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Texas: Rainstorms, Then Good News
 
05.27.2015
 
Flooding follows torrential rains on Memorial Day; Texas legislature passes wine and viticulture research funding
 
“texas
 
Guests at Becker Vineyards in Stonewall, Texas, took shelter in the cellar during a tornado warning Monday. The High Plains area of Texas has experienced heavy rains and storms in recent days.
Austin,Texas—In the past few days, the national news has been full of stories about heavy rains and flooding in Texas. While vineyards are usually planted on higher elevations, the rain has impacted both vineyards and wineries. “It’s crazy,” Ed Hellman, professor of viticulture at Texas Tech University and the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension told Wines & Vines. “We’ve gone from extreme drought to flooding. Across the state, we’re way above normal rainfall. The High Plains, especially, have seen more rainfall.”
 
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Growers Get Irrigation Insights
 
05.26.2015
 
Sonoma County event examines irrigation as well as water quality regulations
 
“irrigation
 
Mark Greenspan of Advanced Viticulture describes a sensor moisture probe that he uses to collect data to create irrigation plans.
Glen Ellen, Calif.—With little relief from the ongoing Western drought on the horizon—or in the weather forecast—the wine industry continues to grow more interested in reducing and improving water use.

To address that interest, the Sonoma Resource Conservation District, Sonoma County Winegrowers and other agencies held a vineyard irrigation efficiency and water quality management workshop May 20 to provide growers with the best and most up-to-date information about water use and regulations.

Mark Greenspan, principal with Windsor, Calif.-based Advanced Viticulture, discussed the technology and methodology he uses to reduce overall irrigation water while increasing irrigation efficiency and improving grape quality. The session took place at Benziger Family Winery, which has become well known for its Biodynamic and sustainable vineyard practices. The winery, which includes 100 acres of vineyards, is also one of Greenspan’s clients, and during a vineyard demo that was part of the event he estimated the Benzigers have reduced their water use by as much as 40% in the past few years.
 
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Wine Industry Metrics
 
Off-Premise Sales » Month   12 Months  
April 2015 $627 million
5%
$8,028 million
5%
April 2014 $595 million $7,623 million
     
Direct-to-Consumer Shipments » Month   12 Months  
April 2015 $184 million
17%
$1,890 million
15%
April 2014 $157 million $1,649 million
     
Winery Job Index » Month   12 Months  
April 2015 406
34%
252
19%
April 2014 302 212
     
 
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