The Orleans Festival Grounds

4500 W. Tropicana
Las Vegas, NV 89103

Prost!

Sep 29 – Oct 2

5PM to 11PM THU & FRI

11AM to 11 PM SATURDAY

11AM to 9PM SUNDAY

A Brief History of Grape Stomping


The act of grape stomping is just that – stomping on grapes with your bare feet – and it’s been a wine-making tradition for thousands of years! Most experts agree that it all started with the Ancient Romans around the 3rd century BC before stomping grapes for wine became a worldwide practice. 

Okay, we’ve been doing it for thousands of years, but why the foot? Advocates say the foot provides better-controlled pressure over the wine’s flavor profile. However, a wine press is used to accomplish the same task these days. In fact, grape stomping for the production of wine is generally not approved in the US, and a more efficient mechanical press has been developed, perfected, and used for hundreds of years. These days, you can still celebrate the tradition for recreational fun but not so much for mass drinking anymore! 

Fun Facts About Wine and the Grape Stomp 

  • Grape stomping works because the pressure from the human foot is gentle enough so the seeds won’t break-creating bitterness.
  • Grape stomping is also known by the French term “pigeage” (pronounced peej-AHJE), which translates to punching down.
  • The I Love Lucy episode “Lucy’s Italian Movie” famously featured a grape stomping scene that became one of the most well-known moments in the entire series. 
  • Each year, the World Championship Grape Stomp is held in Sonoma County, California. 
  • Most grapes are harvested at night! 
  • The flavors of wine are affected by how long the grapes are on the vine. 
    • Grapes for most white wines have lower sugar levels and higher acidity to make a crisp, tart wine. 
    • Red grapes hang longer to create the complexity that comes from more balanced sugar and acidity levels.
    • Grapes for dessert wines are left on the vines the longest.

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