They’re COLD! We harvest our grapes in the early morning hours for two reasons. One, it’s easier for the workers before the temperatures rise during the day. Two, it’s better to bring the grapes in when they’re cold to control the sugar levels and avoid oxidation. It’s not so comfy for the stomper and my feet got a bit numb.
They hurt your feet. You’re stomping on whole clusters of grapes - stems included - not just the berries. The good news is that after a few minutes, your feet quit hurting because they’re numb!
You don’t really stomp. In fact, our winemaker calls it “foot treading” not grape stomping. The idea is to gently tread on the grapes to extract the color. Plus, the pressure of human force is gentle enough so that the seeds won't break which creates bitterness in the wine.
It’s hard to keep your balance. The clusters are lumpy and as you tread first one foot then the other sinks into the juice.
It’s hard work! In fact, it’s a great cardio workout.
It’s sticky. You’ll want to turn the hose on your feet and legs when you finish just like you did – hopefully - before you started.
It’s fun! It’s also rewarding to use a traditional, natural technique to kick off the fermentation process.
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