WE LIVE IN A YEAR-ROUND WORLD, meaning that we often put things off, or delay activities, because we know we'll catch the event or food or adventure during another part of the year. In short? We don't need to fret that we'll need to wait another trip around the calendar before we can try what we missed out on at a not-so-later date. But one activity stays consistently centered around the first part of September, and, nope, we're not talking about returning those cute school shoes that didn't quite fit. It is the grape stomp we speak of, a fairly messy, laugh-inducing, cameraderie-building, camera-worthy happening that coincides with the time of harvest at California's wineries. Not every winery throws a public stomp, however. They're still fairly rare, so keeping an eye on the places that still line up the grape-packed barrels and tubs, the ones with spigots on the front, is of paramount importance.
RAMONA... is one such spot, and if you and your wine-loving bestie have always promised to try out this oh-so-late-summer pursuit, at least once, Saturday, Sept. 8 is the ideal time to do so. The Ramona Outdoor Community Center is the place take off your socks and/or sandals, the hours are noon to 5 o'clock, and the competition will involve both stompers and swabbies, or the people helming the spigots (and, yes, keeping grape skins from blocking the flow of juice, an essential job). You'll need to read up on how the contest will work, and purchase a stomp card, and, yes, pair up with a pal who is super into this grape-tastic gleefulness. A stomp card is twenty bucks, and your admission to the celebration is ten, so gather up your need-to-knows before practicing your stomp, stomp, stomp techniques.
PERHAPS... you'll want to do it again one day, once you complete your initial stomp? Well, as mentioned, it is a pastime with ancient roots, tied to the harvest season, which, in these parts, comes to full flower around September. So best stomp now, dear stompers, at the Ramona Grape Stomp, all to obtain ultimate grape-crushing glory, not to mention a lively anecdote you can keep in your back pocket forever. A bonus: There shall be wine for sale there, and beer, too, as well as craft-lovely vendors to peruse.