Morgan Creek winery holds annual grape stomp event
Published 4:30 pm Monday, September 19, 2016
By STEPHEN DAWKINS / Staff Writer
HARPERSVILLE – Standing barefoot in a barrel of cold grapes was only part of the fun at Morgan Creek Vineyards’ annual Grape Stomp event on Sept. 17.
“It’s cold and icky,” said Halie Batson of Sylacauga, who attended with her friend, Lauren Browning.
Still, a steady stream of enthusiasts lined up from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. at the Harpersville winery to stomp grapes, and there was much more to entertain.
Grape stompers could step on pads of purple ink and then onto paper to make a keepsake poster.
Music was provided by Will Stewart, a former salesman for the winery.
Wine tasting sessions were offered, where attendees could sample several wines offered at the winery, including a peach wine made from Chilton County peaches.
Charles K. Brammer with Morgan Creek said this year’s peach wine is the best the winery has produced.
Brammer said he is often asked if the grapes stomped at the event are used for wine (they are not, instead going into the winery’s mulch pile).
“We started in 2001,” Brammer said. “We’re harvesting now, so it’s always held during grape picking time.”
Attendees, which numbered over 1,000, could also pick their own muscadines, enjoy offerings from Natch’s Barbecue of Childersburg, purchase bottles of wine and related items from the gift shop and tour the operation, including seeing the bottling line in action.
Brammer said the line usually runs only twice per year, but tours and tastings are offered for free year-round.
Perhaps the highlight of the event is the annual Lucy-look-alike contest, where people dressed as the popular television show character to stomp grapes to music for 30 seconds.
Looks are not everything in the contest, as the participants are expected to play the part.
“We judge it by crowd applause,” Brammer said.
A large group of retired military personnel, called Special Military Active Recreational Travel Club, traveled to the event from Pensacola, Fla.
“We came here especially for this,” said James Pence, who was possibly the only male dressed as Lucy. “We’ve been trying to make it for years.”