JARED FIELDS • PICAYUNE STAFF
MARBLE FALLS — August brings more than just back-to-school shopping and triple-digit temperatures.
For Highland Lakes wineries, August means harvest season.
“We’re harvesting from now until the end of August and, if lucky, to early September,” said Laura Martin, owner of Perissos Vineyard and Winery in Hoover’s Valley near Inks Lake State Park. “We have one varietal that hangs two weeks longer than anything else.”
Many white grapes were harvested in late July. A few white varieties and the red grapes all will be harvested in the coming weeks.
And to welcome wine lovers, many wineries invite the public to harvests and grape-stomp festivals in August.
Perissos has two volunteer harvests that are limited to its wine club members. Other harvest information, and regular updates about the vineyard and winery, can be found at Perissos website, www.perissosvineyards.com, or its Facebook page.
Two area vineyards — Fall Creek Vineyards and Texas Hills Vineyard — have upcoming grape stomps that welcome the whole family.
The Fall Creek Vineyards Grape Stomp and Harvest Festival, near Tow, takes place on two Saturdays, Aug. 16 and 23, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
There is a wine tasting, a gourmet lunch, music and games. The stomping is free, but the lunch and tastings require tickets. Go to www.fcv.com/events for more information or tickets.
Texas Hills Vineyard, located one mile east of Johnson City, has its 14th annual Grape Stomp on two weekends: Aug. 16-17 and Aug. 23-24. The stomps are 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturdays and 12:30-4 p.m. Sundays. For more information, go to www.texashillsvineyard.com or (830) 868-2321.
Other area vineyards might not have grape stomp festivals, but they do offer incentives for people to come out and join the harvests.
Flat Creek Estate, located off of RR 1431 east of Marble Falls, monitors its grapes on a daily basis and notifies those on its email list just a day or two before harvest.
Owner Madelyn Naber said the white grapes have been harvested.
“Fabulous, great fruit. More than some of the more recent years,” she said of the harvest so far. “Our wine maker has got a big smile on his face right now.”
Grapes thrive in Texas because of the heat, and Naber said the rains in the Hill Country this year came at the perfect time.
“We had nice rain at appropriate times, and then it was hot and dry — exactly what (the grapes) need,” she said.
Hot and dry conditions before harvest, she said, concentrate the flavors in the grapes to produce ideal wines.
Go to www.flatcreekestate.com to sign up for email updates about upcoming Flat Creek Estate harvests.
Similarly, Spicewood Vineyards also updates its website and social media to let people know when its grapes will be harvested.
“We start our harvests at 7 a.m., and it goes to 11 a.m.,” said Delina Seist, Spicewood Vineyards’ wine club director. “We serve everybody lunch and a free bottle of wine for their help.”
For any harvest, Seist said participants should bring gloves, water and hats. Clippers and baskets are provided. Go to www.spicewoodvineyards.com or www.facebook.com/spicewoodwine for more about Spicewood Vineyards.
Like at other vineyards, Seist said the harvest is expected to be a good one.
“The grapes look absolutely phenomenal. It’s been a great year so far,” she said. “We’re looking forward to a great harvest.”
Area wineries and vineyards
Fall Creek Vineyards
Facebook: Search “Fall Creek Vineyards and Winery”
Flat Creek Estate
Facebook: Search “Perissos Vineyard and Winery”
Texas Hills Vineyard
Facebook: Search “Texas Hills Vineyard”