In the shadows of innovation and revolution, in the dust-blanketed safety of workshops and mills and farms, and in the heart of mankind lives, and always has lived, an innate trust in craftsmanship – creation in its rawest form, done so by lean, scarred, and suntanned bodies. And our foundation, our bodies’ very own roots, are our feet. They are what have carried us all this time, allowing us to keep creating, to keep yearning for more, pushing us to go farther and wider with our skills. Alongside every pair of hooves, wheel ruts, and vines is also a pair of footprints – pressing into the newly plowed vineyard topsoil, bearing the weight of hand-picked grapes, and stomping the purple crop into wine.
The grape stomp is an age-old tradition in winemaking, born before the wheel and thriving in every ancient winemaker’s methods. Every year during harvest, villages in regions from all over would lay down their work, gather their families, and come together under the harvest moon to stomp the new grape crop. It was both a celebration of the year’s growing season and a process of pressing the fruit into juice, releasing tannins, acids, and flavors for fermentation. And while today’s maceration is done with equipment in the cool confines of wineries, the grape-stomp lives on as a way to honor the winemaking culture that came before us and as a harvest time commencement.