A Trip to a Vineyard!

We recently got a chance to go to a local vineyard and pick our own grapes.  It was such a great experience! The vineyard was right on a lake and just beautiful, but the owner explained that the soil was terrible and not suited for much besides grapes.  I didn’t know grapes thrive in lousy soil.  These certainly do!

The kids loved picking grapes and were a bit too enthusiastic.  It doesn’t take long to fill a 5 gallon pail with grapes and that $1 a pound adds up!  🙂

Alex mostly munched!

We all got to learn how the grapes were grown, help use the crusher to get out the stems and then watch them work the press.

When we got home, we made grape juice and canned concentrated grape juice and grape jelly.  I’ve just recently learned to can after all of these years and I’m making sure to teach the kids so they don’t grow up being intimidated by the process the way I was.

The grape jelly was the best we’ve ever eaten, and we’ve eaten a lot of homemade and locally made jellies!  Maybe it was because these were wine making grapes and just a little differently flavored.  I’m not sure, but the jelly is a beautiful magenta color on bread and it’s just scrumptious.  I didn’t take a picture of that, though, so you’ll have to just imagine it.  😉

All in all, it was a really fun and educational experience.  We talked about everything from garden zones to phytonutrients to how canning works to wine making.  We’re even talking about planting some grapes next year!


9 thoughts on “A Trip to a Vineyard!

  1. It’s about 8 miles from us and it’s a private hobby farm they planted a couple of years ago since their friend mentioned the soil was too lousy for anything but grapes and they thought they would give it a go. They ended up with far more grapes than they could use and so they opened it up to public picking for two weekends. Apparently they sold a couple of thousand pounds in that time! I think they’ll do it again next year.

    The owner said they started it just to make wine for themselves and bottled about 150 bottles of wine last year. I was thinking they must drink a lot of wine! 🙂 I’m sure they give it as gifts and such. He opened a bottle from last year and let me have a glass and showed me his vats in the garage and everything too.

    I’ll let you know next year if you want to join us. There’s also a vineyard for a MN winery near Redwood Falls that does stuff with the public all the time. We toured it last summer and they invited us to come at harvest time, which is just about now, and do a tour. Let me know if you’re interested in seeing if we can do that together!


  2. What a great adventure! I’d like to find out if any of the vineyards around here would offer such a fun experience.

    I love that you started canning, and you’re involving your kids. I’ve been interested in canning with my boys, but I’m one who is a bit intimidated by the process. How did you get started?
    .-= Michelle´s last blog ..Fall Fun with Grandma Karen =-.


  3. You are an inspiration to me! I love your blog. I live in the Twin Cities…if they do offer grape picking next year please blog about it…I would love to take my son!
    I am afraid to can. I never learned that while growing up, so I’m nervous to try. Seeing those beautiful jars makes me want to try!
    Thanks for everything!
    .-= Barbara´s last blog ..A Spark! =-.


  4. Oh thanks, Barbara! As for canning, I was always intimidated too, but it’s just science. 🙂

    I’ll post in advance if they do grape picking again next year. It is fun!


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