28th Annual Gulf Coast Grape Growers Field Day To Be Held in Cat Spring Feb. 7


The 28th Annual Gulf Coast Grape Grower Field Day is scheduled for Feb. 7 at the Cat Spring Agricultural Society Hall, 13035 Hall Road, Cat Spring. This year’s field day includes an optional one-hour industry perspective for those new to the grape and wine industry. 

“Grape and wine production in Texas has noticeably grown and improved in recent years, yet it remains a challenging endeavor for Texans, said Fran Pontasch, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service program specialist in viticulture. In 2020, we will have the commercial release of years of research and development in Pierce’s Disease management. These developments allow more options for growers and winemakers in the high disease pressure of the Gulf Coast, Central and North Texas winegrowing regions. It’s an exciting time Texas winegrowers and winemakers.”

The day’s topics include both basic and applied research updates for improved vineyard and winery management. The morning includes Carlos Gonzales’, Ph.D., discussion on the recently commercialized bacteriophage as an approach for managing Pierce’s Disease. Justin Scheiner, Ph.D., will talk about recent updates in monitoring nutrition, and Fritz Westover and Fran Pontasch will offer improvements on vineyard management tasks and disease management. 

Barbeque lunch will be shared with Texas Wine and Grape Grower Association director Dacota Haselwood and TWGGA Gulf Coast Winery representative Stephen Morgan of Saddlehorn Winery in Burton.  

Afternoon topics include pesticide laws and regulations by renowned Don Renchie, Ph.D, followed by a new and old look at Herbemont, the grape and wine with George Ray McEachern, Ph.D, and Bill Christopher. This will include a wine pour from Blue Lotus Winery. Andrea Botezatu, Ph.D, will close out the educational segment with a talk on managing pH in the winery.

An RSVP is requested for the New Grower hour from 8:15-9:15. The main program immediately follows at 9:15.  Registration is $35 at the door and includes lunch and presentations. Registration for members of the Gulf Coast Winegrowers Association is $25. A wine social will follow the educational program at 4pm.

For more information and to RSVP, contact gulfcoastwinegrowers@gmail.com, or Fran Pontasch at fmpontasch@tamu.edu

Contact: Gulf Coast Winegrowers Association gulfcoastwinegrowers@gmail.com; Fran Pontasch, fmpontasch@tamu.edu, or Haylee Wolfford  haylee.wolfford@ag.tamu.edu