Texas Wineries Unscathed By Hurricane Harvey

Vintners in the Hill Country region finished harvest just days ahead of the storm; now many are helping with relief efforts.

As the Texas Gulf Coast transitions to recovery mode from the winds and severe flooding brought by Hurricane Harvey, the Lone Star State’s wine industry is breathing a sigh of relief. Texas wine appears to have been handed a pass this year, a rare thing for winemakers who often grapple with late freezes, summer wildfires, blazing heat and wet harvests. And an early spring and ideal summer helped Texas winemakers avoid catastrophe at harvest.

The two major appellations of Texas are the Hill Country AVA, the second-largest in the U.S., which surrounds the town of Fredericksburg and encompasses Austin and San Antonio, and the High Plains AVA, which lies some 370 miles northeast of the Hill Country, much farther inland, around Lubbock. Many of Texas’ up-and-coming wineries are based in and around the Hill Country AVA and source fruit from both appellations.

Wineries are reporting that both regions were spared from Harvey’s wrath. According to Joanna Wilczoch, vineyard manager at Pedernales Cellars, “2017 was marked by a mild winter that meant early budbreak and early ripening. So, we were ahead of schedule, so to speak.”

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