Mackinaw Valley Vineyard holds annual grape stomp

By Alyssa Donovan

September 1, 2013 Updated Sep 1, 2013 at 10:50 PM CDT

MACKINAW, Ill.-- The juices were flowing on Sunday at Mackinaw Valley Vineyard's annual Grape Stomp and Harvest Festival.

Owner of Mackinaw Valley Vineyard and Winery Diane Hahn said, “We have two tubs and you sign up to stomp and the audience decides whose the best."

Some of the first winners of the day were Jaclyn Bennett, her mom and her sister.

Bennett said, "It's a fun get together with my mom and my sister, my mom has been wanting to do the grape stomp for a long time, It was a lot of fun! You definitely get your workout which is surprising. It's very slippery and it's hard to keep your balance and stay upright."

While Bennett and her family were first time stompers, some veterans came prepared.

Phyl Drake and Dorean Seitz have been part of the grape stomp for as long as it's been around.

Drake said, "It's been about 5 years we come every year and we come in costume."

In the past the sisters have brought tambourines, worn togas and Hawaiian outfits.
This year for their final stomp they came dressed as bunches of grapes.

Drake said, "My sister is going to retire this year so this is our last stomp!"

But there is a whole new generation of grape stompers ready to take their place.

The stompers didn't drink the grapes they crushed, instead, they could sample fine wines made the modern way and already bottled.

Hahn said, “We have 24 different wines that we make from our grapes on the property we have a special area set up so you can try out the wine before you buy it."

The Grape Stomp is the last big summer event but Mackinaw Valley Vineyard has band nights throughout September.