To support the growing Texas wine industry, now the fifth-largest in the U.S., the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service employs a cadre of viticulture and enology experts providing educational outreach, technical assistance and applied research to prospective and experienced winegrowers throughout the state.
The Texas wine industry has an estimated overall economic impact of $13.1 billion to the state.
The team helps vineyard owners and managers with a wide range of challenges, including site selection, rootstock and cultivar choice, vineyard management practices and plant disease, including Pierce’s Disease — the largest threat to the state’s wine industry. They also cooperate and collaborate with the Texas Department of Agriculture and wine industry organizations such as the Texas Wine Grape Growers Association.
One of the most-visited wine regions in the U.S. is the Texas Hill Country, bringing in more than 30 million visitors annually. Brianna Hoge is the AgriLife Extension viticulture program specialist serving that region.
Along with the Texas Hill Country, North Texas has the state’s highest concentration of wineries. Michael Cook, AgriLife Extension viticulture specialist for that region, provides industry support through workshops, hands-on demonstrations, research-based educational materials and in-person vineyard site visits.
Serving the industry from the Texas A&M campus in College Station are AgriLife Extension viticulture program specialist Dr. Justin Scheiner and AgriLife Extension enology specialist Dr. Andreea Botezatu.
While the entire team is helping the industry meet existing challenges, their efforts are also focused on the future.
Through the application of science-based knowledge, AgriLife Extension creates high-quality, relevant continuing education that encourages lasting and effective change.