News from a Grape Stomper

This past weekend, I took a group to a winery in the Maryland countryside for the annual Grape Stomp event at Sugarloaf Mountain Vineyard. An adequately named festival, the goal of the event was to stomp up a grape storm! Giving a nod to the traditional form of wine making, participants jump into one of three wooden barrels. As the famous Italian song “The Tarantella” plays, guests stomp like mad to try to produce the most grape juice in a cup that receives drainage from the barrel.

It’s such a hoot. And the winner gets a bonus glass of wine. (Or chocolate for the young’uns.)

Insider Tip: If you find yourself at a competition, know that the trick is to stomp right by the drain to get the most amount of juice in your cup.

Tip 2: If a handful of people have gone before you, you’re stomping slush rather than grapes. Most likely (especially if you stomp the way I do), you’ll end up splashing juice on yourself, so don’t wear your Sunday best.

Here’s how the contest looked:

wine stomping

That’s me on the left – I had some tough competition! Can you see how focused they were?

Other Activities

At this particular event, there’s extra goodies in store for you. On entry, you get a free glass of wine with your initials (or any message you want) etched in. You also get a glass of wine, live music entertainment and a hayride tour of the winery — led by one of the co-owners of the property. It’s the type of place where you can bring a picnic, bring some lawn chairs, and just take it easy.

Vineyard tour at Sugarloaf Mountain

Vineyard tour led by one of the owners

It’s so nice to have such a range of wineries and vineyards within a couple hours of Washington DC. And I’m really happy some of them offer such cool experiences like the grape stomp. Stay tuned as I’m planning similar experiences like this.

guy drinking wine outside

Enjoying the “summery” October day with a glass of chilled rose.

If you’re thinking – woah! I totally want to stomp grapes! I’ve always wanted to try it since I fell in love with that episode from I Love Lucy. Then good news, there’s still time. The competition/wine festival continues this weekend. If you’re not in the area, there may be a similar event near you.


Our new furry friends.


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