Finding the Perfect Location and Choosing Which Varietals to Plant
Based on results from three small test vineyards that we had farmed previously — each located on different soil types –we determined that winegrapes ripened best in decomposed granite soils. We selected and moved to our land for the sole purpose of growing quality winegrapes in just that type of soil. We found it in Hoover’s Valley in the Texas Hill Country, near Marble Falls. In fact, Perissos is the only vineyard located in decomposed granite soils in the Texas Hill Country. We deliberately researched and studied which grapes would be best suited for our particular site. Then, we experimented with those varietals on a small scale to further determine whether or not they would ripen properly at our vineyard location. Finally, we put those grapes into the barrel/bottle. Once all that came together beautifully, we planted the best of those grapes on a commercial scale. This process is ever-changing and ongoing, which is one of the reasons we love it so much. New weather patterns, pests, diseases, etc. are ever challenging what we “know”, thus we remain humble and never go unchallenged in the vineyard.
Not for the faint of heart
Growing premium winegrapes well in Texas is an expensive endeavor. In any given spring we expend extraordinary amounts of energy to pull leaves in the vineyard canopy, to thin the crop for a proper balance of foliage to the grapes, to lovingly tie up the individual canes, and finally to install bird netting on 12.5 miles of vineyard trellis.
In all of our vineyard endeavors, we consider ourselves gardeners and stewards of the land – responsible for making our site more fertile for our grandchildren than it is presently. With each year’s harvest, vital nutrients are depleted from the soils. As such, each year we diligently rebuild the soil with organic composts, mulches and compost tea applications in order to add back to the soil in a responsible and sustainable manner. Essentially, we build our fruit from the ground up.
Varietals we grow:
The specific varietals that we grow commercially are: Aglianico, Tempranillo, Viognier, Syrah and Petite Sirah. Additionally, our 1.3 acre Library Test Block contains a host of other Italian, French, Portuguese, and Argentinian varietals that we grow experimentally before making larger commercial commitments. Our present vineyard has 16 acres of winegrapes. When you visit, you will drive in amongst them, which is a beautiful experience indeed!