California Wineries


California Grape Stomp History and Information

Wine making in California is as old as the missions. When the Spanish built a chain of 21 missions from San Diego to Northern California, they began bringing the things they cherished from their homeland—including plantings to grow wine grapes so that they could enjoy a favorite beverage. The year was circa 1775.   See grape stomping events!

But older references offshore are referenced over 2,500 years ago in 582 BC - Founded in 582 BC, Agrigento lies on Sicily's southern coast. The island area famous for ruins is a rich mix of Greek, Italian, Arabic, Spanish, French and North African influences. "The festival will acquaint children with their grandparents' history," says Pardo. "The dances and music portray the people fishing, cutting grain to sustain themselves, and the trials, tribulations and joys of agrarian life." Wine and pastrymaking demonstrations are set. And a grape-stomping ... Show more Show less

Grape stomping  with your bare feet is great fun—but in the U.S. it's 100% fun. You can't produce and sell wines made  by stomping grapes with your bare feet, even if your winery is named Barefoot Wines.  There's something primal about getting in a vat with cool grapes and feeling the weight of your body work to break the skins, as the even cooler contents- the pulp and juices ooze out.  The popularity of this activity has created an entire events cottage industry that many wine consortiums and some private wineries throughout California include in their annual activities to celebrate a wine release, a seasonal harvest, and other such events.

"Crush" is the season when grapes are picked and crushed. At this time of year, the entire Wine Country celebrates its harvest with street fairs, festivals, and grape stomps.  One of the funniest wine stomping sessions is commemorated in a 1956 black & white I Love Lucy episode, "Lucy's Italian Movie" (also known as the "Grape-stomping". On route to Italy, an Italian producer offers Lucy a role in a film called "Bitter Grapes." So she decides to take a job in a vineyard to absorb a little local color and in typical Lucy fashion, becomes over-zealous when assigned to the same vat as a seasoned Italian stomper. Lucy gets pushed into the grapes, her skin turns a lovely shade of purple and her film career hopes are once again dashed.


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