Carlos Creek Winery will host its annual Grape Stomp this weekend, an event that draws about 15,000 visitors ready to stomp grapes, listen to music and sample wine.
This year, the winery’s new 22 Northmen brewery will add a fresh note to the shindig.
“With the brewery addition, we are going to be doing beer tasting or beer sampling on Friday and Saturday,” said Michelle Bredeson, vice president of marketing. “On Sunday, we are doing a Viking gameday event.”
While previous years have also offered beer in the Man Cave, this year’s beer will all come from 22 Northmen, which will introduce its Oktoberfest brew.
Sunday’s football game event will be limited to 80 people due to available space, she said. Vikings cheerleaders will be there, and there will be a pizza buffet.
Over the three-day festival, which runs Friday through Sunday, Sept. 13-15, 12 bands will play on four stages and more than 150 food, juried art and marketplace vendors will sell from booths and food trucks.
This year’s fundraising beneficiaries will be the Outreach Food Shelf in Alexandria and Let’s Go Fishing, which brings the elderly, veterans and people with disabilities out on the water. Last year, Grape Stomp raised $12,000 for Lake Area Humane Society, Bredeson said.
This year also, the winery has added another shuttle stop, so visitors can catch a shuttle either at the Runestone Community Center or the Viking Plaza Mall. The shuttle schedule is on the winery’s website, www.ccwgrapestomp.com.
Each year, stompers crush about 10,000 pounds of grapes. The juice from those grapes gets tossed, Bredeson said, not because of foot germs, but because of the uncontrolled oxidation of the grape.
“To keep it good enough to make wine, there would be a lot of steps that we need to take,” she said.