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Cheer Wine

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Get your Lucy and Ethel on or just kick back and enjoy the scenery, food, drink, and fun at the annual Grape Stomp Festival this weekend.

August 24, 2011

Cheer Wine
Kick up your heels this Saturday at Irvin~House Vineyards’ Family Harvest and Grape Stomp Festival

written by Lauren Brooks Johnson

Though August is coming to a close, we can still enjoy summer’s barefoot glories for another month: warm sand sifting between our toes, pluff mud squishing under our heels, soft grass tickling our ankles, juicy muscadines popping underfoot…wait, come again? That’s right, Charleston, it’s grape-stomping time again at Irvin~House Vineyards.

This Saturday, some 2,000 revelers will kick up their heels for a kick-off celebration of the Wadmalaw winery’s harvest season. With bluegrass music from Southern Flavor, local craft vendors, children’s activities, comical contests, and more, the annual Family Harvest and Grape Stomp Festival promises an afternoon of sweet fun for everyone. The of-age crowd can drink in wine tastings (with purchases available by the glass or bottle); frozen “wine-a-ritas” in fresh flavors like Berry-Pom and Peach Bellini; and fare from Taco Boy’s food truck, Home Team BBQ, and Carolina Creole. Plus, pour some money into the “Back Porch Adventure” silent auction, and you could be toasting a two-night hotel stay; lunch at the Tomato Shed Café; and private tours of Charleston Tea Plantation, Irvin~House Vineyards, and Firefly Distillery.

Providing major entertainment for the minors, a kids’ area includes a jump castle, hula-hoop performances, face painting, appearances by children’s book authors (including silhouette artist Clay Rice), hot dogs, and Mr. Koolie’s ice-cream truck treats. Little ones can also nose over to the new zoo, where the chickens, rabbits, wild ducks, and crazy climbing goats from Rosebank Farms have now taken up residence.

As for the actual crushing of the grapes? In addition to a demonstration station where visitors can get hands-, er, feet-on experience, partygoers will have two chances to stomp the competition. The Lucy look-a-like contest, an annual favorite, calls contestants to dress up like that rascally redhead and earn applause for their antics—no liquid courage required. (Don’t want to don a costume? Stick your face through the cutout board for a funny photo op.) And a new grape stomp throw-down pits teams of two against each other to see who can produce the most juice from 20 pounds of grapes in three minutes.

Want to step up to the competition? Register in advance by clicking here.

Eighth Annual Family Harvest & Grape Stomp Festival. Saturday, August 27, 2-6 p.m. $10 per car (a portion of proceeds benefit Charleston Animal Society). For more information or to purchase tickets, click here.

For more ways to get out and about this weekend, click here.