Kick-off to grape season at Mackinaw Valley Vineyard

By WEEK Producer

June 1, 2014 Updated Jun 2, 2014 at 9:38 AM CDT

MACKINAW, Ill. -- Grape season has officially started and Mackinaw Valley Vineyard held their annual kick-off festival this weekend.

Several wines and beers were available for tasting, including the wine made from grapes grown at their own vineyard.

The grape crop, like most, is very dependent on weather.

The owner says so far, this year has been a little humid. Grapes like drier weather, and they need a little more rain.

But too much rain can make or break the flavor of the berry.

"Weather last year was pretty good for grape growing. It was wet in the spring but it dried out pretty quickly and it was a nice summer for grape growing. We had a nice crop last year," said Mackinaw Valley Vineyard owner Diane Hahn. "The quality of the berries is what really counts, there's a lot of water in a year where there's too much rain. You want a drier grape so you have more juice that's more intense."

The Vineyard is open daily and from June through September there is live music every Saturday night, where you can taste the wines.

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