Wine makers say this year's grape crop thriving

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By Meghan Schiller

BERRIEN COUNTY, Mich. -- Wine makers in Michigan say this year's grape crop is thriving and it could be one of the best growing seasons in years.

It's the countdown to harvest time and this grower can hardly wait.

"In September we're like expectant parents," said Wally Maurer, owner of Domaine Berrien Cellars.

He has 40-acres of grapes. He says conditions are perfect.

"This is the money month. If we can stay cool at night in the 50s and get up near 80 during the day and stay dry- that is the most perfect, optimum situation for ripening wine grapes," said Maurer.

To prepare for harvest, workers snap off the extra leaves.

Less shade means more sunlight. And that speeds up the ripening process.

"So there's a priority and a picking order we'll start to establish through tasting the fruit, through inspecting the fruit, and through some chemistry tests as well," said Maurer.

Once they pass the tests, it's Maurer's favorite time of year.

From grape to glass.

Out of Mother Nature's hands and into yours.

"Their happiness when they taste it and you watch their eyes and you're like wow I grew and made that here and it's incredible. It gives me chilly bumps," said Maurer.

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