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Texoma Winemakers Adapt Practices to Drought

California's drought is making national headlines for drying up vineyards and winemakers' way of life. Winemakers here in Texoma say while our drought has thrown a wrench in their production, they're changing the ways they do things so they can continue to produce the same great product they always have while making sure every drop counts.
Texoma winemakers are changing their practices to make sure their businesses stay fruitful during this terrible drought.

"We're actually able to water the whole vineyard with the two wells we have on the property," Rachel Cook, vineyard manager at Blue Ostrich Winery, says.

"One of the things that we've done is make varietal selections that are more tolerant of our hot, dry weather," Patrick Whitehead, winemaker and owner of Blue Ostrich Winery, says.

At Blue Ostrich, which is near Saint Jo, they're relying on Mediterranean grape styles.

"Things like tempranillo, which is a grape from Spain that thrives in our hot summers," Whitehead says.

At Arché Winery, they're now only growing rhone varietals.

"Rhone is the hottest part of France; therefore, those vines do very well here. We only have to water them a minimal amount, especially with the new rootstock that we're using," Grayson Davies, winemaker at Arché Winery, says.

Arché vineyard managers are now growing their grapes using above ground rootstock.

"That way we're able to basically minimize the amount of water we have to apply," Davies says.

Blue Ostrich and Arché wineries each use drip irrigation systems so they can be water conscious and get the most of the water they do use.

With no definite end to the drought in sight, managers at Arché say they plan to dig up their current grapevines and put in subterranean irrigation lines on all their plants to tailor them to the new extremely dry conditions.

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