Video: Teams compete at the 2017 Ramona Grape Stomp Competition
By Miriam Raftery
September 10, 2017 (Ramona) – To the strains of songs like “Mountain Dew”, teams of competitors vied to see who could crush the most grapes in two minutes and emerge champion at the first-ever Ramona Grape Stomp this weekend.
Teams chose names such as the “Juicy Lucys” or the “Toe Jammers.” One team member stomped the ripe purple grapes, the other filled a cup with juice spurting out of a spigot on a wine barrel.
A Grape Stomp princess was also on hand to help officiate as contestants hopped in feet first, demonstrating their stomping skills on stage as the audience cheered them on with gusto.
Less competitive-spirited folks could also stomp just for fun--and pose for photos--at a separate stomping area.
“We’re excited to see the wineries coming together to give back to our community,” Terri Kerns from Ramona Ranch Winery and Vineyards, a sponsor of the event, told East County Magazine, “ since the Ramona community has so embraced the wineries.” She said the event has drawn large crowds eager to partake in the fun.
Hosted by the Ramona Valley Vineyards Association, Ramona Rotary Club and Ramona Senior Center, the event benefits such as college scholarships, senior nutrition, the Ramona Boys and Girls Club, Fourth of July fireworks, and education about this fast-growing wine region.
Crowds flocked to the Ramona Outdoor Community Center Pavillion, where activities included wine tasting from numerous local wineries serving up locally produced vintages, many from award-winning local wineries, ranging from sweet or dry whites to bold reds such as a 9-year-old Zinfandel on the tasting menu.
Guests could also enjoy foods, bid on silent auction prizes such as wine baskets and hand-made Adirondack chairs, vie for raffle prizes, or shop from vendors offering everything from Western wear to wine-themed accessories such as blown-glass wine stoppers and serving trays made from old wine bottles.
If you missed this year's Ramona Grape Stomp, no worries -- organizers have promised to make this successful stomp an annual event, so you can come back next year and many times more in the future to stomp, shop and sip to your heart's content.