Archive for Saturday, August 18, 2012

Residents get feet wet in grape-stomping

August 18, 2012

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Jolene Loftin, of Eudora, left, and Melissa Miller, of Lawrence, dance and stomp in a tub full of grapes Saturday at the third annual Grape Stomp at BlueJacket Crossing Vineyard and Winery in Eudora. The two were dressed up as Ethel Mertz and Lucille Ball from the “I Love Lucy” episode where they travel to Italy and stomp grapes.

Jolene Loftin, of Eudora, left, and Melissa Miller, of Lawrence, dance and stomp in a tub full of grapes Saturday at the third annual Grape Stomp at BlueJacket Crossing Vineyard and Winery in Eudora. The two were dressed up as Ethel Mertz and Lucille Ball from the “I Love Lucy” episode where they travel to Italy and stomp grapes.

At times it was more of a squish than a stomp.

Shirley Marrs got in tentatively, a bit of a grimace — or at least the expression of not knowing what to expect — on her face. Joe Cebula followed, and soon enough the two were walking in the small barrel, ripe fruit between their bare toes.

No, wine-making like this won’t be in their future plans, they said, but this was all in good fun.

“And wine-enjoying will be,” Marrs said.

BlueJacket Crossing Vineyard and Winery, 1969 N. 1250 Road in Eudora, had its third annual grape stomp event Saturday. Owner Pep Selvan-Solberg said the event started after some particularly insistent clientele kept suggesting a public event in the style of the infamous “I Love Lucy” segment. In the early days of the business, though, there just weren’t enough grapes to waste.

But at the close of this scorcher of a summer, there’s plenty of fruit that didn’t survive to get ripe, he said. Unfortunate for the wine supply, fortunate for the hundreds of Lucy and Ethel emulators and wannabe squishers and stompers.

Lots of kids and even a dog or two — it’s just for fun, after all, not consumption — got involved in the event, which was formerly a benefit for Big Brothers Big Sisters and now a fundraiser for two area families in need, Selvan-Solberg said.

Comments

Milton Bland 2 years, 11 months ago

I can hardly believe the Douglas County Health Department allows this! It has to be dangerous and unhealthy! And where is the Zoning Department? This activity must be stopped! NOW!

dperuman 2 years, 11 months ago

rvjayhawk the juice created from the foot stomping isn't used in the actual production of the wine. It is composted at the end of the event. So it's just fun for the people and good for the environment!

JackMcKee 2 years, 11 months ago

Kansas wines, for the most part, are terrible. There are some decent whites but the reds are typically not good. Some of the Missouri wines aren't too bad. Generally, both are overpriced. You can get a better wine for under $10 from other regions.

countrygirl 2 years, 11 months ago

Bluejacket Crossing has some wonderful wines and it's run by terrific people. I need to get back out there and get some more Prairie Blush.

Rick Hird 2 years, 11 months ago

Many of those who post comments critical of Kansas wineries have never been to a Kansas winery or tried their wines. The quality of wine made in Kansas has improved to the point where Kansas wines are winning national awards. Obviously, the quality varies, but so does the quality of wines produced in California and other states. That's part of what makes it fun to visit the wineries. The Norton (Cynthiana) is the same grape grown in Missouri and other midwestern states. It makes a wonderful red wine. The Seyval grape makes a terrific white wine, very drinkable. BlueJacket Crossing makes award winning, excellent wines with enough varieties that there is something for every taste. Give them a try!

JackMcKee 2 years, 11 months ago

This is the kind of comment that makes this website such good comedy. In other words, this person is 100% wrong. One of the first things Kansas winemakers readily admit is that most of the common wine varieties will not grow well in Kansas. Kansas does a great with the sweet wines, but not much else.

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