Prospective Wine-Grape Grower Workshop on October 12 in Stephenville

D photographer Elizabeth "Spider Monkey" Lavin learned how to taste grapes.
D photographer Elizabeth “Spider Monkey” Lavin learns how to taste grapes.

How many of you have visited a small winery and gotten swept up in the romance of tending the vines and making your own wine? It’s happened to me on more than ten occasions. Ah, the cool morning breeze in your hair; the dogs and chickens running freely through the fields; sharing endless glasses of wine with happy customers. Snap!

On October 12th from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., the Texas AgriLife Research and Extension Center in Stephenville will host a “Prospective Wine-Grape Growers Workshop.” The workshop will be presented by Fran Pontasch and Fritz Westover of the Texas AgrLife Extension Service viticulture team. Pontasch is the team’s North Texas viticulture adviser and Westover serves as the Gulf Coast viticulture adviser.

They will present a real-life look at the most common concerns potential or small-scale producers may have prior to committing valuable resources towards a commercial vineyard enterprise. Topics will include necessary viticulture expertise, vineyard site selection, risk factors, and vineyard labor requirements and economics.

When the class is over, perhaps we can all discuss the dogs, chickens, and endless glasses of wine ideas. Details for the class below. 
Prospective wine-grape grower workshop set Oct. 12 in Stephenville

A “will be held from 9 a.m. -3 p.m. Oct. 12 at the Texas AgriLife
The center is located at 1229 North U.S. Highway 281.

“This workshop is one of many presented by the viticulture team statewide,” added Westover. “We also present advanced grower workshops which delve into even more detailed aspects of wine-grape growing and vineyard maintenance.”

The prospective growers workshop is a prerequisite for registration and acceptance into the Texas Tech Viticulture Certificate Program, he added.

Cost for the workshop is $125 per person or $200 per couple, and includes educational materials and lunch. Participants are requested to register on or before Oct. 9.

Online registration can be made through AgriLife Conference Services by going to their Web site, .

For more information, contact Pontasch 254-968-4144 or [email protected], or Westover at 281-855-5600 or [email protected] .


  • Jane

    Workshop or Workship? Mothership? Look for UFO’s while we sip wine?

  • OH, that is too good. You out kirked Kirk. Thanks.

  • Kirk

    I think there is plenty left for me … for example:

    A “will be held from 9 a.m. -3 p.m. Oct. 12 at the Texas AgriLife
    The center is located at 1229 North U.S. Highway 281.