enter your name.
Please enter comment.