Fall is splendid for many reasons. There’s the wild foliage, the many sweet and disconcerting state fairs, and the mountain towns at their most charming. Fall is also splendid because, in wine regions around the country, it is grape-stomping season.
The process also known as grape-treading is exactly what it sounds like: climbing barefoot into a large vat of grapes to trample them into what will later become wine, a tradition that dates back thousands of years. Mushing them up like this separates the grapes from their skins, squishes out the juices, and begins the process of fermentation. Wine-pressing is mostly done mechanically these days, but come fall many vineyards keep the practice alive as a fun way to attract visitors, which absolutely works. You can do it with friends. You can do it while singing. You can do it while drinking the wine that someone stomped the grapes for in a previous year, as one day someone else may with the wine you are stomping grapes for now. And while this experience is one most widely available August through November, there are also wineries that offer it year round. Let us now guide you to a grape-stomping venue near(ish) you.