Barrels of Fun Await at Julian's Grape Stomp Festa

The summer-meets-fall tradition is all about sweet (and squishy) memory-making.


What to Know

  • Saturday, Sept. 3
  • Menghini Winery in Julian
  • $20 regular admission; wine tastes are $1 each

THERE ARE BUCKET LISTS... in life, those gotta-try-that-offbeat-thing-once rosters that might involve a hot air balloon, or a boat trip, or a boat trip followed by a hot air balloon ride. But if you're talking about a "barrel list," then chances are strong you're discussing those unusual activities that are associated with a traditional vessel known for holding grapes. Lots and lots of grapes, quite often, the sort of juicy little orbs that let their liquid loose when stomped by a foot. If you've seen grape stomping on television — perhaps in the classic "I Love Lucy" episode or on a travel show — but haven't been sure where you can go to try it out, and cross it off your own bucket, er, barrel list, just look to some of the regional wineries of California in September, where grape-stomping celebrations have proven to be popular annual events.

MENGHINI WINERY, in Julian, has become well-known for its celebratory stomp, which will take place in 2022 on Saturday, Sept. 3. It's the Festa's 25th Anniversary, and visitors to the vineyard can expect live tunes, bites for sale, and, yes, the winery's vibrant vino. A ticket? It's $20, and includes your chance to put your feet to some fruit, and a wine glass, too, but keep in mind that tastes are separately priced (they're $1 each). And, of course, you'll want a camera-toting pal nearby, or someone who can snap a photo or two, because this is the sort of pics-or-it-didn't-happen pursuit that you'll want to talk about for years to come. A bonus? Apple season around Julian starts to rev up in September, and even if events won't be in full flower, finding pomme-packed pies around the town's quaint Main Street is a pleasurable possibility.

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