Boots, barbecue and big belt buckles will forever be iconic emblems of the Lone Star State, but would you believe nowadays few things are more Texan than a glass of wine?
Morning Dose meteorologist Maria Sotolongo takes a short trip to the award-winning Wild Stallion Vineyards in Spring, Texas, to talk with husband and wife Larry and Karen Cress about owning a vineyard in the tough Texas terrain.
Despite its undeniable success in agriculture; it wasn't too long ago, many people believed it was nearly impossible to cultivate delicious wine in Texas. But in 2019, the state is ranked as the fifth largest producer of wine in the United States.
The Cresses, like many other successful vineyard owners, believe it wasn't that Texas needed better land— just a higher perspective.
"It's just a progression of people understanding the soil, the fertilizer— everything from the trellis up," Larry Cress said. "And understanding the business and the weather."
Wild Stallion sits on a sand bar between Willow and Spring Creeks. The land is vastly different from the rocky and shallow soil of the hill country, which is much closer to the soil in Europe.
"I've got 10 different things that I monitor— everything from rainfall to temperature," Larry Cress said.
He said his team uses about a half a gallon of water on each plant every other day.
"If it rains, I don't have to. But too much rain is a big problem," Larry Cress said.
Last year, the vineyard produced 19,000 pounds of grapes and corked about 7,000 bottles of wine. The Cresses show Texas vineyards aren't just impressive in the area of volume but also taste.
Wild Stallion is the creator of Laren's Wild Rosé— a sliver medal recipient of the 2019 Houston Rodeo Uncorked International Wine Competition Award— as well as several other award winners.
Larry Cress and his wife are confident in the state's booming wine market as new vineyards pop up each day in the hill country, throughout the Texas panhandle and along the Gulf Coast.
"With all the vineyards that are going on," Cress said. "In probably '20 or '22, we'll probably take over New York and be the No. 4 producer in the country."