Grape Stomp: A Napa Harvest Experience
Anyone who knows I Love Lucy remembers the episode where Lucy wanders off to a vineyard and is ordered by forceful Italian women to crush grapes with her feet in a wine vat. Well, the clever, fun-loving family behind Schweiger Vineyards has recreated the side-splitting scene with this year's harvest experience. Sure, Crushpad may offer their version of a city crush camp, but we say go where the grapes grow for a truly authentic escapade. Make the trek up to the mountaintop vineyard and winery in St. Helena for a day of sampling, sugar testing, handpicking, de-stemming and good, old-fashioned stomping. Amateur or connoisseur, you're guaranteed to have a great time.
We were lucky enough to attend on the day that seven spunky New Orleans ladies were visiting. After witnessing the grapes being blessed by a family friend and local pastor, we set off to the vines for a sugar sampling showdown and handpicking lesson. Not nearly as fast as the field workers, we all stumbled back with our lug boxes of fruit and the infamous grape stomping session ensued. The day wouldn't have been complete without the requisite barrel fight in true Lucy style, instigated, not by us, but by two of these blithe Southern women. Schweiger and company then provides a tour of the facilities followed by a tasting of both current releases and a special barrel sample. The harvest experience ends with a picnic lunch prepared graciously by Mrs. Schweiger on the lawn overlooking the entire Napa Valley. Mark your calendars—this is an affair to remember.
Schweiger Vineyards, 4015 Spring Mountain Rd., St. Helena, CA, 707-963-4882, $125 per person for harvest experience, 10/1 or 10/8 from 10 a.m. - 1 p.m. Call for reservation.