Drought taking toll on Texas wineries

August 14, 2009 8:34:36 AM PDT
Drought has damaged crops across Texas, but another weather problem earlier this year added to the trouble for wine growers. Freezing temperatures devastated some grapes at the Driftwood Vineyards, about 20 miles southwest of Austin.

Owner Gary Elliott told KXAN-TV that he started 2009 with an estimated 60 tons of fruit, but in early April the temperature dropped below freezing and "pretty much wiped out all the fruit."

Elliott, who says he can buy grapes from New Mexico or California, is focusing on next year's crop and watering as needed. Elliott says the vines "don't take any where as much water when they don't have fruit."

The Harvest Wine Trails event, at Driftwood and more than 20 other Hill Country wineries, runs Friday through Sunday.

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