A strong vintage despite late season challenges say experts
Brownfield, TX, October 23, 2019 – The 2019 wine grape harvest at Reddy Vineyards in the Texas High Plains appellation is nearing its conclusion with remaining Montepulciano expected to be harvested this week. A challenging but promising 2019 vintage started on August 9th at Reddy Vineyards.
On average, harvest in the Texas High Plains starts the last week of July and ends the first week of October. Known for its soaring elevation ranging from 3300-3700 feet and sandy loam soils, the Texas High Plains is widely considered the premier viticultural zone in Texas, producing over 85% of wine grapes for Texas wines.
“The early spring months provided the perfect conditions for vine development,” notes grower Dr. Vijay Reddy, owner of Reddy Vineyards, a leading supplier of premium fruit to dozens of wine producers throughout Texas. “We were fortunate to avoid late freeze that can affect early bud-breaking varietals during this critical period.”
Bud-break in white varietals such as Muscat Blanc and Pinot Grigio occurred on March 28th which was close to average timing. Sangiovese and Tempranillo followed closely. Cabernet Sauvignon, Mourvèdre, and Montepulciano had the last bud-break around April 10th. Flowering of many varietals started towards the end of April. Fruit set began the first week of May. While some vineyards further north of Lubbock saw their first hail events of the season in late May, Reddy Vineyards were unscathed. “The lack of weather hazards, just the right amount of rain and warm, dry conditions precipitated uniform fruit-set throughout the vineyard,” explains Dr. Reddy.
Warm and dry conditions continued through June and July. Temperatures remained moderate until the completion of veraison. “It was shaping up to be a historic vintage. We continued to manage the vine canopies closely and performed shoot thinning and leaf pulling on our estate vines before veraison to maximize quality,” said Akhil Reddy, who earlier this year continued the legacy of his father Vijay by launching Reddy Vineyards wines, the family’s own premium Reddy Vineyards estate wines.
Harvest began at Reddy Vineyards on August 9th with Viognier for some of Reddy’s clients. The Reddy’s first estate grapes followed by a few days on August 13th with the Viognier and Sauvignon Blanc. “The fruit looked amazing”, notes COO and resident Sommelier, Eric Sigmund. “The berries had a tremendous concentration of flavor balanced with the perfect level of acidity.”
A heatwave came through towards the end of August with heat peaking at 113 degrees. “The heatwave stalled sugar production in certain varieties for 4-5 weeks leading to a later harvest. Estate Merlot was harvested August 27th and Syrah was picked August 29th. Then a quick reprieve with a little rain on August 28th brought cooler temperatures and stabilization” notes Dr. Reddy.
Small amounts of rain continued sporadically through September with a storm bringing 60 mile an hour winds, bending some vine rows. Temperatures quickly rebounded into the 90s with ample wind which dried out any excess moisture in the canopy. This provided a late-season boost to sugar levels.
“September brought a number of challenges for vintners throughout the region yet we still saw great quality and are pleased with the wines we’re tasting in tank,” concludes Akhil Reddy. “Overall we are very excited to share the intensely beautiful flavors and excellent maturity of 2019 Reddy wines with our consumers.”
For more information about Reddy Vineyards, and to purchase the family’s first release of 100 percent, estate-grown, authentically Texas wines, visit www.reddyvineyards.com, or call (214) 247-6042.
Founded in 1997, Reddy Vineyards is a pioneer of the Texas wine industry. At 400 acres, Reddy Vineyards is one of the largest, and also the most diverse with 32 distinct varietals planted in the Texas High Plains winegrowing region. A fifth-generation farmer, Dr. Vijay Reddy holds a Ph.D. in Plant and Soil Science and is regarded as one of the state’s leading viticulturists. Under the leadership of his son, Akhil Reddy, Reddy Vineyards also produces world-class wines and seeks to continue to raise the reputation of Texas as a national leader of premium wine production. Read more about the family’s story, iconic vineyards and purchase Reddy Vineyards wines at reddyvineyards.com.
About the Texas High Plains AVA
Officially designated in 1993, the Texas High Plains AVA (American Viticultural Area) is the second-largest wine grape growing region in Texas and Terry County is the largest grape producing area of Texas. Its unique terroir is capable of producing premium grapes that are sought after by producers throughout multiple states. It is also home to the state’s leading vineyards, including Reddy Vineyards, which is located outside of the city of Brownfield, thirty minutes south of Lubbock.