Central Texas winemakers seeing largest crop in history

POSTED: Wednesday, July 31, 2013 - 4:39pm
UPDATED: Wednesday, July 31, 2013 - 9:00pm

Grape cluster after grape cluster; it's a sight Paul Bonarrigo, winemaker and CEO of Messina Hof vineyard in Bryan, likes to see.

"In 2011 we had the drought, 2012 was a recovery year so we actually did a lot of replants and this year the vines have a very heavy load of clusters," Bonarrigo said.

But not every Texas vineyard is so fortunate.

Because of the late freezes in the panhandle, the Texas wine industry will see about an 80 percent reduction in tonnage but luckily for Central Texas winemakers like Bonarrigo that isn't the case.

In fact it's the complete opposite.

It was a perfect combination of wet and dry weather conditions that helped produce the largest crop the vineyard has ever seen.

Bonarrigo said, "From this vineyard we normally get around 15 tons. We've gotten close to 20 before but this year we're actually looking like we'll get close to 30 tons by the end of the harvest season."

Another season for the record books but Bonarrigo doesn't expect this record to hold for long.

"With some of our newer vines just producing, actually there's a good likely hood that next year we'll have the biggest crop to-date next year as well."

Something all wine enthusiasts can look forward to.



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