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Goliad County Winery Harvested Black Spanish Grapes Tuesday

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Texas Southwind Winery and Vineyard Owner Regina Staggs and volunteers Tuesday morning was out in the field harvesting grapes. The vines began to produce grapes in early spring.  "Bud break is usually the end of February into the first couple weeks of March," said Staggs.

Staggs started her vineyard in 2009. With Southern Goliad County not ideal to grow grapes, Staggs did lots of research to see what would flourish. "The Black Spanish grapes did well during the hurricane and they survived. I want what is going to survive," said Staggs. 

The vineyard has two types of soil: sandy loam and clay. The vines that grow in a clay struggles more than the one in the sandy loam soil. "Some vines suffer more because the clay is closer to the top soil," said Staggs.

The vineyard behind me is made up of Black Spanish grapes. The grapes started off as green but eventually the grapes turned purple which is called veraison. "As veraison starts, you watch the grapes more carefully because you know harvest is within three to four weeks," said Staggs. 

Black Spanish grapes prefer a Mediterranean climate to thrive at its best. "The nighttime would be 50 degrees. The daytime would be about 78-80 degrees."   

Last year, Texas Southwind Winery harvested 4500 pounds off eleven rows of grapes. This year they harvested 2500 pounds off fourteen rows of grapes. Some of the vines were stressed out because of heavy rain in June. "We had standing water in the vineyard for too long," said Staggs.

Black Spanish grapes are immune to Pierces disease which occurs in the southern part of the United States. When the temperatures drop below freezing, the vines will go dormant. 

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