Last updated on August 22nd, 2019
After participating in my first Minnesota grape stomp festival, I was hooked! Stomping grapes are so much fun. I quickly found out that not all stomps are created equally. Each stomp works differently. Between the barrel configuration, the number of grapes, to the number of people in the barrel at one time. But one thing is for sure, they are a lot of fun.
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If you want to give it a try and are afraid of the competition, check out some of the JUST FOR FUN, free stomping events. And if you want to get really good at the technique, try and participate in a competition that allows children to participate. You can learn the proper mucker techniques and try out different strategies just by doing that.
Minnesota Grape Stomps
Harvest Festival & Grape Stomp at Round Lake Vineyards and Winery
August 24th in Round Lake, MN
Live music, wine tasting, and art vendors come together at this Stomp. Teams of two race to smash the most juice. Visit RoundLakeVineyards.com for more details.
Grape Jam and Stomp Festival at Sovereign Estates
September 6-8 in Waconia, MN
Teams of two compete to collect as much juice as possible. Winning teams will advance to a final competition. Wine tastings, live music, and venue tours are happening all weekend. Friday Admission is free, otherwise, the rest of the weekend expect to pay $5 per person. Additional Fee’s to stomp. Visit SovereignEstateWine.com for all the details
Richwood Winery Grapes Stomp Festival
September 7th in Callaway, MN
2 people per barrel compete in 6 different heats. This festival has a $10 admission price for anyone 21 and over. But you get a commemorative festival glass. Listen to live music as you enjoy the fun. Visit RichwoodWinery.com for more details.
Grape Stomp Festival at Chateau St. Croix
September 7th-8th in St Croix Falls, Wis
This is a free grape stomp competition at Chateau St Croix, runs at three different times. They select the participants by drawing names. If your name isn’t called, no worries, you can still try it out in-between stomps. The kids can participate in this one too! The winery is designed like a French Chateau. Visit http://www.chateaustcroix.com/ for more details.
Grape Stomp Festival at Saint Croix Vineyards
September 7th in Stillwater, MN
This is the original grape stomp in Minnesota and its FREE! They select the participants by drawing names. If you aren’t called, you’ll still get a chance to stomp in-between competitions. They award prizes based on the best stomp style, based on audience applause. Take a tour of the winery and enjoy some live music. The kids can participate in this one too! Visit https://www.scvwines.com/ for more details.
Grape Stomp at Carlos Creek Winery
September 13th-15th in Alexandria, MN
The festival is one of the largest in the state. They include three days of stomping with a grand prize winner each day. Kids can stomp on Sunday. The festival has a large craft show, indoor man cave complete with beer and music. I recommend visiting on Friday or Sunday to avoid some of the crowds and discounted admission prices. Find out what happened when I went stomping at Carlos Creek Winery.
Next Chapter Winery
September 13th- October 29th in New Prague, MN
This event runs a little different because you take part in the harvesting of the grapes as well. It costs $38.99 for adults and $17.99 for children), but includes lunch or dinner, plus all the grapes you can munch on, and winemaking demonstrations. Then you get to take part in the stomping of the grapes! Visit https://www.nextchapterwinery.com/ for more details.
Northern Grape Stomp at Northern Vineyards
September 14th in Stillwater, MN
Located downtown, after you stomp, you’ll get the chance to decorate your souvenir t-shirt with footprints from your stomp. Groups of 2, will stop for 5 mins. Visit https://www.northernvineyards.com/ for more details.
Hungarian Harvest Festival and Grape Stomp
September 14th in Kimble, MN
The Festival starts with a good glass of wine. All weekend, enjoy live music, games, FREE grape Stomping, and FREE Wine Tasting, guided tours and art booths. You can’t really pass this one up. Visit http://www.millnerheritage.com/ for more details.
Food & Wine Festival at Dancing Dragonfly Winery
September 21th-22th in St Croix Falls, WS
In addition to the grape stomp, there is music, shopping, wagon rides, great food, and wine tastings. All stompers get a free t-shirt. The event is free, but there is a $5 parking fee. Visit https://www.dancingdragonflywinery.com/ for more details.
Grape Stomp at Crow River Winery
September 28th in Hutchinson, MN
Tons of ways to stomp. A children’s heat, two-person, trash the dress and an I Love Lucy competition. They have food trucks on-site, wine tastings, and live music. Cost is $35 per team and includes a t-shirt for every participant. I’ve attended this one a few times, and have collected to Award Winning Techniques for you to use. Visit the https://crowriverwinery.com/ for more details.
Cambria Crush: The Great Grape Stomp at Morgan Creek Vineyards
October 5th in New Ulm, MN
This grape stomp is at the start of the New Ulm’s October fest. Teams of 3-5 people all jump in one barrel to get the most juice out of their grapes. The winner gets a case of wine. The team with the best costume also receives a bottle of their seasonal dessert wine. Visit https://morgancreekvineyards.com/ for more details.
Some of My Favorite Question I get about Stomping Grapes
Why are grapes crushed with your feet?
Historically it was the simplest and most fun. But no, commercially produced wine does not use this method to make wine.
Does wine have to be made with grapes?
Nope. Wine can be produced from all kinds of fruits. The key is to ferment it. The basic process is the same as grape wine, but it allows the winemaker to experiment with different flavors. In Minnesota, grapes don’t always produce the quantity needed to meet the demand. That’s where fruit first started making its presence.
How many grapes does it take to make one bottle of wine?
Without getting technical, anywhere from 2.5lbs per bottle. The amount depends on the process, evaporation, size of the barrel produced and pressing technique applied.
What to wear when participating in a grape stomp festival?
It all depends on the weather since most events are held outdoors. It also depends on your role in the stomp. As I describe in Grape Stomping Tips you want to have something that won’t get messy. Shorts are the best option for the Stomper. The Mucker, needs a tank top or T-Shirt. Depending on how serious you take it, the mucker may get covered all the way up to their arms and face.
What happens if your clothes get covered in grape juice?
When my daughter wore her brand new pants and forgot to put on shorts underneath, I was horrified. I found that if you spray some Shout Gel Spray on the stains, and it came right out. The grape juice had dried and everything.
How to Participate in a Grape Stomp Festival?
If you want to participate, register as soon as possible. Many of the Minnesota grape stomps festivals fill up. Not all stomping locations provide baby oil or spray. I bring a small container of baby oil with me just in case. If they are using purple grapes, it can stain your clothing, so dress accordingly. Check with the location to get the exact details on the stomp you are attending, and prices may have changed.
Make sure, when you are out there to have a little fun. And don’t be afraid to get messy.