Central Texas wine industry growing despite bad harvest - KXXV-TV News Channel 25 - Central Texas News and Weather for Waco, Temple, Killeen |

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Central Texas wine industry growing despite bad harvest

WACO, TX (KXXV) -

The Central Texas wine industry is growing like wild vines but late season frosts have affected this years harvest for many local wineries.

Wineries and vineyards throughout the area may have to bring in grapes from outside Texas to meet the demand.

Valley Mills Vineyard wine maker Craig Parker says the industry is buzzing.

"The Central Texas region is growing at a staggering pace," said Parker. It's actually growing exponentially from year to year which is very unusual for any industry," said parker.

However, the states unpredictable weather has caused a number of local wineries to fall on hard times this year.

Tehuacana Creek Vineyard owner Ulf Westblom says this year's weather has affected their harvest.

"We had a frost which killed all our shoots which were already out and getting ready to create the grapes," said Westblom. "Now the good thing is you can start all over again but the second shoot you get doesn't have as much grapes only about 25-30 percent of the number of grapes."

Though this year isn't as bad as the string of triple-digit temps and harsh drought conditions from 2011, grape growers say this year was anything but good.      

"This is probably one of the two worst harvests we've had since we opened," says Westblom.

To get by, some wineries had to buy grapes from out of state. The move that may force them to remove "Texas" from their labels if lawmakers don't step in like they have in the past.

Some years actually the legislatures have changed the law just for that year so that lower amounts of Texas grapes are allowed to still but Texas on the label," says Westblom. "I think most vineyards had a very low year this year." 

For now they'll have to wait on lawmakers to decide.

Either way, they say not even the weather can slow down this blooming industry.

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