With more than 12,000 vines over 14 manicured acres, Holy-Field Winery has begun its annual grape harvest to be used in making nearly 7,000 gallons of wine this year. As a tradition, Holy-Field invites community volunteers to join their Picking Sundays to help bring in the crop. Spread over several Sundays through early October, the harvest crews enjoy making new friends while harvesting. They also are served a farm-fresh lunch provided by Holy-Field.  

“This year marks our 23rd harvest and 23 years of our annual Picking Sundays,” said Holy-Field owner Michelle Meyer. “The vineyard is the greenest green and the grapes are going to be sweet. We are eager to get our pruners and buckets ready for another harvest. It is our favorite time of the year.”

Many volunteers make the harvest an annual event with family and friends. Volunteers also learn about the agriculture behind growing the grapes and the different varieties of grapes that are produced on the vines. They also have the opportunity to taste the wine as the day’s harvest is pressed in the cellar. The tradition of the community harvest is a midwestern tradition.

Many groups return year after year to help with the harvest because they enjoy it so much. Each volunteer receives a commemorative T-shirt and gets to know other members of the picking crew during the harvest activities. To add to the fun, harvest fairies are hidden in the vineyard. Volunteers who find those fairies go to the front of the lunch line.  

Ken and Donna Miller of Tonganoxie volunteered recently to be part of the picking crew. They brought three other members of their family as well, including 7-year-old Alex Taylor, who was picking for the first time.

“Those grapes are delicious,” Alex said of the vignole grapes that were harvested that day.  

Ken Miller said he and his family enjoy being at the vineyard. They try to attend the harvest each year.  

“It’s a fun activity that the whole family can do,” he said.

Picking begins at 8 a.m. on Sundays through Oct. 1. All dates are dependent upon Mother Nature. In the event of cancellations, volunteers will be notified via phone. Saturday dates will be added if needed.

Reservations are required so the correct amount of food can be prepared for lunch. Contact Holy-Field at 913-724-WINE (9463) for available dates and additional details. 

“Harvesting is always a fun experience for the whole family and we hope to share it with you,” Meyer said.   

Beth Kornegay is a freelance writer covering news and events in the city of Basehor. If you have a story idea, email her at gabi_kansas@yahoo.com