By Elizabeth Marie Himchak
Whether you just enjoy wine or have always wanted to jump around in a vat full of grapes, Bernardo Winery’s Grape Stomp Festa is for you.
The fifth annual event will begin at 2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 8 in Rosario’s Pavilion at Bernardo Winery, 13330 Paseo del Verano, Rancho Bernardo.
Tickets are $35 per person, 21 years and older only. The price includes an Italian buffet dinner prepared by Café Merlot, five wine tastings of Bernardo Winery vintages plus the option of stomping in one of two vats filled with grapes.
Attendees can also purchase wine by the glass or bottle.
Because the event sells out every year, purchasing the tickets in advance is highly recommended, according to Sam Pewitt, the winery’s marketing manager. Tickets can be purchased by going to the winery’s tasting room or by calling 858-487-1866.
Pewitt said because this time the event is being held during the winery’s regular operating hours, festa participants will be able go in and out of the venue in case they want to browse through the winery’s Village Shops.
She said the event is so popular — with about 150 to 200 attending — because it is “completely an out-of-the-box experience. It is so unique.”
Pewitt added many want to come because of the grape stomp activity, something they wanted to do since seeing an “I Love Lucy” episode in which Lucille Ball participates in a grape stomp.
“Many dress the part,” she said of the old Italian-inspired outfits some wear.
For those who prefer to come in modern clothes, Pewitt said, “don’t wear white.” She advises wearing shorts or pants that can be rolled up. “Dresses are best for women,” she added.
As for the origins of a grape stomp, Pewitt said, “It is an Italian tradition around harvest time to celebrate the harvest.”