By John Griffin
Posted on20 August 2009.
It's not been a good year for many Hill Country farmers. Late freezes, hail storms and other acts of nature destroyed much of the peaches. It also took its toll on grape growers.
Many of the Hill Country growers who attended the DrinkLocalWine conference in Dallas last weekend spoke about how low yields were this year, if the vines produced anything at all. The same was heard from High Plains growers as well.
That means demands for Texas grapes, already at a premium given the rising number of wineries now in operation in the state, is high. It also means grapes from out of state will be pressed into service so some of the wineries have product to sell.
Only 3,500 acres of land in Texas is cultivated with grapes for wine, but the number of wineries has topped 175, and many of those do not grow their own grapes. (In comparison, the vineyards of Spain, a country that is smaller than Texas, cover 1,154,000 acres.)
The bad news should not be too apparent to Hill County travelers this coming weekend. Winery owners will be happy to greet you to their grape stomps and other parties. For a list of activities at the wineries in the region, click here