The garden club is broadening the scope of its community talks, including a visit to Youngblood Vineyard  in Ray Township later this month.

The garden club is broadening the scope of its community talks, including a visit to Youngblood Vineyard in Ray Township later this month.

Photo provided by Jessica Youngblood

Shelby Township Gardeners Club broadening scope, to visit vineyard

By: Kara Szymanski | Shelby - Utica News | Published November 4, 2019


SHELBY TOWNSHIP — The Shelby Township Gardeners Club is in for a fun adventure later this month, and its members are inviting the community to come out and join them.

On Nov. 21, the garden club will be taking a trip to Youngblood Vineyard in Ray Township.

“Although we are a community service, working club, the event is a great opportunity to socialize with the community,” Ivy Schwartz, the garden club publicist, said in an email.

Doors will open at 1 p.m., and starting at 1:30 p.m., the group will listen to a presentation, get a tour of the vineyard and do a wine tasting.

The event is designed to walk the audience through the vineyard and winery’s story. It’s a chance to ask questions and learn more about what it’s like to live and work at a commercial vineyard.

“The tour will feature tastings of last year’s and this year’s wine barrels. The wine is still aging, so visitors will be able to compare the wine from this year to last year. There will be five barrel samples, which will include different grape varieties — three red rosé and three white,” said Jessica Youngblood, the owner of Youngblood Vineyard.

Youngblood Vineyard grows nearly 21,000 cold-hardy wine grape varieties, including three white and three red. There are 26 miles of grape vines on the property.

Youngblood said the vineyard is excited to have the community come out and see what the business is all about, and how the wine is made.

“We’re excited to share our vineyard and winery with our entire community, and our goals are to teach and show people where wine comes from, and if you grow great grapes and harvest at the right time, you get some amazing wine. We’re all about the education side, and farming and agriculture and taking the mystery out of wine making,” said Youngblood.

She said they do all of their own farming, and the farm has been in the family since 1945.

“We don’t buy any grapes outside of our vineyard,” said Youngblood.

Youngblood Vineyard often works with local schools to educate students about the process.

“We do practicum with (Oakland University) — we had them out last week — and Macomb Community College and their advanced wine class, and Wayne (County Community College District),” said Youngblood.

She said that last year, their wine won “best of class” in the dry red category at the Michigan Wine Competition.

Schwartz said she likes that the vineyard does all its own work.

“I liked the extreme significance that the Youngblood Vineyard is the only Pure Michigan vineyard accredited with all grapes homegrown, bottled and labeled,” Schwartz said.

The event is a private event, and the winery and vineyard will be closed to the public during the event.

Visitors must bring their identification, such as a driver’s license or passport.

The garden club is working on broadening its scope so that it can pique more residents’ interests.

“For love of nature, flowers and beyond. By broadening the scope of our community talks, we will appeal to more people and, in turn, more future members. Men are definitely encouraged to join the Shelby Gardeners Club. Generally speaking, men tend to have a greater interest in fruits and vegetables than flowers,” said Schwartz.

The event is open to all who are interested in learning about how wine is made.

“I personally have invited several couples for the event; we would love to have couples join our club!” Schwartz said.

Youngblood Vineyard is a family-friendly business, and people of all ages are welcome. Guests must be at least the age of 21 to purchase or consume the alcohol.

The vineyard is located at 61829 Ray Center Road.

Tickets cost $10. For tickets or more information, visit event and search for “Shelby Gardeners Club” or call Schwartz at (586) 873-3782.