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Worsening Texas drought taking a toll on wineries

At Solaro Estate Winery, they've felt the effects of hot and dry conditions. After losing some vines, they're changing the way they plant their grapes.

AUSTIN, Texas — The hot and dry days continue in Central Texas. Many industries have felt the impact.

Central Texas wineries have lost crops, but some, like Solaro Estate Vineyard and Wineries, are finding ways to adapt to the hot and dry conditions.

Viticulturist at Solaro Erica Fritz said they've changed the way they plant their vines. 

RELATED: Ongoing drought conditions hurting Central Texas farms

"A new drought-resistant rootstock," she said. "So that we don't have to give them quite so much water. So they'll, you know, push their roots down a little bit further so that they can get their own water."

The goal of this new rootstock is for the vines to not rely on them for water. Instead, they find it themselves. Also, Fritz said, the harder the plant works, the better the grape.

RELATED: Texas ranchers rush to sell cattle amid drought

"The grapes themselves are going to be better," she said. "So, you know, whenever you get great grapes throughout the world, they all need to kind of suffer a little bit. So you want them in a little bit of a strenuous environment."

Under these conditions, the yield will be less, but the quality will be higher. Fritz said many of their vines died last year because they couldn't get enough water.

Now, they will wait for three to four years for their new vines to bear fruit. In the meantime, they'll be sourcing their grapes from other vineyards they manage in the Hill Country.

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