Great grape stomps
At winery harvest festivals, compete with your feet.
© Beth Gauper
A contestant shows off her newly hued feet.
During harvest time in a vineyard, turning purple has nothing to do with the Minnesota Vikings.
is what you'll be if you get into a wooden tub of grapes and try to
turn them into juice with your bare feet.
Vineyards don't get their juice that way anymore, but many still offer a grape stomp, and there's nothing goofier to do on an autumn day.
There are prizes for
those who extract the most juice and those who show the most "style,''
so wearing a creative costume helps.
And some grape stomps feature an "I Love Lucy'' look-alike contest, in tribute to the famous 1956 episode in which the comedienne takes a job in an Italian vineyard and, of course, makes a mess of things.
Most stomps require
contestants to pre-register and pay a small fee. Everyone gets to
sample wine, eat and listen to live music.
Here are some of the best in 2017.
Sept. 8-10, Grape stomps at the Wine & Harvest Festival in Paw Paw, Mich. This large festival in southwest Michigan wine country also features music on three stages, Friday fireworks, an art fair, motorcycle and bicycle tours and a Sunday parade.
Sept. 9, Grape Stomp at Glacial Ridge Winery between Spicer and New London in Minnesota's Little Crow lakes country. The festival includes fire and light dancers, belly dancers, bingo and live music.
Sept. 9-10, Grape Stomp Festival at Chateau St. Croix near St. Croix Falls, Wis. There's grape-stomping for kids and adults, plus live music, local craft beer and a marketplace.
Sept. 9-10, Grape Stomp Festival at Saint Croix Vineyards near Stillwater, Minn., in the St. Croix River Valley. There's music and tours, too.
Sept. 15-16, Wet Whistle Wine Festival at Von Stiehl Winery in Algoma, Wis. There's a celebrity stomp-off, plus music and a fine-art show.
Sept. 15-17, Grape Stomp at Carlos Creek Winery
near Alexandria, Minn. The festival at this
elegant lakes-area vineyard features music on four stages, a juried art fair, a man cave with beer, "I Love Lucy'' look-alike contests and costumed stomps.
Sept. 16-17, Grape Stomp at Cedar Creek Settlement winery in Cedarburg, Wis. This stomp is part of the big Wine & Harvest Festival in this picturesque town just north of Milwaukee.
© Carlos Creek
At Carlos Creek Winery, stompers re-enact the "Grapes of Laugh'' episode of "I Love Lucy.''
There are adult and kids' stomps, plus grape-spitting and apple-bobbing contests, with prizes
awarded to winners.
Sept. 16-17, Food & Wine Festival at Dancing Dragonfly Winery in St. Croix Falls, Wis. Besides a grape stomp, there will be music, artisan booths and wine tastings at this vineyard near the St. Croix River.
Sept. 23, Fall Harvest Festival at Galena Cellars Vineyard in Galena, Ill. In addition to a grape stomp, there's live music, horse-drawn wagon rides and an art fair.
Sept. 23, Grape Stomp at Crow River Winery in Hutchinson, Minn. Compete in children's, two person, Lucy impersonation and trash the dress categories. There will also be music, food and crafts.
Sept. 23-24, Northern Grape Stomp at Northern Vineyards in Stillwater, Minn. You'll probably stomp with an audience at this winery in downtown Stillwater. Reserve in advance.
Sept. 30-Oct. 1, Oktoberfest & Pig Roast at Lynfred Winery in Roselle, Ill., a western suburb of Chicago. There are grape stomps and grape-spitting plus cork-tossing, German sing-alongs and "I Love Lucy'' and lederhosen costume contests.
The winery includes a restaurant and bed-and-breakfast.
Oct. 7, Cambria Crush: The Great Grape Stomp at Morgan Creek Vineyards near New Ulm, Minn. This picturesque vineyard features stomps (prizes for best costume) and entertainment that includes Morris and belly dancing and the Narren of New Ulm.
Food includes Swiss raclette and pizzas from the outdoor wood-fired oven.
Last updated on August 24, 2017