Wine Industry Booming In Texas

When you think of American wines, your taste buds might expect something from Napa or Sonoma, but it might be time to raise a glass to Texas.

“Cattle and oil in Texas has always been king. Now in Texas we have cotton, cattle and Cabernet,” Neal Newsom said.

Newsom is a pioneer of the Texas wine industry. He planted his first vines nearly 30 years ago.

“We weren’t sure if it was going to work,” Newsom said. “We took some old, obsolete equipment, and cut it up and made it real small so it could fit down in a vineyard.”

Today, Newsom’s 144-acre West Texas vineyard produces 12 different varieties of grapes, sold to 12 different wineries.

“I get picked on a lot down at the coffee shop. Slowly but surely we planted a few acres every year and our grapes have wound up in these wineries and reserve programs, so it speaks for itself,” Newsom said.

Grapes have also become a new cash crop for farmers, who are swapping out water-hogging cotton plants for vines.