More than 20 wineries along the shoreline of Lake Erie are preparing for their annual harvest.
We talked to one local winery about what the upcoming weeks will look like.
The sweet smell of concord grapes filled air in North East Thursday morning, which means it’s almost time to start picking.
Whether you like it dry or sweet, it’s time to gather those fleshly, round fruits. Grape farmers are preparing for their busiest time of year — the harvest.
More than 20 wineries that fill 53 miles of vineyards are a part of Lake Erie Wine Country, which is a national tourist destination in our own backyard.
“This region has 30,000 acres of grapes from the Pennsylvania border to New York. So, we’re known for our grapes and it’s a celebration of the harvest at the end of the year,” said Lauri Lewis, of Lake Erie Wine Country.
Nick Mobila, who is the co-owner of Arrowhead Wine Cellars and Mobilia Farms, told us their crops came in nicely this year.
“One good thing was the heat, but it was a little too hot. The good thing is all the bad storms went out over the lake or went up over the hill. I was sitting here and I go, ‘man, we don’t need that coming down here.’ You don’t need those high winds, you don’t need any hail because the high winds start breaking posts,” Mobilia said.
He added that they hardly had any trouble during the summer although there were some concerns. There were multiple smokey and hazy days due to the Canadian wildfires, but quality wise, every thing came out okay.
“There’s a big crop and I think everybody is anticipating the company bought a lot of new equipment to make things go easier like some of the companies are going bulk now, you’ll see more semis with those big tanks on them, so that going to make harvest go a little easier,” Mobilia said.
Lewis said that Lake Erie Wine Country is the largest grape growing region east of the Rockies.
“We as a region, we’re competing with California and people that don’t know what this region is all about. This region is producing wonderful wines that are winning in competitions across the United States, so you just have to come and see,” Lewis explained.
They plan to start picking grapes at Mobilia Farms as early as Monday and until early November.