Prospective Wine Grape Growers Workshop January 25, 2011

A Prospective Wine-grape Grower Workshop will be held January 25at the Texas AgriLife Research & Extension Center in Stephenville, located at 1229 U.S. Highway 281 North.

Registration will begin at 8:30 am, and program presentation will take place from 9a.m.-3p.m.

“The workshop is a one-day educational program designed to provide an overview of the unique requirements and economic risks associated with establishment and operation of a commercial vineyard in Texas,” said Fran Pontasch, AgriLife Extension viticulture advisor for North Texas.

Pontasch and Dusty Timmons, AgriLife Extension viticulture advisor for West Texas, will provide program instruction. Pontasch said, weather permitting, a discussion during the workshop would take place in the AgriLife Extension vineyard at the Center.

Pontasch said the program was created to address the most common concerns potential grape producers may have prior to committing valuable resources toward a commercial vineyard enterprise. Program topics include: necessary viticulture expertise, vineyard site selection, risk factors, vineyard labor requirements and vineyard economics.

“The program will help prospective growers decide if grape growing is a good fit for their farm and lifestyle, and what they would need to do or consider for their vineyard to be commercially successful,” she said.

She added that if an individual decides to plant a commercial vineyard, AgriLife Extension also offers more programs for grape growing in Texas.

The fee for each workshop is $125 per person or $200 per couple, and includes educational materials and lunch.

Registration for the workshop can be completed through AgriLife Conference Services at their website,

The workshop serves as a prerequisite for application to the Texas Viticulture Certificate Program offered by Texas Tech University and AgriLife Extension. For more information on the certification program, go to and see Educational Opportunities.

For more information, contact Pontasch 254-968-4144 or<mailto:fmpontasch@ag.tamu.

About Laura Miller

Laura M. Miller is the Texas AgriLife Commercial Horticulture Extension Agent for Tarrrant County. She provides informal educational programs and problem solving services to all aspects of the commercial horticulture industry, from green industry professionals to fruit, vegetable, and ornamental plant growers. Prior to taking on her present position in March 2008, she was a University of Florida/IFAS Extension Agent for seven years. A sixth generation Texan, she’s a graduate of Eagle Pass High School who earned a Bachelor of Science in Horticulture and a Master of Education in Agricultural Education from Texas A&M University in College Station.
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