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Texas Davis Mountains

Technical Summary

The Texas Davis Mountains viticultural area is located in Jeff Davis County, in the Trans-Pecos region of West Texas. Sitting just southwest of the Escondido viticultural area, this AVA with an area of approximately 270,000 acres, was the last in Texas to be recognized in the 20th century. This viticultural area is at the highest elevation of all Texas AVAs and is surrounded by the Chihuahua desert. The land within the boundaries of the AVA ranges between 4,500 feet (1,372 m) and 8,300 feet (2,530 m) above sea level. It was established in May of 1998.

Soils

The Davis Mountains AVA consists of 5 soil associations. Over 70% of the region is dominated by Rock Outcrop-Mainstay-Liv. Soil texture is predominantly silt loam and loam along areas of clay particularly at depths of 30-80cm. Most of this region is dominated by non-soil surface bedrock referred to as other. Available water capacity (AWC) ranges from values as low as 3cm to depths of up to 21cm while permeability rate is 5.44cm/hr. The average bulk density of the Davis Mountains AVA was 1.81g/cm3. Soil depths in the Davis Mountains average around 143cm in areas dominated by clay and clay loam. Areas with silt loam and loams have depths of around 49cm. The overall average depth of the region is 87cm. Loams are neutral to basic with pH ranges from 7.00-7.40 while areas dominated by clay are more acidic with pH value of 5.40. The average pH in the region is 6.82

Climate

The climate of this region is the most moderate in Texas but minimum temperature in the winter months show tremendous variation (high diurnal fluctuation) with temperature extremes. Minimum in the summer is more steady averaging around 12-15ºC. The average temperature seems to be driven by maximum temperature readings throughout the year. In the summer the average temperature is somewhat steady but again tremendous variation can be seen in the winter months. Average annual precipitation range for the regions is approximately 36-49cm of rain with the greatest precipitation in the months of August through mid November. Greatest precipitation seems to be in areas of higher elevation.

The Cumulative growing degree days (April-October, 10ºC base) values for the Davis Mountains AVA range between 1429 and 2672 days (ºC). There is no apparent trend in solar radiation throughout the region. Higher values of vapor pressure is experienced at lower elevations while areas of higher elevation exhibit lower vapor pressure. There is great variation throughout the region in number of frost days at higher and lower elevations throughout the Davis Mountains. Areas with higher elevations do exhibit greater number of frost days as compared to areas of lower elevation.

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