Hunt Country's 'Harvest Festival' set for Oct. 2

John Christensen
The Chronicle Express
Grape stomping is a fun feature of the annual Harvest Festival at Hunt Country.

Hunt Country celebrates its 40th anniversary at this year's Harvest Festival

BRANCHPORT — The Hunt family and team will be celebrating their 40th anniversary of winemaking during this year's Harvest Festival at Hunt Country Vineyards from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 2. It will be a day of wine tastings, live music, wood-fired pizza, grape stomping, tours, and axe throwing with one of the founding families of the Finger Lakes wine region.

Celebrating their 40th anniversary, Hunt Country Vineyards has grown considerably since the winery was housed all in one small 19th century farm shed.

This year, in addition to their regular wine tastings, guests will have a rare opportunity to join winemaker Craig Hosbach and special sommelier guest Gene Alexeyev on a guided tasting tour through the Hunt library of Rieslings. Craig and Gene will pour seven different Rieslings from the archives in three separate sessions during Harvest Festival: 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. The cost is $15 per person. Attendance will be limited to ensure Craig and Gene can give their fullest attention to guests and the wine. Reservations are recommended for all tastings.

Live music throughout the day:

• 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. – Local favorites Bob & Dee will open Harvest Festival with their eclectic song list.

• 12:45 to 2:45 p.m. – Evan Meulemans will bring his warm Americana, cool pop-country, and a touch of R&B.

• 3 to 5 p.m. – The Keuka Whalers will close the festival with sea shanties, world music – and harpoons!

The Anita Pizza Food Truck will be serving up delicious pizza throughout the day. Grape pies by Jeni's Pies will be available for purchase, whole or by the slice, as well.

The Wild Wings Bird of Prey Facility & Nature Center will be on site from 1 to 3 p.m. with their amazing raptors and educators to answer your questions.

Tours this year will be in a replica trolley car.

Other activities throughout the day will include grape stomping and axe throwing. Co-founder Art Hunt will be giving historical tours through the vineyards in a replica of the trolley that used to run between Branchport and Penn Yan during the early 20th century. Co-owner Suzanne Hunt will be leading sustainability tours to highlight the practices and technology that Hunt Country uses to care for the land that the Hunt family has been farming for seven generations.

Harvest Day happens rain or shine. There is limited indoor and covered seating, so come prepared for any inclement weather that might occur. All Harvest Day activities will be run in accordance with the most recent COVID-19 requirements to help keep our community safe and to prevent the spread of the disease.

Hunt Country Vineyards is located at 4021 Italy Hill Road in Branchport. To learn more about Harvest Festival 2021, visit or