Newsom Grape Day 2013: It’s Game Time Around Here


Newsom Grape Day 2013: It’s Game Time Around Here

Its nearly time for the annual Grape Day at Newsom Vineyards in Plains, Texas. Dr. Ed Hellman from Texas AgriLife has put together a great program including notables such as Dr. Keith Striegler (Flint Ridge Winegrowing Services), Greg Bruni (Executive Winemaker and VP at Llano Estacado Winery) and himself. There may also be  a legislative speaker for lunch. When I asked the organizer Neal Newsom if things were ready, he said simply, “It’s pretty much game time around here!” And, it better be as the event is schedule for April 26th.

There will also a catered BBQ lunch. Its all free but they are hoping to get donations to offset the cost of lunch.

I’ve been to at least a couple of Neal Newsom’s Grape Days before and they are great networking opportunities with the who’s who of Texas winegrowing. I’d reckon that if you added up all the years of Texas vineyard experience on hand from old timers to newbies, there will be a over a 150 years of experience to suck in. That would get you back to the days when phylloxera struck down the French and European vineyards and when Texas native rootstock road-in in T.V. Munson’s rucksack to save the day. You never know who might show up.

Nolan Newsom, Kim & Doc McPherson, Bobby Cox

I asked Neal Newsom how long he’s been holding his Grape Day meetings like this one. Neal said, “I’m not really sure when we started, but it must have been about 1989 with Dr. George Ray McEachern’s and Dr Lipe’s help. They were just turn-row meetings originally. As I recall, Mom cooked for everyone!”

Neal Newsom, Newsom Vineyards

On the benefits of attending, Neal added, “It’s the best place to network if you’re thinking about grape growing or winemaking. It’s also the best place to be if you’re already in production. There will be lots of folks looking to buy fruit and others looking for wineries to purchase theirs. Most of Texas grapes comes from within 60 miles from here, so it’s the best way to see lay of the land, so to speak. You’ll get a good feel for what commercial production is like.”

Cliff Bingham, Bingham Family Vineyards

To participate in Newsom Grape Day, RSVP to Neal Newsom for the lunch:

As they said in the TWGGA announcement for this event…”So come spit in the dirt and see how its done in West Texas. If you are the least bit interested in making wine or grapes [in Texas], this is the place to be.”

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Newsom Grape Day Schedule

April 26, 2013

8:00 – 9:00 Registration

9:00 – 9:15 Welcome – Neal Newsom

9:15 – 10:15 Mechanized Balanced Cropping: A Strategy to Reduce Crop Loss from Adverse Weather Conditions – Dr. Keith Striegler, Flint Ridge Winegrowing Services

10:15 – 10:45 Break & Vineyard Equipment

10:45 – 11:15 Clarification of Unfermented White Juice Using Flotation – Greg Bruni, Llano Estacado Winery

11:45 – 12:00 Newsom Scholarship Recipients

12:00 – 1:00 Lunch

1:00 – 1:30 Tempranillo on the High Plains – Neal Newsom, Newsom Vineyards

1:30 – 2:15 Alternative Grape Varieties – Dr. Ed Hellman, Texas A&M AgriLife and Texas Tech Univ.

2:15 – 3:15 A Viticulturist’s Perspective on Grapevine Virus Problems and Solutions – Dr. Keith Striegler, Flint Ridge Winegrowing Services

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Love to taste, talk and tweet about Texas wines and where they are in the global scheme for wines. After all that's the only way they will reach the full potential.

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