The Coast News Group

Cal State hosts annual Grape Stomp

SAN MARCOS — There are plenty of vineyards that will let you taste their wine, but how many will let you stomp their grapes first? About 200 people showed up for the opportunity to get their feet wet, and sticky, at Carlsbad Coastal Winery’s Grape Stomp and Crush Party held in Forum Plaza at Cal State San Marcos the afternoon of Oct. 11. Other entertainments included a kabob dinner and a bocce ball tournament, all accompanied by the live music provided by Orange County rock band Texas Eddie.
“It’s our biggest event of the year,” winery co-owner Brian Vitek said. “Fifty percent of the people have never stomped grapes before, so it’s an opportunity for them to come in and stomp grapes.”
For seven years, the winery has been letting customers sip their finest vintage and then squish the fruit into an indigo mess beneath their toes. Last year, the party got just a little too big to hold at their office so they teamed up with the Cal State San Marcos alumni association and moved the party to a bigger forum.
“The winery was started by alumni of the university, which is why we have it here,” co-owner Denise Wells said.
By the end of the event, there were lots of mashed grapes and plenty of people with purple feet. Vitek said that the grapes crushed at the events were not actually turned into wine. “Seven years ago we probably did,” Vitek said. “We’re big enough now that we can burn a few grapes.”
Carlsbad Coastal Winery is a small, private wine operation that produces wine from fruit from Northern California and the Central California Coast. More information on the winery can be found at