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Texas Hill Country
The Texas Hill Country viticultural area is located in portions of McCulloch, San Saba, Lampasas, Burnet, Travis, Williamson, Llano, Mason, Menard, Kimble, Gillespie, Blanco, Hays, Kendall, Kerr, Edwards, Real, Bandera, Bexar, Comal, Guadalupe, Medina, and Uvalde counties, in the State of Texas. This AVA was established in December of 1991, covers approximately 9 million acres, and is the second largest AVA in the United States and the largest AVA in the state. Located north of San Antonio and west of Austin, this area sits on the Edwards plateau. Surrounded by a number of hills and steep canyons, the elevation ranges from 130m to 738m. The areas of lowest elevation are in the south and north east end of the region. Higher elevations are experienced in the central parts of the AVA and along the western edge.
The Texas Hill Country consists of 57 different major soils associations in the Texas Hill Country AVA and the major soil texture types in the hill country AVA include clay loam, clay, and sandy clay loam. With such a vast variety of different soil associations making up several different texture types, there is a wide range in values of AWC. This ranges from 2cm in some areas to as high as 34cm in others with an average value of approximately 16cm The average soil permeability rate of the region is approximately 2.73cm/hr with average soil bulk density of 1.65g/cm3. The same large variation exists for soil depth; the low being 30cm and the high being 152cm with an average depth of 103cm. Average pH value of the soils is approximately 7.15 but values ranges from 6.20 to 8.10.
The climate is subtropical, with cool winters and hot summers. The annual precipitation values for the region range from 84-124cm with the most precipitation experienced during the month of September. The minimum temperatures are dominated by tremendous variation (high diurnal fluctuation) in the winter months and more steady temperatures throughout the summer. Minimum temperature extremes and frost is experienced in March with temperatures dropping to as low as -10ºC.
The Cumulative growing degree days (April-October, 10ºC base) in the Texas Hill Country AVA ranges from 2658 to 3377 days (ºC). Areas of higher elevation experience greater solar radiation throughout the year in the Texas Hill Country AVA and higher vapor pressure is experienced in areas at lower elevations.
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