One of the best things about Harvest time in Santa Ynez valley and Santa Barbara wine country is the annual Celebration of Harvest event. The other is stomping grapes.
Several wineries in the area have grape stomping parties, some of which you can race through the vineyard, wear a toga, or reserve some of your own wine that you stomped (along with the other stompers). Read below to find out where…
Kalyra Winery: the Great Grape Stomp
This is one of the oldest grape stomp parties in Santa Ynez valley, and I do mean a party. You can show up in anything from a Lucy Grape Stomp outfit to a toga. Any grape-related costume is encouraged, as well as drinking as much wine as possible, then jumping on a drunken tractor winery tour, plus eating and dancing to live music on the front porch. Get a first-hand account and find details here.
Sunstone Winery: Harvest Stomp Party
This yearly event over two weekends in September is a favorite grape stomp event in the area. It’s an all-day affair in the gorgeous Provençal-style vineyard and winery. It begins with a special bubbly cocktail made just for the event, then picking grapes in the vineyard. After being educated by the winemaker and Rice family on winemaking, you’ll climb into the grape vats and stomp to your heart’s content. A gourmet picnic lunch is also included, as well as the family’s line of wines, including some from the underground, dusty library. Get details here.
Andrew Murray Vineyards: Harvest Open House
When Andrew Murray opens his winery to the public, you want to go. The food is really good, the Syrah is plentiful, and the music and ambiance makes for a lovely fall afternoon in the vineyards. A bonus: this year you get to stomp grapes as well. You’ll also see some of the best Weekend Wine Specials of the whole year. It’s a good time to stock up, eat your fill and stomp down. Held at the winery on Foxen Canyon Road, call for directions.
Tres Hermanas Winery: Your Own Custom Crush
Each fall at this event in Santa Maria Valley, you can pick, crush and stomp your own grapes, and make your own wine. Winemaker Luke Lindquist will guide you through the process, then give you some of his wines’ barrel select tastings and feed you lunch. After your wine is bottled (roughly 15 months), you’ll get your own case of wine that you helped make! And you’ll get much more information and instruction than you bargained for with Luke’s vast expertise. It might just end up being the best wine you’ll ever make. Will be held at the winery on Foxen Canyon Road, contact the winery here.
Gainey Winery: Grape Stomp & Crush Party
Enjoy a full day of activities like grape-picking, special barrel samples, aroma demonstrations and the ever-popular barefoot grape stomp. Held each September, read more here.