The Lone Stomp State
Your feet are purple, your clothes are ruined, and there’s a grin as big as Texas on your face. You must be at a grape stomp, one of the Lone Star State’s newest adventures. Though better known for beer and barbecue, Texas has a wine industry that’s been gaining attention among oenophiles nationwide, and what better way to celebrate the state’s newfound status as a wine-producing region than with a good, old-fashioned grape stomp
A handful of wineries located throughout central and west Texas sponsor grape stomps on a monthly or annual basis. Some of these events are competitive—very competitive—and individuals or teams stomp ferociously to see who can squeeze out the most juice from a barrel of grapes, with proceeds going to local charities or youth groups. Grape stomping may seem easy, but it’s a real workout; 10 minutes of stomping grapes can exhaust most weekend warriors.
After a long afternoon of stomping grapes, slake your thirst by sampling some fruit of the vine—most wineries that sponsor grape stomps also offer wine tastings. At many events, you can also expect to find live music concerts, food-and-wine pairings, grape picking, and wine classes. And be sure to bring the kids along, because most festivals also sponsor a kid’s grape stomp, as well as other family-friendly fun.
Great Grape Stomp Championship, 8484 Hwy. 46, New Braunfels, TX 78132 ( 800/303-6780; www.grapestomp.com). Caprock Winery, 408 E. Woodrow Rd., Lubbock, TX 79423 ( 806/863-2704; www.caprockwinery.com). Pleasant Hill Winery, 1441 Salem Rd., Brenham, TX 77833 ( 979/830-VINE; www.pleasanthillwinery.com). Bernhardt Winery, 9043 C.R. 204, Plantersville, TX 77363 (936/894-9829; www.bernhardtwinery.com). Messina Hof Winery, 4545 Old Reliance Rd., Bryan, TX 77808 ( 979/778-9829; www.messinahof.com).
When to Go: Summer and autumn; check local normals for festivals and dates.