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November 3, 2022 39 min

As a vineyard advisor across the United States, Fritz Westover, Viticulturist at Westover Vineyard Advising and host of the Virtual Viticulture Academy, has the opportunity to see a lot of different vineyards, varieties, diseases and climates. Much of his work in recent years is in Texas. This large state about the size of France has a number of challenges including rain that is not seasonal, Pierces Disease, late spring and fall freezes, hail, and poor water quality. Fritz and Craig, both former staffers with Vineyard Team, discuss a variety of practices that impact the long-term sustainability of a vineyard including leaching salts, why irrigation systems are important in wet climates, and the number one way to manage disease.


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Craig Macmillan  0:00 

Our guest today is Fritz Westover viticulturist with Westover Vineyard Advising and the virtual viticulture Academy. Is that right?


Fritz Westover  0:10 

That's correct, Craig.


Craig Macmillan  0:11 

He's got some other things in the in the works that we'll maybe talk about a little bit later. Fritz and I have known eachother for a long time. And actually, we had the same job


Fritz Westover  0:19 

That we did that we did that we did.


Craig Macmillan  0:21 

He is based in Texas, lives in Houston. But he works in all parts of the country. You're you're all over the place. What different states do you work in in these days?


Fritz Westover  0:30 

Yeah, Craig, thanks, again, for having me on the Sustainable Winegrowing Podcast, love to be here. Actually, it's my second time. So this is really an honor to get to get invited back. I didn't screw it up too bad the first time. So I appreciate that. You know, to answer your question, I work primarily in Texas, that's where I'm currently office in Houston. Got a great airport. So I do go to other parts of the country. The second largest area working would be Georgia, primarily in the north mountains of the state of Georgia, I also do some consulting a little bit in some of the states in between Louisiana, Alabama, and some virtual advising that I've started doing, where I'm actually, you know, on site to see the site to understand it, but I'm not there on a frequent visitation basis, like I am, in, let's say, Texas, or Georgia. So those are the primary areas I'm working. And they have a lot of things that overlap. And they have a lot of differences. So the cool part is I get to see a lot of different scenarios, varieties, climate and challenges.


Craig Macmillan  1:26 

So let's, let's start with Texas, obviously, we're very interested in sustainability, and sustainable approaches to problems, roadblocks, obstacles, issues, and every region that I'm familiar with anywhere, they have different sustainability issues and hurdles, you know, you say like, oh, here, we're doing this in a sustainable way to do it. And these other people, people are like ah that't not going to work for us. So they're trying to find a different way. So in the case of Texas, which I understand is now not just the hill country, it's quite a broad spectrum of climates and soils and whatnot. What are some of the challenges that Texas growers and these different regions are facing?


Fritz Westover  2:03 

Yeah, great question. And, you know, if you look at Texas, it's a state roughly th

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