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Escondido Valley

Technical Summary

The Escondido Valley viticultural area is located in Pecos County, Texas. This AVA covers approximately 32,000 acres along Interstate Highway 10 and was established in June of 1992. It was the fifth designated wine area in the state of Texas. The landscape of this American viticultural area is dominated by higher elevations in the south and considerably lower elevation in the north and northeast. The elevation ranges from 976m to 772m with an isolated peak at about 890m in the far north east end of the region.

Soils

Located in Pecos County, this American Viticultural Area is dominated by 3 soil associations with no distinct pattern of distribution. Soil associations include Ector-Rock Outcrop-Dev, Lozier-Rock Outcrop, and Reagan-Hodgins-Iraan Over 95% of the AVA's soil texture is loam and silt clay loam. The available water capacity (AWC) ranges from 14-26cm at depths of 100-250cm in silt clay loam but are considerably less for loams, ranging from 2-5cm. Average AWC in this region is approximately 9cm. The average BD and permeability of the soils in the region are 1.43g/cm3 and 6.14cm/hr respectively. Bedrock is encountered at a depth of about 152cm for silt clay loam but approximately at 45cm for loams. Soil pH is fairly consistent throughout, ranging from 8.10 to 8.20 with an overall average pH of 8.15.

Climate

The dominant trend of very high variation of temperature (high diurnal fluctuation) in the winter months is prevalent for maximum, minimum and average temperature. The summer months show considerably less variation (low diurnal fluctuation) with minimum temperatures around 15ºC, average temperatures around 31ºC but maximum temperature values are as high as 40ºC. Periods of extreme frost are experienced in mid March and late November along with some average temperature values in the spring dropping to almost 0ºC. The annual precipitation of this region is approximately 34-38cm of rain with the most precipitation experienced during the month of August in the southern parts of the AVA. September and October also experience relatively high amounts of rainfall.

The Cumulative growing degree days (April-October, 10 ºC base) values in Escondido ranged from 2767-3034 days (ºC). Solar radiation is greatest in this region in areas at higher elevation while those areas at lower elevation experience less solar radiation. Vapor pressure values are generally higher in areas of lower elevation throughout the Escondido Valley AVA. The trend in frost days is such that, at higher elevations there are greater number of frost days experienced in the regions and fewer frost days at lower elevations.

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