One East Texas business celebrating the heat

By Bob Hallmark - bio | email
Posted by Ellen Krafve - email

EAST TEXAS (KLTV) - Though the blistering hot weather is making most of us in East Texas miserable, one business is loving it right now. That's right, wineries and vineyards. This kind of dry hot weather is perfect for wine-grape growers. The intense summer heat could make it a banner year for wine makers while most plants are withering and dying in the intense heat.

East Texas grape vineyards are thriving.

"Grape vines really prefer dry weather especially the fruit because then we can develop really dry clusters when there's moisture in there and they're touching one another," Jeff Snead, owner of Los Pinos.

Los Pinos in Camp County has been in business for nine years, and Snead says the dry and intensely hot summer, is just what the doctor ordered.

"We get a dry year like this...perfect," said Snead.

One of the biggest benefits of it being hot and dry is that the grape vines are then laden with the fruit. In years when it's too cold or too wet that spells trouble.

"If it's too humid, it creates all kinds of fungus and the insects come out and they can get in there and cause all kinds of damage," explained Snead.

They need minimal water and heat helps the product.

"They really love the climate the long warm growing days," said Snead.

While he feels for traditional farmers who are struggling, Snead says the continued heat will pay off big for wine growers.

"Right now, we have a bumper crop going so we hope the weather will hold out," he said.

Snead says if you're feeling miserable because of the heat, there's a solution.

"They can come out and have a glass of wine and we've found that generally soothes their mood," he laughed.

Los Pinos will harvest their red grapes in about three weeks. The folks at Tyler's Keipersol Estates say the heat has been good for their vineyards as well. They expect an excellent harvest in three to four weeks.

©2009 KLTV. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.