Grape Stomp you say? Yeah, it is harvest time here in Wine Country, Sonoma County, California! The annual Harvest Fair was in full swing over the weekend. In it’s prime, the fair was a huge event. Petting Zoo, apple exhibits, fun competitions for families to participate in (wheel barrow races, 3-legged race, etc.) you could enter arts n crafts, photography, food and preserves, etc. for competition and exhibition (the 4-H kids were always in on that), just to name a few. The fair was also a time for the local wineries to have their wines judged and awarded. The general public could then purchase tasting tickets, get a commemorative wine glass, and if they so chose, could buy bottles of wine too. It was a great time for the whole family!
Over the years, it has slowly lost most of the family events. The wine tasting became the focal point. Now there is food and beer tasting also. The fair itself is free to the public now, there is a charge for the tasting event only. For a majority of the folks who still attend every year, it isn’t the wine tasting that draws them to the fairgrounds. No, it is the Grape Stomp Championships! There is even a kids category for the stomp.
This year my husband Steven and his brother Bruce decided to give it a go. Bruce was the stomper and Steven was the swabber. The stomper obviously climbs into the barrel and stomps (crushes) the 30 pounds of grapes with his bare feet. The swabber, holds the glass jug below the spicket and keeps the screen clean so the juice flows unobstructed into the jug. What a hoot!
Our son, our daughter, son-in-law, and 2 grandchildren all gathered to watch the first-timers. We cheered, hooted, and hollered for Dad/Grandpa and Uncle Bruce as they stomped and swabbed. It was over in 3 minutes and they coaxed out a respectable amount of juice for beginners! The had such a good time and decided to attempt it again, see if they could improve their juice weight. This was even better, Steven stayed relatively clean the first go round…………….
Way too much fun for all. Sorry to say they didn’t qualify, but they are already developing strategies for next year! They didn’t leave empty handed though, they received commemorative t-shirts for participating!
We are looking forward to next years Grape Stomp Competition! Cyn