LOWELL, MICH., - Janet and Andy Lawrence own a blueberry farm in Grand Junction, Michigan that's been in their family for 100 years. They've sold harvested blueberries for a long time. But six months ago, they added a new element to their business -- wine.
"We decided we wanted to develop a value-added product," Janet Lawrence said. "And it seemed like a natural thing since we're both wine drinkers. We got our license in February, so we've been making steadily since then."
None of Henry Heritage Blueberry Winery's four bottles have any grapes added. They're 100 percent blueberry.
The berries are put in a large tote and crushed down during a 2-and-a-half week fermentation period, Lawrence explained. Then, they are cleaned up, rid of sediment and settle for about three months in a different tote.
"So 1,600 lbs of blueberries makes about 1,200 bottles of wine," she said. "We start with a dry version, which is no residual sugar. Then we have two in the middle, which are a semi-dry and semi-sweet. And our fourth one is a full-on sweet version."
Lawrence said the best part of the business is letting first-timers try the product.
"It's just the discovery process between you and the customer," she said. "It's a lot of fun."
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