Harvest Season Underway at Mawby Vineyards

Harvest season is well underway at vineyards on the Leelanau Peninsula.

Mawby Vineyards says there’s lot of work that goes into a grape harvest.

Right now, they’re working on the next batch of sparkling wine, picking grapes for their pinot noir wine.

A crew of 15 workers will pick eight tons of grapes in just three hours.

Mawby says they pick earlier for bubbly than they would for wine because they want the fruit to have a little less sugar.

“For bubbly, we want to handpick. There are machines that pick grapes from the vine. But for bubbly, we want the juice from right when that berry is cracked,” said Mike Laing of Mawby Vineyards and Winery.

Machines will press the juice for three hours before it’s stored in temperature-controlled tanks for several weeks for the fermentation process.

It typically turns into the wine you can buy off the store shelf in about three years.