Texas Wine — A Growing Industry: What grapes are grown in the state & how they survive

Posted at 5:27 PM, Mar 15, 2023
and last updated 2023-03-16 21:27:56-04

COLLEGE STATION, Texas — Where there’s a wine, there’s a way.

Texas Wine is a growing industry here in Texas.

In this month’s Exploring History Luncheon with the City of College Station, the community learned more about what’s happening in Texas and here in the Brazos Valley.

Teaching the community more about Texas Wine is Ben Jeter, owner of Threshold Vineyards in Navasota off the Brazos River.

“Texas Wine is interesting,” Jeter said. “It’s really cool what’s going on in the industry right now. There’s a lot of growth and a lot of discovery. It’s a young industry. We’re learning a lot as we go.”

Sherry McKenzie, who has attended the luncheons for years, enjoys discovering parts of the city she grew up in for decades.

“I like learning about the city, and every time I come, I learn something I didn’t know even though I’ve been here for 40 years,” McKenzie said. “They’re just very enlightening programs about our area and it helps me learn. I love learning.”

Texas is a continental climate state where most of our rainfall occurs in the summer months, making it hard to sustain grapes, but Jeter says it makes an overall good product.

“Texas is an extreme climate,” said Jeter. “It’s either going to be extremely hot, or extremely dry or extremely wet. It’s a tough place to grow grapes, and you know, you’re farming an agricultural product at the end of the day.”

Jeter shared grapes are grown in 181 of the 254 Texas counties.

Eighty percent of Texas Wine grapes grow in the high plains, Panhandle region.

“Texas has pride to it,” said Jeter. “Everybody loves Texas if you’re here. We like to be the best at things. We like to make good Texas wine and show it off.”

Jeter says some of the most popular here are hybrids like Blanc Du Bois, Black Spanish, and Frontenac.

“I kept hearing Texas is where Napa Valley was 30 years ago so we’re starting to figure out what grapes grow well here in Texas and the winemakers are figuring out how to make good wine with those grapes,” said Jeter.

Jeter encourages the community to try some Texas Wine, whether that’s at a local vineyard or the next time you’re at the store.