We had a grape time this week. We drove the Adventure Subaru to Arkansas’ wine country. We explored Post Winery in Altus, Arkansas to learn about it’s harvest season. The Post family has cultivated and harvested their grapes since the late 1800s. Over 100 years later, their day still begins just before sunrise during the end of summer.
"So it’s usually about the month of August, and we’ll pick all 8 varieties during that time. And, then we have about a 10 day gap for our muscadines to pick up," said Tyler Buelow, the Vineyard Manager at Post Winery.
The two different crops, grapes and muscadines, are actually very similar. We learned that the biggest difference is how each is grown. Sixty-five of the vineyard’s acres are for muscadines, but the other thirty-five are for the hand-harvested grapes, including the Arkansas state grape.
The native grape cynthianna can be cut straight off the branch. They grow in little clusters, and are later made into a dry wine. They taste so incredibly fresh that you can eat them straight off the vine.
Before the grapes can be harvested, they first need to be sampled row by row to find the perfect levels of sweetness and acidity.
Buelow said, "The way we go through and sample: arbitrarily, we’ll go through and sample, walk each row. I usually like to do 100 to 125 berry samples."
Then, it’s time to get to work. We first cut the grapes off the branch, so that they can be collected.
"We’ll send a tractor through each row with a trailer behind on the back with two bins. And, then we’ll dump from the lugs. And, then we’ll circle our way through the way until we make it out at the end," said Buelow.
The tons of fruit are taken to the winery down the road, where the grapes ferment or are pressed. The winery has daily wine tastings where you can enjoy the freshly made bottles of wine, or grape juice, after the year of hard-work.
Buelow expressed, "You know, what I say is that this is our 'Superbowl'. We work all year long just for when this hits."
With Adventure Arkansas, and harvesting the grapes Where You Live, I’m 5NEWS Meteorologist Sabrina Bates.
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Segment Sponsored By: Adventure Subaru