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Harvest Time at Twin Meadows Winery #WinePW

It's harvest time at Twin Meadows Vineyard here in Madison, Missouri.  You might remember that I first wrote about this vineyard and winery when I introduced you to Kelly back in March.  I asked Kelly to walk me through harvest at the vineyard to share with all of you!  Welcome to the September edition of #WinePairingWeekend.  Today I will be pairing a seafood boil with an Apple Sangria made with apple wine from Twin Meadows Vineyard.  We are being hosted by Gwendolyn from Wine Predator.

Twin Meadows grows four varieties of grapes: Brianna, Golden Muscat, Chambourcin, and Concord. Each grape has its own harvest season. Picking begins mid-to-late August and ends in early October.  Many factors go into the harvest, some of which I will share later on.

Over the years family, friends, and patrons have observed and participated in the harvest and initial processing of the grapes.  Kelly hosts several Harvest Parties and makes a fun day of food, games, and a lot of picking.  

The grapes are harvested by using small pruning shears to snip the top of the grape cluster from the vine. For vigorous vined varietals with lots of foliage, teams of two work on opposite sides of the trellis to assist with holding up the foliage, snipping, and locating clusters of hiding grapes.  

When picked, grapes are place din totes at the base of the fines.  Runners pick up the totes after the row is completely picked.  They are taken to the processing area for destemming and to be crushed.

Vines are covered with netting in late July to keep the birds and wildlife from consuming the crop.

In mid-August, the grapes are being checked for brix (sugar level) and acidity levels using a refractometer. The Ph is tested to determine acidity. As the sugar and acidity levels approach the desired balance, the grapes are checked more often. Each grape has its own targeted brix level which is determined by the type of wine that will be made.  The harvest date is set, the grapes are uncovered, the totes are set out and tables with water, pruning shears, and other essentials are prepared. 

Guests are greeted with enthusiasm and appreciation!  People come and go during the harvest party. Lunch is served.  Gifts of grapes and wine are offered as appreciation for their time and talents.  

The full totes are loaded and taken to the processing room where they are weighed and the data is logged.  The totes are emptied into the crusher/de-stemmer where the grapes are crushed by pulling the juices and meat apart from the stems.  These are discarded into separate containers.  The juice is poured into fermentation vessels or a wine press.  

Climate and weather conditions for the year influences when the grapes are ready to be harvested.  Moisture, heat, humidity, wind, sunlight... all impact the quantity and quality of the grapes for the season. These play a role in the number of grapes, size of the clusters, and the timetable for the harvest.  Sunlight, for example, reduces bacteria, mold, and fungus and helps keep these from growing on the grapes.  Overcast days with excess humidity creates an optimal environment for these pathogens.  Missouri winemakers have their hands full when it comes to humidity!

Twin Meadows uses their grapes to make blushes, full-bodied red, dessert wines, spirits, and juice.  The grapes are also used to make jelly, sauces, pies, and table grapes. Check out their website to see their selections here.

I paired Twin Meadow's Caramel Apple wine with a shrimp boil.  We made a delicious Sangria-type wine and man, it was refreshing and delicious.  With fall harvest foods like corn-on-the-cob and potatoes with fresh shrimp from the Gulf, this was a wonderful harvest meal.  


Yield: 16
Author: Terri Steffes
Apple Wine Sangria

Apple Wine Sangria

The key to this simple sangria is starting off with an apple wine!
Prep time: 5 Mininactive time: 60 MinTotal time: 1 H & 4 M


  • 1 bottle Twin Meadows Carmel Apple wine
  • 8 c apple cider
  • 1 c "43"
  • 2 crisp apples, chopped


  1. Mix together all ingredients.  
  2. Store in the refrigerator until served.
  3. Serve on ice with an apple slice.


Chilling this sangria is important. Serve it over ice. For a delicious cocktail, add a shot of bourbon to a glass.



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Would you like to comment?

  1. A great recap of a harvest. It is such a wonderful time of the year. Looks like a fun pairing.

  2. This is a really good breakdown of what happens at harvest. Also, that shrimp boil looks fab.

  3. What a wonderful way to enjoy harvest. Shrimp boil and sangria sound like a wonderful way to spend an evening in the late summer!

  4. I have some fond memories of Chambourcin wines! I know grape harvesting is incredibly difficult work but your pictures make it look like such a jovial and fun event!


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