Texas has been producing wine for a long time, with the state having quite the history. Texas wines date back to the 1600’s when Spanish missionaries in the El Paso area. Dry, Sunny climates of Texas’ larger wine regions are compared to those in Portugal. Over 36 members of the Vitis grape vine family are grown in Texas, while 15 of them are native to the state, which is higher than all other regions on the planet.
Although it’s one of the largest conterminous states, Texas has a small volume of grape production and vineyard acreage compared to production of some of the smallest French producing regions. The Texas wine industry continues to expand, with a growing reputation for being a solid and well-seasoned US wine growing region.
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The Texas wine growing regions mainly in three areas, which make up of many micro-climates to allow various wine grapes to grow in the state. The northern third of the state from New Mexico, to the Texas Panhandle, towards Dallas is known as the The North-Central Region. This region also includes the Texas High Plains AVA which produces the highest concentration of grapes statewide. The South-Eastern Region includes southeast San Antonio, Austin, and also includes Houston. High humidity takes place in the north if this area, which makes caused challenges when farming vinifera grapes, although, Muscadine family grapevines flourish. Similar to Muscadine grapes, Blanc du Bois and Black Spanish varietals withstand the humidity that causes Pierce's Disease. The Texas Hill Country AVA is more commonly known for growing vinifera. The Trans-Pecos Regions, located in the central-western third of the state, produces nearly 40 percent of Texas' grapes within the highest altitude vineyards. In total, Trans-Pecos produces more than 65% of all of Texas' wine.
Calcareous soil in the Texas High Plains is red sandy loam (tiera roja) over caliche (limestone) with moderate low fertility. With an elevation of over 3500 feet, the grapevines are exposed to hot, long days of sunshine with low temperature nights. Cooler winter temperatures allow the vines to go dormant prior to the growing season. The Ogallala Aquifer allows resources for irrigation and provides tempering effects on extreme temperatures in both cold and hot variations. Also, consistent winds protect against known viticultural diseases including oidium and powdery mildew
Texas typically harvests in July, which is about two months sooner than California. When compared to most regions in France, Texas harvest time is usually three months earlier.