I NEED TO
WASH/RINSE THE GRAPES?
WHERE IS YOUR FARM
Our farm is located near Waynesboro, VA
in the scenic Shenandoah Valley of Virginia - 25 miles west of
Charlottesville, VA, home of the University of Virginia and Monticello.
We are approximately 8 miles east of I-81 and 1½ miles south
I-64 off Exit #94 (Waynesboro/Stuarts Draft). Heading south on Route
340, look for a small vineyard by the road on the right. We sell our
grapes from the garage area by the white farm house, in behind the
WHEN ARE YOU OPEN?
Our season begins around the first of
September when we open the home stand for customers to come pick their
own or purchase ready picked grapes. We open at 8 AM, Monday through
Saturday, and close at dark. WE ARE CLOSED ON SUNDAYS. For
pick-your-own or small quantities of ready-picked grapes, you do not
need to call. If you wish to purchase more than a bushel of
ready-picked grapes, it is good to call ahead so we can have them ready.
HOW LONG DOES THE
The length of harvest depends on
several factors - the size of the crop, the quality of the fruit, and
the volume of orders. As a general rule, we have grapes through most of
HOW DO I CARE FOR MY
Concord and Niagara grapes are more
perishable, due to high sugar content, than the California type grapes
sold through grocery stores. Concord and Niagara grape skins are much
softer. They need to be handled with care to keep skins from splitting.
We do our best during harvest to pick and handle the grapes with care.
They are moved to cold storage here on the farm as soon as they are
picked. It is important that they be refrigerated if one is planning to
keep them for a while. We've found that placing them in a sealed
container in the refrigerator keeps them fresh longer than simply
putting them in a bowl. They keep well for several weeks.
We advise using the grapes fairly
quickly after purchase. If one plans to work them up for jam, juice,
wine, or to be eaten in a day or two, they can be kept safely in a cool
dry area un-refrigerated; but, refrigeration is best.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE
BETWEEN THE CONCORD AND THE NIAGARA VARIETIES OF GRAPES?
The Concord and the Niagara varieties
of grapes are both North American in origin. Concords are blue in
color, and do not have a reddish glow in the sunlight when ripe. It is
a bit more difficult to tell when a Niagara berry is ripe. The berries
actually turn from a green shade to a somewhat yellow color when ripe,
and they are often referred to as a "white" grape. The amount of sugar
in the Concord and Niagara berries continues to rise over the month of
September. Both varities are very delicious to eat, great for making
juice, jams, and jellies, and for making wine. Each variety has a
unique flavor of its own. It's all a matter of taste as to which
variety is your favorite.
HOW DOES ONE EAT THIS
TYPE OF GRAPE?
Concord and Niagara grapes have what is
called a slip skin. The usual way of eating this type of grape is to
squeeze the berry and swallow the pulp whole, including the seeds, and
then throw away the skin. The pulp and skins are a bit sour tasting if
chewed, and of course, there are the seeds with which to contend, if
chewed. The sweetest part of the berry is the juice right under the
skin, so squeeze the berry firmly. There are other preferred ways of
eating this type of grape. Some folks will chew the whole grape and
swallow the skin, possibly spitting out the seeds.
WILL GRAPES, LIKE SOME
FRUITS, RIPEN FURTHER AFTER THEY ARE PICKED?
The answer is simply "No." Once the
bunch is picked from the vine, all ripening ceases.
HAVE THE GRAPES BEEN
Because of the high humidity and
temperatures during the late spring and summer months here in the
eastern United States, it is necessary to spray grapes to control
fungal diseases. Downey Mildew, Powdery Mildew, and Black Rot are three
of the primary diseases to be controlled in Niagara and Concord
varieties of grapes. Also, there are a number of insects that need to
be controlled as well. Among others, the Japanese Beetle and Grape
Berry Moth are the primary insects that do damage to our grapes. We
follow the Pest Management Guide issued by the state for our spraying.
We have found over the years that watching the weather and spraying at
critical times allows us to get by with spraying less often and with
less spray material. We try to do a good job of spraying early in the
season. When this is done, we have found that we do not need to spray a
number of the later season sprays, the sprays that would result in
residue buildup on the berries. Typically, our last sprays are put on
at the end of July, and our harvest begins in early September,
providing at least a month of rains and sunlight to the bunches before
they are harvested.
DO I NEED TO
WASH/RINSE THE GRAPES?
Unlike more firm
fruit, a bunch of grapes is very
difficult to wash. Rinsing of the grapes can be done, but probably
won't do more than what multiple rains and sunlight already do
naturally for breaking down possible pesticide residue that may be
found on the berries. Again, we do not apply the later cover sprays in
order to keep spray residue to a minimum. If there is still concern
about ingesting the spray residue, try the typical way of eating this
type of grape, as explained above, by squeezing out the middle and
throwing away the skin.
Visiting our Virginia Vineyards
If you are interested in visiting our
grape farm, please see
If you have any
questions not answered above, please
feel free to