Kurt and I left Holland, stopping briefly in Saugatuck (love that place!), before scooting down to Berrien Springs for some grape picking. Since I discovered concord grapes a few years ago, I make an effort to come out every fall (sometimes more than once) to pick concords. When they’re at their ripest (around early October) you can smell them as you’re driving around. They are by far my favorite grapes and I’m so fortunate to have them available so close by.
Our first stop was at Pete’s U-Pick. It seemed like it’d be a big place on yelp (my go to source) but it ended up being one lady standing in front of her barn. She only had white grapes (I was bummed about that) and pointed us around the barn to get some. She gave us clippers which was cool. It didn’t take long. I was anxious to get to my concords so we didn’t stay long. But she was super nice and chatty and told us how the vineyard had been in her family forever.
From there we went to Lemon Creek Winery which was just around the corner. They had a farmers market and Kurt discovered that they had concord grapes we could pick. This lady drove us on her tractor, almost like a hay ride, out to the vineyard which wasn’t too far away but a bit of a walk. She pointed us towards the concords while she picked up another group to take them back. We were then the only ones out there which was nice.
Took lots of pics and picked a bunch of concords even though they weren’t really ripe yet. When she came back to collect us about 15 minutes later, we discovered red and small white grapes. We asked if we could pick those, too, and she said of course and drove away. The red ones tasted like ripe concords while the small white ones reminded me of champagne. We picked a ton of each then ended up walking back to the farm.
After buying our grapes (think it was under $10), we went into the wine tasting part of things. I wasn’t impressed by their lack of attention and acknowledgment when we walked in. Maybe we were looking a little grungy having just picked grapes and it being all humid out but still. Unfriendly which surprised me. We did do a wine tasting (at $8 a piece!!) and maybe bought a bottle but that was it.
Drove the rest of the way home in the rain, getting stuck a bit in Indiana. Took route 12 most of the way through the bottom half of Michigan, stopping at John’s Farm Market right before the Indiana border to pick up green beans, peppers, apples and some more yummies that I didn’t manage to get before. Took route 12 past Michigan City and got on I-94 (into stop and go traffic) right before Gary. It was raining pretty hard, too, and we were both anxious to get home.