Who would have thought you would experience the Italy-feels of a vineyard right in the Tuna Capital of the Philippines? But yes, right in General Santos City, you’ll find MBX Grapes Vineyard owned by Ma. Candelaria Caballes.
Caballes worked in ship repair for ten years before deciding to become a farmer and grow grapes in the hot soil of Gensan. She admitted that her first few attempts at grape growing did not bear fruit. But she kept going and learning about grape production and farming. She admitted she became more active in learning the ropes when the pandemic broke and the family was locked up. So, they decided to focus on farming.
“At first, I was not really convinced with the quality of the variety of grapes being grown here. I was thinking of using it for processing only, particularly for wine. However, as time passed, I learned from local grape enthusiasts that there are new varieties coming to the Philippines. So, during the pandemic, we tried growing other varieties,” she was quoted in an article from the Department of Agriculture (DA).
In 2014, she tried planting grapes again on her 1,000-square-meter land, and finally, this time she was able to harvest! This was the humble beginning of the popular MBX Grapes Vineyard.
As her grape farm grew, she started venturing into over 40 to 50 different varieties of grapes. Some of the varieties include Everest, Baikonur, Catawba, and Kober. She has over 6,000 robust vines all over her grape farm. The MBX Grapes Vineyard is truly a lucrative business because they harvest all year round. Furthermore, MBX Grapes Vineyard is now an ATI-certified Learning Site for Agriculture in Brgy. Tambler, General Santos City.
In another article written by Bong S. Sarmiento in Philippine Daily Inquirer, the grape farmer and businesswoman said many visitors were really thrilled to see grapes up close. Many also couldn’t believe it was possible to grow grapes in Mindanao. They can even pick their own grapes to buy. If you don’t want to buy, you can still enjoy the relaxing vineyard as you leisurely stroll and take pictures. Her vineyard is already her Farm 2, which is at least 2-hectares of land where visitors can roam around.
Caballes explained, “On our farm, visitors can get up close and really personal with our grape fruits. Our grapes are for picking. But if you don’t want to pick and pay, you can still take pictures with the grapes.”
Truly, there’s business in agribusiness! In Davao, a lucrative apple farm is always being visited by many. If you’re interested in agribusiness, follow some inspiring agribusiness vloggers to learn more.
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