Grape stomping is a traditional form of maceration that dates back to Roman times, at least as far back as 200 BC, which involves placing freshly-harvested grapes in a barrel. People would then climb inside barefoot and squish the juice out of the grapes using their own body weight as the ‘press’. The juice would then be collected and fermented to produce wine.
The wooden barrels would range in size from single-person to large enough to accommodate numerous people who turned this ancient practice, also known as pigeage, into quite a spectacle during harvest festivals.
Like so many traditions, grape stomping modernized with the passing of centuries, replacing these wooden ‘presses’ with technological means. It remains, nonetheless, a fun way to step (or stomp) back in time and engage in the days of yore.
To this end, during harvest season, from roughly the end of August through October, ArtViva offers a wonderful chance to experience grape stomping first hand: at a stunning historical villa in Tuscany, guests are given a tour of the vineyard, the modern cellar and the historic wine cellar before partaking in a good old fashioned grape stomp!
After all that ‘exertion’ comes a traditional light lunch of delicious Tuscan delicacies, served in the estate garden or by the pool. The Grape Stomping Tour in Tuscany is available during harvest season only, which varies each year. Please contact us for more information.