Youngblood Vineyard has paired up with The Whitney in downtown Detroit to create a hands-on winemaker experience for metro Detroit patrons.
It starts with participants being transported to Youngblood Vineyard in northern Macomb County Sept. 20 to harvest for three hours. Patrons return again in January 2021 for a barrel tasting of Youngblood’s 2020 collection, with a third visit in June 2021 to sample the bottled wines. The second and third dates are to be determined.
“I thought this idea was brilliant; I have never thought of something like this before,” says winery co-owner Jessica Youngblood. “People will purchase a ticket, and their ticket will count for transportation, gratuity and all food for the three events.”
The entire series runs $250. Customers are provided transportation to and from the winery and vineyard, and they’ll enjoy lunch from The Whitney served with Youngblood wines. They’ll also receive a wine of their choosing to take home after the series has concluded.
Due to COVID-19, space is limited. And The Whitney and Youngblood have implemented procedures regarding social distancing, sanitizing and mask wearing.
“All of the harvest equipment for the event will be sanitized, each person gets their own tool that has a number on it, and nobody shares tools,” Youngblood says. “People can wear gloves if they want to as well.
“It’s funny … all of our vines are placed 6 feet apart already, so we think it’s cute that the vines are socially distanced,” she says.
During harvest, one participant will be stationed on one side of a row of vines, with another person on the other to make sure no one is directly next to someone else during harvest. Tables are outdoors, where the winery is already set up for social distancing. Winery workers wear masks, which are optional for patrons when they attend.
For the second year in a row, The Whitney will also join Youngblood in hosting its ladies’ night event. Proceeds from the private dinner on Sept. 18 go to an organization that helps buy sports equipment for girls in the metro Detroit area. Top Detroit-area female chefs create a five- or seven-course meal, paired with a female winemaker’s wine — in this case, Youngblood’s.
“Last year was a phenomenal experience, and the event was sold out, so they wanted to do it again,” Youngblood says. “It … was our first year with the commercial wine, and being able to see my wine on the menu was really awesome because we had never done something like that.
“I’m excited to do it again, and just highlighting female winemakers and the culinary world is really neat.”
Tickets for harvest are available at Youngblood’s website.
For ladies’ night tickets, which are $125, click here.