The fall season means a lot of things… colder temperatures, Halloweeen, hunting, but for a lot of Erie’s farmers, it means grapes.
Nick Mobilia of Mobilia Fruit Farms & Arrowhead Wine Cellars says, “We had a beautiful summer for grapes this year, the quality is going to be superb”. And, that seems to be the trend. Area farmers are transitioning into the fall season, pleased with their grape crop.
Tadd Burch, of Burch Farms, tells us, “As far as the quantity… looks like a very good crop.”
Burch Farms sells their concord grapes to Welch’s Processing Plant in North East. They plan to start picking those in about two weeks, as long as the sugar content is high enough. “The processors want that certain sugar level in those grapes, when it rains, it dilutes them.”
Farmers are crossing their fingers for sunshine and warm weather through October.
Now, there’s a variety of grapes growing across the area, but there are only a few that are ready for harvesting. One of those is the Fredonia grape… it’s sweet… it’s great for juices, jams, or you can eat it fresh.
Also ready for harvesting is the Niagara grape. “The Niagara grape is a juice grape, and now it’s becoming a very popular wine grape. We have 35 acres of them that we press.”
Arrowhead Wine Cellars pressed into their wine making season earlier this week. They’ll keep nearly 7,000 gallons of juice to make “Delicious… sweet white wine”.
They’ll seal up more than 200,000 bottles, labeled the same name as the grap Niagara.
“We like to promote the farm, so people know what we’re growing,” says Mobilia.
The Niagara Grape Harvest will last nearly eight weeks. “That’s your year’s work right there, now. That’s your harvest and that’s the best part of it.”
All of the juice you see being pressed in the video will be inside a bottle as wine and will be ready for sale in about three months.