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California Grape Stomps Celebrate the Crush, It's a Rush

 

Grape stomping with your bare feet is great fun--but in the U.S. it's 100% fun. You can't produce and sell wines made  by stomping grapes with your bare feet, even if your winery is named Barefoot Wines.  There's something primal about getting in a vat with cool grapes and feeling the weight of your body work to break the skins, as the even cooler contents- the pulp and juices ooze out.  The popularity of this activity has created an entire events cottage industry that many wine consortiums and some private wineries throughout California include in their annual activities to celebrate a wine release, a seasonal harvest, and other such events.

“Crush” is the season when grapes are picked and crushed. At this time of year, the entire Wine Country celebrates its harvest with street fairs, festivals, and grape stomps.  One of the funniest wine stomping sessions is commemorated in a 1956 black & white I Love Lucy episode, "Lucy's Italian Movie" (also known as the "Grape-stomping". On route to Italy, an Italian producer offers Lucy a role in a film called "Bitter Grapes." So she decides to take a job in a vineyard to absorb a little local color and in typical Lucy fashion, becomes over-zealous when assigned to the same vat as a seasoned Italian stomper. Lucy gets pushed into the grapes, her skin turns a lovely shade of purple and her film career hopes are once again dashed.

 

Here are some annual California Grape Stomps and events to add to your happy trails travels--

 

  • Yorkville Highlands Wine Festival. Annual event with barrel races, grape stomp, music, food, over 30 wineries, and more. Over 30 local wines poured. Boar and Lamb BBQ, live music, grape stomp, highlands games, rare large bottle silent auction. Kid and pet friendly. Fun activities for the whole family. Time 2-6pm. Cost $60 Address 19750 Hwy 128, Yorkville, CA 95494 Call:(707) 895.2341. yorkvillehighlands.org
  • Calaveras Wine Growers Grape Stomp Oct. 2, 2010 calaveraswines.org
  • Soledad Mission Annual Grape Stomp - soledadchamber.com
  • Sonoma County Harvest Grape Stomp - first weekend in October

 

Southern California

 

  • Oak Mountain Winery Grape Stomp (oakmountainwinery.com). Oak Mountain Winery hosts their annual Grape Stomp with a BBQ, wine, live entertainment and grape stomping. All stompers will receive a bottle of grape stomp wine.
  • Ponte Winery Sunday, Sept. 26, 2010 - 8th Annual Grape Stomp Festival (pontewinery.com). Take off your shoes, roll up your pants and hike up your sundresses! Ponte Winery's Grape Stomp Festival-our biggest and most exciting event of the year-is scheduled once again for Sunday, September 26th, 2010. Join us as we take over the Ponte property with grape stomp competitions, dancing, live music and a seasonal Harvest Celebration buffet dinner. Ponte wines, "gondola" rides, and portrait photography by Grins-2-Go will complete this fun-filled event. Sunday, September 26th from 4:00pm - 9:00pm. $95 per person; $50 per child under 12.
  • South Coast Winery Blessing of the Wine Grape Stomp and Harvest Celebration (wineresort.com). Celebrate the Harvest with an authentic Blessing of the Wines Celebration. Enjoy wine, feast on BBQ, fresh salads, and homemade cobbler. Take tractor-pulled hayrides through the vineyards, dance and enjoy live entertainment, grape stomping contests, face painting, hot air balloon rides and so much more.
  • Sip, Savor & Stomp at Wilson Creek Winery (wilsoncreekwinery.com) in October. Sip amongst the vines, savor the wine country cuisine, and stomp grapes. Enjoy wines, appetizers, hay rides, wine country buffet dinner, live entertainment and grape stomping in your bare feet.

 

 

 


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