Grape Stomping Facts
For centuries, stomping grapes was the universal method used to extract juice to make wine. Today, grape stomping has been largely replaced by wine presses, but Messina Hof still honors the time-old tradition at our annual Harvest Festival. With our celebration just around the corner, here are a few more fun facts about the grape stomp!
In the I Love Lucy episode “Lucy’s Italian Movie,” the extra whose job was to wrestle Lucy almost choked her to death! The actress, Teresa Tirelli, didn’t speak English and although an interpreter explained the scene, words were lost in translation.
Grape stomping is also known by the French term pigeage which translates to punching down.
It is believed the practice of grape stomping dates back to ancient Rome with Maenads, the female followers of Dionysus – the god of winemaking.
One of the earliest existing visual representations of grape stomping is on a Roman sarcophagus showing a group of demigods harvesting and stomping grapes at a Roman festival.
Each year, the World Championship Grape Stomp is held in Sonoma County, California.
Grape stomping works because the pressure from human force is gentle enough so the seeds won’t break.
Want to check grape stomping off your bucket list? Join us for our 40th Annual Harvest Festival!