Stomping, or crushing grapes (from French pigeage) by feet is an age-old trend. There are lots and lots of evidences that the practice of stepping on grapes in tubs, vats, or lagars to make wine has been running since last 8,000 years just to celebrate the advent of Spring. In 2017, scientists found some earthen wine pots decorated with images of grapes and a man dancing in Tbilisi, Georgia.
But why the best winemakers across the world still rely mostly on stomping grapes, especially when machine processing is prevalent?
“The foot crushing gets the fermentation going quicker and adds to the intensity,” Gary Robinson of California’s Left Bend Winery once quipped at tastingtable.com, a trendsetter food portal from New York. Stomping grapes is always a smooth process that avoids crushing grape seeds, resulting in a smoother flavor.
Experts say the foot provides more balance over the wine’s flavor quotient. It helps to reduce seed breaking and customize tannin structure which can create deep off and harsh flavors.
Grape Stomping @Vedic Village
I know quite a few Stomping festivals in Western India, including the Sulafest in Nashik. And since, this year the much-hyped Sulafest is not taking place, which was scheduled on 1st and 2nd February, 2022, Eastern Region’s one and only Grape Stomping event @ Vedic Village got the momentum. Vedic has been holding this signature event since last 5 years. But then, there was not much propagation behind it. This year, on 13th February, the fun fare and fiesta reached its zenith with more than 200 guests bore a pocket-pinch of Rs.1999 + tax to get an entry and enjoy the full day with unlimited Continental Brunch, free-flowing, non-stop wine, huge spread of main course, Live DJ, and Live bands.
The afternoon party started with some grooving numbers and the sleepy-sloppy hamlet came back to life! The aroma of fresh wine and the guests tasting it with some delectable cold cuts under the sun makes me remind of John Keats, when he says, “Give me books, French wine, fruit, fine weather and a little music played out of doors by somebody I do not know.”
A not-so-deep wooden well hosts the grape stomping, where the ripe grapes were pouring in at regular intervals helping the madness to get intensified. To add to the frenzy, there was the live nail arts corner and the ‘Ranpa’ performers in bright yellow attire catching the attention of the onlookers. The party buffs, who actually joined in search of some amazing food started queuing up outside the cold cuts corner. The Smoked Ham and Olive Skewers and the Chicken Liver Pate was out of the world. Though, to my mind, both the items deserve much more fancy display with some strategic luminaries. Then you’ve live grills, pasta, noodles, and pizza bar.
Reading through this, are you getting bored? Do you find this running commentary a bit mellow? Believe me, this picturesque party is not everyday affair. It is something that even a brilliant click can fail to describe the vibes. And I murmur to myself as I drive back home:
O, for a draught of vintage! that hath been
Cool’d a long age in the deep-delved earth,
Tasting of Flora and the country green,
Dance, and Provençal song, and sunburnt mirth!
Day’s Menu For the Food Enthusiasts:
Cheese | Salads | Cold Meats | Jams | Dips | Crisps | Nuts
Mozzarella | Brie | Cheddar | Parmesan | Stilton | Feta
Canapes – Veg | Non Veg
On – Crackers | Toasts | Papri | Focaccia | Pita
Cold Meat Skewers
Smoked Ham And Olive Skewers
Steamed Chicken Sausages & Garlic
Cheese Straws | Melba Toasts | Sticks | Home Made Nachos | Prawn Crackers
Chicken Pepper Galantine | Chicken Terrine
Meat Loaf | Spiced Local Ham
Pate – Mushroom | Chicken Liver
Terrine – Ham Hock And Mustard | Smoked Bekti
Steamed Chicken, Basil Mayonnaise & Avocado
Moroccan Spiced Olives , Lettuce , Balsamic Veggies
Mushrooms & Tender Beans
Three Beans Mille Feuille
Jams | Dips | Chutneys
Jams – Bacon | Brown Onion | Dry Mango
Dips – Sour Cream And Onion | Bbq Mayo | Burnt Tomato
Chutneys – Prune | Blueberry
Minced Lamb And Onion Patty
Chicken Scallion & Coriander Pate
Smoked Potatoes , Cheddar , Sour Cream
Cottage Cheese BBQ , Cilantro Mayo
Sandwich – Plain | Grilled | Open
Breads – Focaccia | Multigrain | Baguette | Brioche
Non Veg – Egg And Cheddar | Pickled Prawn , Hummus
Veg – Candid Tomato , Lettuce | Spiced Coleslaw
Non Veg Options: – Fish — Cazun Blend | Chicken – Zattar Spiced
Vegetarian Options: Stuffed Cottage Cheese Steak | Mushroom Cap
Sausages – Chicken Cocktail | Entally Masala Chicken | Entally Masala Pork | Pickled Chicken
Feta – Onion Mash | Wilted Spinach | Sauteed Vegetables
Suaces: Bbq | Pan Gravy | Warm Grapes Compote
Fries: French Fries | Cajun Spiced Potato Wedges
Pizzas & Pastas
Mixed Sausages, Onion And Fresh Coriander Leaves
Grilled Vegetables, Feta, Olives & Fresh Coriander Leaves.
Three Types Of Pasta– Penne | Spaghetti | Farfelle
Sauces–Arrabiata | Pesto | Mornay
Choice Of Vegetables
Smoked Chicken Pilaf | Burnt Garlic Raita
Dal Live – Yellow | Dal Makhani
Desi Eggs Live
Pan Fry Noodles – Egg , Chicken , Veg
Lemon Curd Basbousa | Assorted Fresh Cream Tarts | Sweet Curd Mousse
Dark Chocolate Opera Slices | Milky Cheese Balls , Jaggery Flavour
Hot – Winter Carrot Pudding | Sticky Date Pudding , Fudge Sauce
Sundae Counter Live – Ice Creams , Brownie , Toppings , Sauces