The art of grape stomping is exactly what it sounds like – crushing wine grapes by stomping on them with your feet- so as to release their juice and begin the wine making process.
What is grape stomping?
Grape stomping is also known by the French term “pigeage” that translates to punching down. The art of Crushing grapes with feet to procure wine is indeed therapeutic. Although it might make you raise an eyebrow the first time you hear it, it’s a tried and tested method for crushing grapes. Not only this, it leads to a smoother flavor, and gets fermentation underway faster. Grape stomping works because the pressure from human force is gentle enough so the seeds won’t break-creating bitterness.
Where does it date back to ?
The cult of Grape Stomping is believed to date back to ancient Rome with Maenads, the female followers of Dionysus – the god of winemaking. One of the earliest existing visual representations of grape stomping is on a Roman Sarcophagus showing a group of demigods harvesting and stomping grapes at a Roman festival. For centuries ever since then, stomping grapes was the method used to extract juice from the fermented grapes.
What’s it about?
The freshly harvested grapes from the vineyard are inserted into a tub. After having washed the feet in a basin of water with flower petals, a group of people enter in the tub to start pressing grapes with the rhythm of music.
Indeed last Sunday was an amazing experience that’s unlike any other. Was privileged to be a part of the Stomp Wine Festival held at Vedic Village Spa Resort. It was such an amazing experience to watch down the grapes making its way through the buckets, and the oodles of joy of crushing the grapes barefoot is an experience that needs to be lived. Crazy twirks and slippery floors made it even more exciting to watch people dance through in glee and the maddening crowd at the wine counter made the spirit level up. Besides Grape stomping there were other activities like tattoo making, Stilt walking and Massage that you could literally indulge into. A seperate section for live performances made the crowd raise their hands up in the sky.
Coming to the food section – Honestly the cold cuts stole the whole deal. The Bacon Jam and the Liver Patte was to die for. The huge array of salads and breads on one side was enough to make you complete on the tummy. The buffet on the other side, had Live grills and Entally Sausages, kebabs, barbeque, live pasta and noodle bar, bakes, pizza, live egg preparations and an amazing lineup of desserts.
Waiting for yet another year is indeed worthwhile as Eastern India’s first Grape stomping happens every year in Kolkata ar the Vedic Village. Are you ready to feel those grapes beneath your toes?
Thank You Rajib Roy Choudhury Sir for having us over. 🙂