Read the full story at NPR.
On the High Plains in West Texas, hot winds blast through cotton fields as far as the eye can see.
In the middle of it all is a tiny vineyard.
Andis Applewhite is the owner. She’s an artist whose family has worked this land for a century. They once planted crops more typical of the neighborhood, like cotton and wheat. Applewhite decided to try something different: She put in a couple of acres of cabernet franc grapes.
“It’s fun,” says Applewhite as we stand in her fields. She inspects a vine that is starting to wrap itself around a trellis. “It’s looking like a real grape plant.”
But Applewhite has yet to harvest a crop. Over the past two years, something has caused her vines to twist and wither. And she’s not alone. Grapevines in Texas are being damaged by a seemingly invisible force.