By Zach Morton for Farm Carolina
Dennis Vineyards in Albemarle will host its 9th Annual Harvest Festival and Grape Stomp this Saturday (October 13, 2012)
“It is amazing event. A lot of work, but amazing,” said co-owner Amy Dennis. The event, which drew over 2,000 people last year, is expected to bring in as many people this year.
“We have our grape stomping and our live band, Right Turn Clyde. We have hayrides, arts and crafts vendors, food vendors, wine tasting. It is family friendly and free to the public,” said employee Lauren Hutchins. But the biggest draw for the annual event is always the old-fashioned grape stomp.
“We use two great big fiberglass tubs that look like wine barrels cut in half. And the stomp actually happens when the band is not playing,” said Dennis. And for those old enough to remember the infamous scene from “I Love Lucy”, they will be in for a treat.
“There will be two people down there to assist with the stomp dressed up like Lucille Ball. More kids seem to jump in the grape stomp than the adults, but I would probably say it is half kids and half adults.”
With this year’s extreme weather during the spring and summer damaging many crops, Hutchins says they still managed to have a good harvest.
“This year’s harvest was decent. It wasn’t quite as good as last year’s because of the freak frost we had in the spring when all of our vines had woken up. It made our production not quite as good this year, but it was still a good harvest considering we didn’t have to buy any grapes from anybody.”
“And the heat was actually good for muscadines. They thrive in hot, humid weather. As long as we have a descent amount of rain, like we had had when it would rain periodically for a whole day, we were just fine.”
The free event will open at 12 p.m. and last until 5 p.m. If you would like more information, you can contact Dennis Vineyards at (704) 982-6090, or visit www.dennisvineyards.com. For those looking to taste wine, please remember to bring your I.D.