Carter Creek Invests in Resistant Grapes for New Vineyard

Jon McPherson winemaker at new Carter Creek Winery

If you’ve driven on Route 290 west of Johnson City this year, you’ve had to notice the activity on the north side of the road. The sign out front says Carter Creek Winery Resort and Spa. That in itself is great news. But, there’s much more noteworthiness to it than just that.

“Carter Creek is among the first vineyards in the country to receive the new vines – the Walker Clones of Paseante Noir and Errante Noir,” says Carter Creek winemaker Jon McPherson. “With these new vines [varieties created by breeding Vitis vinifera wine grape cultivars with American native Vitis arizonic], our estate vineyards will now be 100 percent Pierce Disease resistant.” PD, as it is known in the wine industry, is the scourge of Texas grape growing today and perhaps going hundreds of years in the past.

Carter Creek Estate Vineyard near Johnson City

McPherson continues, “The entire industry is very excited about these new grapes – which represent a visionary grape breeding project spearheaded by UC Davis. Ultimately, the PD resistant grapes will make viticulture more sustainable and create a high-quality wine. We are thrilled to be among the first early adopters of these vines, which will become increasingly prevalent as the industry has suffered over $100 million in losses in recent years due to this rampant disease.”

The deadly bacterium, Xylella fastidiosa, is spread by insects known as glassy winged sharpshooters and causes grapevine leaves to yellow or “scorch” and drop from the vine thus desiccating the plant to death. While common throughout many parts of the United States the disease is especially common in riparian zones bordering on wet areas like creeks and streams that provide an ideal habitat for these insects. McPherson notes, “Vineyards are often planted in close proximity to these areas because they are a source of water and nutrients – especially in the Texas Hill Country, which is known for its beautiful landscape with numerous rivers and streams,” he said.

For more on these U.C. Davis Walker PD resistant grapes that are now 94 to 97 percent vinifera and their wine characteristics from a Texas tasting, please click here: http://edibleaustin.com/index.php/people1/82-farmers/1943-chasing-the-silver-bullet – Chasing the Silver Bullet by Russ Kane.

Jim and Dawn Carter in their new vineyards at Carter Creek Winery

Researchers at UC Davis released the disease-resistant grape varieties in late 2019. According to McPherson, Carter Hospitality acquired the vines from Wonderful Nurseries in Wasco, CA. The nursery worked closely with UC Davis to help propagate and do field testing as these vines were being developed.

Does the Name McPherson Sound Familiar?

Jon McPherson is one of two winemaking sons of Clinton “Doc” McPherson who is known as the “Father of the Modern Texas Wine Industry” for his contributions in the 1970s in grape and wine research at Texas Tech University and the start-up of Llano Estacado Winery in Lubbock. Jon’s brother Kim McPherson has his winery McPherson Cellars in Lubbock.

About Carter Creek Winery Resort & Spa

The much-anticipated Texas counterpart to Temecula’s South Coast Winery Resort & Spa and Carter Estate Winery and Resort – which have emerged as among Southern California’s top wineries – Carter Creek Winery Resort & Spa is located between Johnson City and Fredericksburg, Texas, amidst the rolling hills and vineyards of Texas Wine Country. With a premier winery offering some of the region’s top varietals, Carter Creek also features 78 luxury villas, a pampering spa, a tasting room, a restaurant, an onsite microbrewer and an outdoor event center, which will feature top musical acts. The property’s vineyards have created award-winning Texas wines since 2016.

Located in the heart of Texas Hill Country, Carter Creek Winery Resort & Spa is slated to open Spring 2020 featuring 78 luxury villas, a pampering spa, outdoor pool, Old 290 Brewery restaurant, onsite microbrewery, a winery with two tasting rooms and outdoor event center, which will feature top musical acts. Carter Creek wines have been produced since 2016 in another nearby facility and have garnered many awards.

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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.