Have you ever yearned to lend a hand (or a foot) to winemakers as they work through the transformation from grape bunches to delicious wine? What about satisfying that urge in a competitive environment? Your chance is just around the corner, at the Calaveras County 25th Annual Grape Stomp Competition.
Resembling an iconic “I Love Lucy” episode, participants in the Calaveras Grape Stomp compete by stomping the juice out of a bin of grapes. Recognized as the largest and oldest grape stomp competition in all of California, this event is the centerpiece of the Calaveras grape harvest season. This competition typically attracts crowds of over 10,000 people who watch as teams of two ( a Stomper and a Swabber) try to get the most juice out of their 25 pounds of grapes in three minutes.
On Saturday, October 6th, the 25th Annual Grape Stomp Competition will take place in Downtown Murphys Park. 120 teams have already registered to compete, vying for the coveted “Champion of the Juice” and “Best Costume” awards. The costumes and team names can get pretty creative! Previous team names include “Mucker Truckers“, “Grapeful Dead” and the “Cork Fungus Fairies” so this year’s teams are feeling the pressure to match that level of inspiration. In addition to these “amateur” teams, there is a WineMakers’ Heat that pits local winemakers against each other.
On top of all that excitement, there is the Gold Rush Street Fair along Main Street, featuring over 100 outside vendors. Quality arts and crafts, antiques, handcrafted goods, jewelry, clothing, collectibles and food booths offer wares for sale in addition to Murphys’ own specialty shops, restaurants and tasting rooms along Main Street. The 25th Annual Grape Stomp Competition and Gold Rush Street Fair are both free to the public. The event runs from 9:30am – 5pm on Saturday October 6th.
Ready to get your stomp on? Register here and start working on your costume. See you there!
About the Author: John grills a mean steak and is always in the market for another wine fridge. Believes that if a winery has more than 10 employees, it's probably too big. Buys wine faster than he drinks it, but who cares?