Making wine at Dakota Creek Winery just got messier and a whole lot more fun.
This year, for the crush – a time when the grapes are harvested, processed and the juice is placed in barrels to ferment – Ken Peck, owner of the winery, is hosting a grape stomp.
He is inviting the public to join Dakota Creek Winery’s first-ever grape stomp from 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday, October 13. The 6,000 pounds of cabernet sauvignon and malbec grapes harvested from vineyards near Yakima will be trucked to the winery and then poured into a large vat, where they will welcome bare feet and toes that are ready to squish away.
Crushing the grapes with bare feet is a traditional way of breaking the grapes down and is still used by many small wineries.
A trip to Yellowstone Cellars, his brother’s winery in Billings, Montana, gave Peck the idea.
“We’ve never done this before,” he said. “It looked like so much fun that we thought we’d do it.”
The event is open to all ages, and admission is free. Wine will be sold by the glass. “If people want to have a glass of wine in their hand while they stomp, that’s OK,” Peck said.
The crushed grapes are expected to yield 2,000 bottles of wine. Dakota Creek Winery produces around 12,000 bottles each year.
“The grape stomp is happening rain or shine,” Peck said, welcoming families to bring their kids.
The winery is located at 3575 Haynie Road, Blaine. For more information, visit dakotacreekwinery.com
or call 360/820-4752.