Around this time last year we drove through Naples and noticed several grape pie and grape sellers along the main street. I looked up Naples to find they host a very large fall grape festival and pie contest. If you have never heard of grape pies it’s ok, neither did we, this area is actually where it all started.
We decided to go to the Naples Grape Fest on Sunday afternoon, hoping this popular festival would be less busy at that time; I was wrong. We parked almost a mile from the vendors and walked in. Unlike other festivals the main route through town stayed open (although moving at a snails pace). This made traveling along the sidewalks slow.
There were vendors with everything from clothes, to wood carvings, glass work, candles, produce, and fair food including all things grape flavored. Along the way we picked up local cheese, maple syrup, and grape jam.
Behind town hall was a fenced-in wine tasting area, with a large selection of wineries and a few breweries present. Next to this was a music tent where we listened to a folk country/bluegrass group called Ruddy Well. We enjoyed them so much we ended up buying their CD’s.
About half way through town, we found the main food court. I choose to eat at Effortlessly Healthy a Rochester based food truck that serves dairy and gluten free meals with vegan options. I had a bowl with cole slaw sweet potatoes, ground beef, chicken, and avocado it was perfect. They also have their own store in Rochester where they serve healthy lunch options and provide delivery meal services.
On our way back we stopped at grape pie stands. Luke got a slice to-go from one. Fortunately I was able to eat a mini open tart’s filling from another, it tasted like concord grapes (the most popular grape in the Naples area). Some vendors sold pie filling. Too bad they didn’t offering tastings or I would have bought one to make my own barley-free pie.
On our way out of town we stopped for dessert at Lynnie Lou’s a homemade ice cream and custard shop . We were happily surprised to see them open; most ice cream stands close after Labor Day. Luke got a grape and vanilla swirl custard and I chose vanilla custard with warm apple pie filling.
It was another great date day.