Jan Norris: Food and Florida

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EatBeat: Stomp Grapes at PGA Commons Tonight

November 7th, 2009 · No Comments

grape-letterpress

Grape stomping was typically part of the festivities surrounding the grape harvests around the world (grape presses put pros out of work) but there is still wine made by foot, as it were.

In Portugal, the Monte Seis Reis winery just outside the town of Estremoz uses foot power to gently break the skins on grapes (rather than crush them with a press) in their best reserve wines. Foot stompers do this in a vat called a lagares.  

If you’re traveling there during harvest, visitors can have a romp in the grape vats, though it’s for show – not for the real deal, where stomping is controlled so as not to crush the fruit too much.

Greek tradition

Greece probably has more grape stomp ceremonies than other countries. Young maidens (the nymphs) stomp in certain ceremonies to honor Dionysus – patron saint of the grape — but in honor of Ulysses, whose men stomped grapes for the Cyclops, in certain cities, only men are allowed to get their feet into it.

Not as easy as  it seems

While it looks easy, it’s not – grapes are slippery and fairly firm. If they were in a shallow layer, it might be easier, but they are knee-deep so as not to crush them completely, and it’s difficult to lift your feet to the top of the pile to stomp freely.

Want to try?

Here in the U.S., some wineries put on grape stomp contests for fun; there’s one in our area tonight.

Harvest Fun at Grape Stomping in Gardens

Take off your shoes and get squishy with the grapes at PGA Commons, where a Harvest celebration takes place.

There’s a contest (who can get the most juice in a set time) for grape stompers, and hors d’oeuvres by Capital Grille as well as a wine sampling and live entertainment.

It’s hosted by Sabor Havana Connoisseur Club.

Grape Stomping Contest

Where:  PGA Commons, 4530 PGA Blvd., Palm Beach Gardens (next door to Vic & Angelos)

When: Saturday (tonight), 7-10 p.m.

For more information: Call (561) 252-8160

Tags: The Eat Beat: Restaurant News

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