Lemon Creek Winery celebrates harvest

Published 4:56 pm Thursday, September 6, 2012

There are twice as many reasons to get excited for this year’s Lemon Creek Harvest Festival.

Not only is Lemon Creek celebrating its harvest season for the 17th year, it is also celebrating the 40th anniversary of WVPE, Michigan’s National Public Radio.

“They (WVPE) were looking for a venue to celebrate,” said Cathy Lemon, of Lemon Creek Winery. “We decided to join forces and do it all in one day.”

The dual festival is scheduled to run from noon to 6 p.m. Saturday at Lemon Creek Winery, 533 E. Lemon Creek Rd., Berrien Springs.

The harvest season, taking place each September through October, is an important time for area wineries as it determines the quality of the following year’s wine.

“The old saying is you can make bad wine out of good grapes, but you can’t make good wine out of bad grapes,” Lemon said.

The party will be held on the grounds of Lemon Creek Winery, where patrons will be offered wine tasting, live music, rides and grilled food. Live music will be performed from 1 to 6 p.m. by Mr. Jones and the Groove Tones. Hailing from Elkhart, Ind., the band plays an eclectic mix of funk, soul and classic rock. Guests can bring lawn chairs or blankets, purchase bottles of Lemon Creek wine and relax with a glass in hand while enjoying an afternoon of music.

Additional activities include hayrides through the vineyard and the opportunity to view the vineyards of Southwest Michigan from the view of a hot air balloon, weather permitting. The hot-air balloon will be a 60-foot tethered lift off, Lemon said.

“We had about 60 people go up last year,” she said.

Attendees will have the opportunity to purchase grilled food provided by Outdoor Kitchen, including brats, pulled pork and the Harvest Festival’s famous corn on the cob.

There will also be a $10 raffle for a two-hour balloon trip with proceeds going to National Public Radio.

Admission for the event is $10 per person for ages 21 and older (those younger than 21 are admittedfree with family) and includes a wine tasting tickets and a souvenir wine glass.

For more information, contact Lemon Creek Winery at (269) 471-1321.