Fence Stile Vineyards and Winery held its annual Grape Stomp on Sunday, Oct. 8th, to close out the harvest season. After 7-8 weeks of harvesting grapes each Sunday, this ritual is a fun way to squash some grapes, celebrate with our guests, and enjoy some wine.
There's no need to dress up in a traditional outfit like Lucille Ball in the classic "I Love Lucy" grape-stomping scene. Guests step into the tub of grapes and stems, step high, and start smashing. Before long, the grapes yield bright, aromatic juice.
Of course, the juice produced from squishing grapes isn't actually used for making wine. That's how it was done in the early days of winemaking. The alcohol produced during the fermentation process is high enough to kill microbes before wine is produced and consumed.
We enjoyed having harvest volunteers and guests out for a sunny day to play in the grapes. And the remaining grapes and juice? All of it returns to the vineyard for composting. It's part of the cycle to nourish the vines as a tribute in hopes that they flourish once again next year.
Brand and events manager, chef and cellar rat Pete Dulin documents wine, food and operations at Fence Stile Vineyards and Winery through writing and photography.