A grape and flower farm in the town of Pilar may just be the place you’re looking for where you can also experience picking grapes fresh from the vine.
Pack up and mark your calendar as the Alfa Vill farm in Barangay Tabun-acan in Pilar town opens to the public its first two greenhouses that have successfully grown grapes for viewing and picking.
The 572–square–meter farm, composed of three greenhouses, is nestled within the 2,500–square–meter Tabun-acan Eco Park which also boasts of the famous and enchanting Hinulugan Falls.
It is about an 80-minute south-west ride from Roxas City where guests are treated to a scenic view on their way to the farm.
“The grape berries, though not seedless, are sweet,” said tree hugger and environmental blogger lawyer Emilyn A. Depon, who witnessed the blessing and opening of the farm last December.
The farm initially grows a Baikonur grape variety, a table grape that has an excellent taste distinguished by large elegant clusters, has a conical or cylindrical shape, and has very large sizes. It has an attractive purple, dark cherry, or even red-purple color which provides the beauty of the bunch.
“Italy? Nope. Sa Tabun-acan lang yearn!,” (This is not in Italy but only in Tabun-acan) said a Capiz – based vlogger “Explore Capiz” in a post of photos about the grape farm and visitors picking and or posing a bite with berries.
Barely a week after it opened to the public for a corresponding entrance fee, it hosted a wedding reception inside the vineyard under the lush vines and its hanging fruits.
The park has a pavilion, rest house, cottages, snack bar, small koi pond, and wishing well for visitors who want adventure, gastronomic, and visually – alluring experience.
Some guests may also enjoy a dip into the Hinulugan Falls which is one of Capiz’ highest waterfalls that plunges over the brink into a shaded pool.
The waters cascade through three waterfalls among beautiful woodland settings where waters magnificently flow from the top of the mountain along gorges and stands of unspoiled timbers. Its rustling sound can be clearly heard along the road that is more than 200 meters afar.
The Provincial Tourism and Cultural Affairs Office conducted an assessment of the farm tourism site to provide inputs and recommendations on how it can improve facilities, customer service, hospitality, marketing promotions, and packaging of activities on the farm.
The new tourist come-on is also encouraged to apply for accreditation with the Department of Tourism for subsequent inclusion into tour itineraries of tourism circuits.
“We want to offer a holistic experience to our tourists, we do it one step at a time. The plan covers adventure tourism, gastronomic tourism, and more,” Alfa-Vill Corporation technical and operation industrial partner Nelbrandt Ting Sorillo said.
Sorillo also owns the Capiz Grapes Sanctuary which boasts of at least 16 grape varieties that thrive well and bear fruit in Barangay Agustin Navarra in Ivisan town.
He added that the sanctuary, established in February 2021 amid the pandemic, serves as the propagation area of the different grape varieties and a source of planting material for others who would want to plant it.
Thousands also visited the first-ever grape sanctuary during its fruiting and harvest season for viewing and pick and pay experience.
“Grapes are seasonal that is why the sanctuary is temporarily closed while waiting for the berries to develop and ripen sometime in June,” Sorillo noted.
While grapes are associated with temperate climates, tourists and guests enjoy the vineyard experience in a tropical area without going afar and spending extra cost for a mile or so.
Let’s go. Explore grapeness in Capiz. (PIA Capiz)