Crush Fruit, Under Heel, at This Wine Country Must

South Coast Winery's messiest and merriest party is stomping this way.

HOW DO YOU DEAL WITH FRUIT? For sure, you munch it, gnaw it, and swallow it whole, if it small like a berry and not big like a coconut. But sometimes a perfect piece of fruit needs some prep, some before-you-consume-it work, a little chopping or mushing or julienning. You might slice a banana or core an apple and a pineapple? You'll want to chunk that juicy gem before throwing it into a salad. What, though, is to be done with a grape? It is fine to eat on its own, with its skin, though peeling a grape's outer layer has become shorthand for the decadent life. If wine is wanted, however, that grape, and a lot of other grapes, will need to be crushed. That's done in a variety of ways nowadays, with some strong technical thinking behind the process. And yet? There are still stomps around, those opportunities to give grapes a bit of fancy foot action.

SOUTH COAST WINERY RESORT & SPA... provides guests that opportunity each year, and adventurous oenophiles gamely step inside barrels to squish, squish, squish. The squishy celebration is coming up on Sunday, Sept. 15, and you'll want to two-person team, so invite your bestie along. One person stomps, the other captures the juice, and, fingers crossed, someone is standing by to record the whole thing on some sort of device. If you and your teammate fill that bottle o' juice the fastest, you'll get two bottles of wine (from South Coast, natch). A ticket for one person is $85, and a sparkling wine toast is included. One highlight of a highlight-filled happening? The blessing of the vines, a tradition at the pretty winery. Never stomped grapes? Time to mark that one off the bucket list.

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