One of the cool things about Harvest Season here in the Temecula Wine Country is that each winery has it’s own unique celebration. Sure, each has certain commonalities – wine, food, music, and grape stomping. But it’s the little unique touches that set each winery apart. For Lorimar Winery and Vineyards, their first annual Grape Stomp & Harvest Fest was the perfect example of how to make such a celebration down-to-earth, relaxing, and fun for both grape stomp newbies and pros alike.
While one will find Lorimar’s tasting room in Old Town Temecula, their vineyard – and the location of their Harvest Fest – is located off of Anza Road in wine country, just north of South Coast Winery & Resort. The “hidden” aspect is kinda cool – sort of like finding a trendy sign-less LA bar in an alley, right off a main street.
After checking in and receiving my glass (after all, we are here to drink wine, not just stomp grapes), a group of us were taken to the stomping area in the vineyards via tractor-pulled hayride. I must admit this was the first time a tractor has pulled me anywhere. Everyone played “don’t spill your wine the person sitting next to you” as we slowly made our way to the party area, where we found grape stomping, wine tasting, appetizers, and music provided by the Bayou Brothers Band.
While I expected to see a grape stomping competition with heated rounds of grape squishing, Lorimar provided a more casual affair. Everyone had the opportunity to take off their shoes, roll up their skirt or shorts, and step on the red grapes when their turn came up. Without the pressure of filling up a bottle of grape juice first, Lorimar’s grape stomp became more of a “pose down” for both solo stompers and couples alike – a great way to get one’s toes purple and have their friends take photos and videos. Everyone definitely enjoyed his or her “Lucy” moment.
This being my inaugural trip to Lorimar, I was able to sample their wines for the first time. I really enjoyed two blends that they just released – their 2008 Duet (Cab & Mourvedre) and their 2008 Adagio (Merlot/Petit Verdot/Malbec). Both pleased my palate throughout the party.
After the stomping photo sessions ended and the day’s light retreated west and moon’s light prevailed, the group of partiers slowly headed back to the main tent for dinner, dancing, more music, and more wine. Some jumped back on the tractor ride, but many more of us realized that we could simply walk through the vineyard to the tent. It’s not everyday you can actually walk through a vineyard, so many of us took advantage. Traversing the uneven soil, touching the vines and grapes, all while holding a glass of wine in one hand and a bottle of freshly stomped juice in the other…our stroll, in a very tangible fashion, completed our harvest “cycle.” From vine to grape to juice to wine.
A tremendous time was had by all this evening. We came, we drank, we stomped, we ate, and we danced. Lorimar provided the perfect little Temecula Valley stomp and harvest festival.
Lorimar Winery & Vineyards
42031 Main Street, Suite C, Temecula, CA 92590