2010 prospective wine-grape growers workshops

The Viticulture Team of the Texas AgriLife Extension Service has established the dates and locations for their 2010 workshops designed to help the state’s prospective wine-grape growers.

Registration for each of the workshops can be completed through AgriLife Conference Services at their Web site, http://agrilifevents.tamu.edu.

Wine grapes are one of the fastest growing sectors in Texas agriculture, with approximately 2,900 acres in production and more than 190 wineries in the state, said Fritz Westover, AgriLife Extension’s Gulf Coast viticulture advisor and team coordinator.

“The Prospective Wine-Grape Growers Workshop is a one-day educational program designed to provide an overview of the unique requirements and risks associated with establishment and operation of a commercial vineyard in Texas,” Westover said.

The workshop was created to address the most common concerns potential grape producers may have prior to committing valuable resources toward a commercial vineyard enterprise, he said. Program topics include: necessary viticulture expertise, vineyard site selection, risk factors, vineyard labor requirements and vineyard economics.

“The program will help prospective growers decide if grape growing is a good fit for their farm and lifestyle, and how large a commercial vineyard should be in order to turn a profit,” Westover said.

The workshops begin at 9 a.m. and end at 3 p.m., with sign-in starting at 8:30 a.m.

The dates, cities and lead instructors for this year’s workshops will be:

  • March 8, Houston, Westover.
  • May 4, Fredericksburg, Penny Adams.
  • July 19, Stephenville, Fran Pontasch.
  • Aug. 6, Houston, Westover.
  • Oct. 12, Pittsburg, Pontasch.
  • Nov. 18, Fredericksburg, Adams.

The fee for each workshop is $125 per person or $200 per couple, and includes educational materials and lunch.

The workshop serves as a prerequisite for application to the Texas Viticulture Certificate Program offered by Texas Tech University and AgriLife Extension. For more information on the certification program, go to http://winegrapes.tamu.edu and look under Educational Opportunities.

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