A Brief History of the Grape Stomp!

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In celebration of the budding of the vines and blooming of the roses, Messina Hof is hosting the 32nd Annual Wine & Roses Festival. And of course, what would a wine festival be without a grape stomp? To honor this tradition, we’ve put together a brief history of the grape stomp…

Grape Stomping or the French term Pigeage is the first step in the traditional wine-making process. Rather than using a wine press or other mechanized method, grapes were pressed by foot in open Fermentation tanks (barrels); this would begin the wine fermentation process. Ancient Romans drank wine back in 200 BC and due to visual representations on a Roman Empire sarcophagus we can assume they were one of the earliest to use the stomping method. For centuries, stomping grapes was the universal method used to extract juice to make wine. Present day we would use a wine press to accomplish this, due to the fact that grape stomping for the production of wine was banned in the US at the end at the twentieth century and a more efficient mechanical press was created.

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