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Fredericksburg in the Texas Hill Country

Technical Summary

The Fredericksburg in the Texas Hill Country viticultural area is located entirely in Gillespie County, Texas, in the central part of the State approximately 80 miles west of Austin. It surrounds the town of Fredericksburg, which was settled by German immigrants in the nineteenth century. These settlers were the first to cultivate grapevines in the Texas Hill Country. This AVA covers approximately 70,400 acres and was established in January 1989. The AVA is over 200 miles (322 km) from the Gulf of Mexico, and feels little effect of the hot, humid, coastal winds.

Soils

Fredericksburg in the Hill Country AVA consists of 4 different soil associations but is heavily dominated by the presence of Luckenbach-Pedernales-Heaton which occupies over 90% of the region. The texture is approximately 90% clay loam with the other 10% consisting mostly of loam, silty clay and clay. Instances of bedrock occur at depths greater than 200cm with sandy clay loam occurring at depths that range between 200 and 250 cm. Available water capacity (AWC) values are between 13 and 25cm for most of the area but dominated by clay exhibit AWC values around 5-6cm with an overall average AWC of 14cm. Permeability and bulk density values average at 3.38cm/hr and 1.72g/cm3 respectively The average soil depth of the Fredericksburg viticultural area is approximately 107cm.The average pH of the Fredericksburg AVA is 7.93 but values range from 7.10 to 8.20. With the vast part of the region being covered by clay loam, the majority of the AVA has an average pH value of approximately 7.41.

Climate

As part of the Hill Country, the climate of Fredericksburg is subtropical, with cool winters and hot summers. Overall climatic trends within Fredericksburg are identical to those experienced in Bell Mountain AVA but the annual precipitation within the boundaries of Fredericksburg range from 78-89cm.

The Cumulative growing degree days (April-October, 10ºC base) in Fredericksburg are approximately 2743-2952 days (ºC). There is a general trend of higher solar radiation in areas of higher elevation throughout the region with high vapor pressure in areas of lower elevation. Areas of highest altitude experience a greater number of frost days as compared to those areas of lower elevation.

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