Grape treading

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(Redirected from Grape stomping)
Arianne Caoili (left) performing grape stomping during the 3rd Annual Wine Festival in Artsakh
Grape stomping during the a traditional grape harvest festival in Spain.

Grape-treading or grape-stomping is part of the method of maceration used in traditional wine-making.[1][2][3] Rather than being crushed in a wine press or by another mechanized method, grapes are repeatedly trampled in vats by barefoot participants to release their juices and begin fermentation. Grape-treading was widespread in the history of winemaking, but with the introduction of industrial methods, it now survives mostly as a recreational or competitive activity at cultural festivals.


One of the earliest extant visual representations of the practice appears on a Roman Empire sarcophagus from the 3rd century AD, which depicts an idealized pastoral scene with a group of Erotes harvesting and stomping grapes at Vindemia, a rural festival.[4]

Many contemporary wineries hold grape-stomping contests to attract visitors. The practice is also the subject of many depictions in contemporary media, including the 1974 Mel Tillis song "Stomp Them Grapes", the I Love Lucy episode "Lucy's Italian Movie", and The Littlest Grape Stomper,[5] a children's book by Alan Madison.[6]

The novel The Secret of Santa Vittoria and the film based on it, taking place in a wine-producing Italian town during WWII, include a grape treading scene which has a major role in the battle of wits between the townspeople and their German occupiers.

Special Experience[edit]

Harvest experience tours, also known as "harvest internships" or "crush camps," are tours or programs that allow visitors to experience the winemaking process firsthand by participating in the grape harvesting and crushing process. These tours are usually offered during the grape harvesting season, which varies depending on the region and the type of grapes being harvested. Harvest experience tours can be a fun and educational way to learn about the winemaking process and to see behind the scenes at a working winery.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Naked Wine: Letting Grapes Do What Comes Naturally. Da Capo Press, ISBN 9780306820489
  2. ^ Clarke, Oz (2009). Oz Clarke's Pocket Wine Guide 2010. Sterling Publishing Company, ISBN 9781402771248
  3. ^ Cheap, BA (2010). Mr. Cheap's Guide to Wine. Adams Media, ISBN 9781440517594
  4. ^ Wight, Karol (2008). Roman sarcophagus, c. 290-300 AD. The J. Paul Getty Museum
  5. ^ Madison, Alan (27 February 2007). The Littlest Grape Stomper. Schwartz & Wade. ISBN 978-0375836756.
  6. ^ Hope, Morrison (2007). The Littlest Grape Stomper (review). Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, Volume 60, Number 9, May 2007

External links[edit]

Media related to Grape treading at Wikimedia Commons