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Quality Over Quantity for this Year’s Texas Wine Harvest

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According to wine experts, this year may be one of unprecedented success for the quality of Texas wine harvest. COVID-19 has had its effects on the in-person side of the wine business, but as we roll into the second half 2020, vineyards, buyers, and sommeliers have high hopes for the wine harvest.

The Big Freeze

Quality Over Quantity for this Year's Texas Wine Harvest

Photo: @britizille0012 via Twenty20

Last October, across the High Plains region, an unexpected early freeze put a dent into the yield of expected harvests among most vineyards. Although this unfortunate weather event decreased the normal volume of grapes and ultimately of wine produced, it has provided a silver lining.

A lower quantity of product has allowed winemakers and vineyards to get creative with their management practices. The result? A creative take on several yearly standards and also wineries tapping into older product they’ve had aging. Wine aficionados can expect a wave of new flavors mixed in with old standards, as well as an improved flavor profile of old favorites. Ultimately, the lower yield for most vineyards has lead to a higher quality harvest, and thus, a higher quality wine to be released.

Owner of Spicewood Vineyards, Ron Yates commented, “Thanks to the past two years, we have plenty of wine in barrels and tanks that will allow us to continue our popular varieties as well as experiment with some new blends.”

Wine in the Time of Corona Virus

Quality Over Quantity for this Year's Texas Wine Harvest

Photo: @MichaelModePhotog via Twenty20

The wine business is a highly personal affair. With much of the buying and tasting required to happen in person, many Texas vineyards have taken a hard financial hit. With events’ hosting reduced since March to socially distant or in some cases non-existent, vineyards have supplemented with hosting virtual events.

Another way Texas winemakers have adapted per CDC and local regulations is doing more of their processing in-house. After harvest, many vineyards will outsource other aspects of the process to contractors. Due to the reduction in number of people involved and the smaller harvest, some producers are handling everything themselves.