Texas AgriLife Extension Service will co-sponsor the 18th annual Gulf Coast Grape Growers' Field Day on Feb. 12 in Cat Spring, about 75 miles west of Houston.

The field day will be held at the Cat Spring Agriculture Society Hall, located at 13035 Hall Rd. It will begin with registration at 8:30 a.m. Presentations and activities will be from 9 a.m.-4 p.m.

“We hold this field day annually to inform and benefit both the novice and experienced grower, and to introduce them to the latest in vineyard research, practices and products,” said Fritz Westover, AgriLife Extension program specialist, viticulture. Westover serves as viticulture advisor for the Gulf Coast and South Texas regions, as well as providing statewide coordination and supervision for the Extension Viticulture Team.

Additional program sponsors are the Austin County Grape Grower Committee and several area vendors.

This year’s meeting will focus on the Blanc du Bois wine grape. Topics will include the wine sensory and wine-making techniques related to this Texas white wine grape, as well as a review of its history. Additional presentations will address grape pest management, irrigation management and an update on Pierce’s disease research.

The program’s keynote speaker will be Dr. Charles Sims, professor of food science and human nutrition from the University of Florida. Sims has collected samples of Blanc du Bois grapes from throughout Texas and has performed sensory and chemical evaluations on the wines produced from them.

Other program speakers will include experts from AgriLife Extension and the Texas Wine and Grape Growers Association.

A minimum of three continuing education units will be available to licensed pesticide applicators.

Registration cost, which includes lunch, beverages and a wine social, is $20. All registration for this year’s field day will be at the door and must be paid in cash or by check.

For more information, contact Westover at 281-855-5608 or fawestover@ag.tamu.edu.