Grape Picking at St. Croix Vineyards


Tom and I enjoyed an afternoon of grape picking at St. Croix Vineyards on Saturday. The staff at the Vineyards started us off with lunch and wine, then we headed out into the vines for a lesson in picking.


We used clippers to remove the bunches of grapes and any dried or bird/bee eaten ones in the bunch. All grapes–good or bad–had to be removed so the vines would know it was time to get ready for winter. Bad ones were dropped unceremoniously to the ground while the worthy grapes were tossed into yellow lugs, for easy collection later.

I wore my own gloves, but most of the volunteers worked bare-handed. Pickers who are paid by the pound, according to the vineyard staff, tape metal talons to their fingers to enable them to pick quickly, Wolverine-style. We were glad we weren’t being paid by the pound.

Martha Combines Two Lugs Grapes

At the end of the day, we were repaid for our hard labor with two bottles of wine each – that’s a half a bottle of wine an hour. Not bad for an afternoon’s work.

Tom loading the wine

marthaandtom's Grape Harvesting at St. Croix Vineyards photoset marthaandtom’s Grape Harvesting at St. Croix Vineyards photoset


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6 comments on “Grape Picking at St. Croix Vineyards”

  1. Aunt Sue 28 September, 2009 at 11:27 am

    Looks like fun!

  2. Crystal 30 September, 2009 at 3:45 pm

    Great idea! How did you find out about this? Do they do it every year?

  3. Martha 30 September, 2009 at 6:04 pm

    We found about about picking from a friend who does this annually. I’m happy to pass on the email address where you can request to be on the list (I’ll email you, Crystal).

  4. Amy 3 October, 2009 at 10:49 am

    Martha–what a fun blog–great pictures that told the story. Tom looks pretty happy with the day’s pay!

  5. Ruth 24 July, 2010 at 7:12 pm


    My friends and I are interested in picking grapes this fall. How do we find out where to go and who to contact to find out when the picking starts. I have heard it is a great experience.


  6. Martha 25 July, 2010 at 12:02 pm

    If you’d like to volunteer at St. Croix Vineyards (just outside of Stillwater) just email and ask them to put you on their email list for volunteer harvesting.

    Hope you have a chance to try it!

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