Going Grapes at MBX Grapes Vineyard in General Santos City

When I was a little girl, my family and I would go strawberry picking. It was fun to go around and look for the biggest and reddest strawberries and fill our baskets. Of course, what was more fun was dipping the strawberries in a little sugar or chocolate and gobbling them all up once we got home. I love the sent the strawberries would give off. Strawberries, even if they are  in season in the Philippines, are expensive. If those in the north have Baguio City to thank for providing their table with red and juicy strawberries, Mindanao, on the other hand has Eden.

Last December 24, after celebrating my son's birthday at London Beach, my partner's family decided to go visit a relative of theirs who has a vineyard known as MBX Grapes Vineyard situated in Saranggani Highlands in General Santos City and do some grapes picking. I was intrigued since my dad tried his hand in growing grapes but was quite unsuccessful.

What I Learned about Growing Grapes

The MBX Grapes. 

After surveying the property and being told countless times that General Santos City is like a desert, I was amazed how the vineyard was growing, expanding and thriving amidst the so-called "desert" conditions. Grapes apparently hate "getting their feet wet".  They need a lot of open space that gets good sunlight and air circulation. Grapes can tolerate most soils but, experts say a sandy loam is best with a soil PH of at least 5.5-6.5, and GOOD DRAINAGE is a must because those roots hate staying wet. If you are to plant a dormant seedling, it will take you approximately 3 years to bear fruit but,  with a little TLC, your vineyard can last for 50-100 years. Apparently, the sandy soil plus the hot arid conditions of General Santos City is the perfect place to grow grapes. And there were so many of them hanging from the thick luscious vineyard.

Going Grapes at MBX Grapes Vineyard

Rules to abide by while at MBX Grapes Vineyard.

We visited MBX Grapes Vineyard very early in the morning so, I wasn't able to have coffee  at the beach since my partner's family needed to head home to Tacurong City in time for Christmas Eve.

I heaved a sigh of relief when we were offered coffee and grape jam and loaves of bread by the owners. I had brought my own instant coffee so, all I needed was a cup and hot water. I asked my partner if we needed to pay and he said no, they serve coffee and jam for their guests (so nice of them). We situated ourselves at the tables underneath the vines of grapes hanging above, sipping our coffee and eating their jam. It was nice and cool and very clean. And our host was very hospitable and welcoming.

Some of my partner's family went grape picking, most took a family photo and a nice selfie to post on social media. My son who wasn't in the mood since, his sleep was interrupted, warmed up when he came into contact with a bunch of grapes hanging from a vine. His father had to stop him from taking the grapes. Good thing his grandma who purchased her kilo of grapes (230 Pesos/kilo) which she  had picked, gave him some. Tantrum avoided.

I wasn't sure if the grapes were ripe enough for the picking so, I didn't go grape picking. But, I did get a bottle of their grape jam (180 Pesos) to bring home to Davao City. Since the others had cars with them, they even bought grape seedlings  (100 Pesos) to plant in their own backyard. After everyone was done picking, purchasing, eating, and taking a selfie, the whole big family came together for a family picture and posed underneath the vineyard.

Fun and happy... As you can see everyone had big smiles on their faces. This place is highly recommended by me.

Happy Picking!

MBX Grapes Vineyard is located at Saranggani Highlands Garden, Purok Wal, General Santos City and open at 8am-5pm during their "picking season". For more information, you may visit their Facebook Page MBX Grapes Vineyard. 

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