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Stomp the Hell out of Some Grapes

Elaine Chukan Brown | September 15, 2014 | Story Wine and Spirits

Grape stomping has a certain visceral allure: Who hasn’t fantasized about re-creating that I Love Lucy episode with some ripe fruit and a wooden vat? Thanks to Grgich Hills Estate, you can: The winery hosts a grape stomp every day of harvest season.

Although most wineries now use pneumatic presses, the human foot, says Grgich spokesman Ken Morris, “is brilliant. Stomping the grapes with your feet gets the juice out of the grapes without crushing the seeds”—crucial because tannins in the seeds yield a bitter bottle. Grgich’s foot-crushed fruit is turned into compost, not wine, so you don’t need to wash your feet beforehand—but you may want to afterward. 1829 St. Helena Hwy. (Near Rutherford Rd.), Rutherford, 707-963-2784


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Originally published in the October issue of San Francisco

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