It’s grape stomping season, so get ready to kick off your shoes and stomp some grapes! During the beginning of harvest season, many wineries throughout Napa Valley host grape stomping events, where guests compete to extract grape juice with their feet. While every event varies, we’ve compiled the top five things we think you should know before attending a grape stomp this year.
1. Plan Your Outfit Accordingly
Don’t let anything get in the way of winning, including your clothes! The main event of a grape stomp involves trying to stomp out as much juice as possible with your feet. This process can be quite messy, and you’ll end up with sticky grape juice all over your legs. Resist the urge to wear your cutest maxi dress or new pair of pants and stick with something that you’re comfortable getting messy.
2. Get Creative with Your Clothing
Speaking of outfits, plan your group’s costumes ahead of time, as most grape stomp events give prizes to the best and most creative costumes. Team apparel can range from matching t-shirts to full-blown costumes, and creativity always counts!
3. Stay Hydrated
This may be our most important tip of all! The majority of grape stomp events take place outside in August and September, when temperatures in Napa Valley often exceed 90 degrees. Grape stomps are usually held at a winery, and there is often plenty of wine available for tasting as well. With an event that revolves around so much wine, it can be easy to forget about drinking water, but don’t! Start hydrating yourself the day before the event and continue to drink water throughout the event—that way you’ll be in tip-top grape stomping shape!
4. Bring Your Camera
This is an event that you’re going to want to document, so bring your camera (or cell phone) with you! Some of our favorite shots from previous events include pre and post-stomping photos, group costume shots and, of course, action shots during the stomping. Don’t hesitate to ask a team that isn’t stomping in your round to photograph for you, and offer to return the favor when it’s their turn. Video of the stomp is also a great idea and allows you to share your experience with friends and family back home.
5. Join the Conversation
If you’re sharing your photos throughout the day on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, make sure you tag the winery and use any designated event hashtags! It’s also a good idea to follow the official winery accounts, as most wineries will have an official event photographer and will share their own photos from the grape stomp that you can save.
6. Bonus Tip - Have Fun!
Diving into a barrel of grapes and making a mess with your feet isn't something you get to do every day, so make the most of it! Get messy, stomp as fast as you can and don't forget to have fun. Even if you don't win, you'll always be able to say you competed in a grape stomp and checked something off your bucket list.