Every October people descend upon the historic gold rush town and up-and-coming wine destination of Murphys, CA to channel their inner Lucy and Ethel in a true, down and dirty grape stomp competition. The event is held in conjunction with a Gold Rush Street Faire for a full day of family-fun and entertainment.
Calaveras Grape Stomp: How it Works
Teams of two—a Swabber and a Stomper—have exactly three minutes to try and stomp the most juice out of barrel of grapes for a chance to advance to the finals and win fabulous prizes. You know you want to do this! And even if your team doesn’t stomp your way to the finals, you could take home the prize for best costume (this is where the serious competitors come in!). Want to stomp? Scroll down for the full rules.
Meanwhile, spectating is just as fun. You get to wander in and out of Murphys Community Park throughout the day to watch the various stomping heats, enjoy the Street Fair and taste your way through as many wineries as you can get to in a day. In case you haven’t been in awhile, there’s now 22 wine tasting rooms on Main Street alone.
Here’s a video from 2014:
Sounds like you’re going to need to book a room! Don’t worry, there are still a few to be had right in town, and even more available just down the road. Make this your fall getaway.
This could be you …
Calaveras Grape Stomp: Team Rules
- Each team shall consist of two persons. One person, the Stomper, stands inside the barrel and stomps the grapes, and the other person, the Swabber, stands outside the barrel and catches the juice in the bucket(s) provided. The Swabber may also reach inside the barrel to assist the Stomper and ensure a free flow of juice through the screen and out the drain spout.
- The screen must completely cover the drain spout inside the barrel at all times. Any team found deliberately removing the screen is subject to disqualification without refund.
- Adult Stompers may not enter the barrel until the starter begins the stomp. Children may enter the barrel prior to the beginning of the stomp. Stompers must stomp in an upright position and may not use their hands for support in any way. Stompers may use their hands only to enter and exit the barrel, and to regain balance if necessary. Teams enter the competition at their own risk. Please Stomp responsibly.
- Stomp Teams cannot change their stompers and can only stomp for one team.
- Any team not participating in a manner consistent with fair play and good sportsmanship is subject to disqualification without refund.
- Teams are judged by the amount of juice, measured by weight, which accumulates in the bucket(s). Buckets must be immediately surrendered to Grape Stomp Staff at the conclusion of each Stomp.
- Given sufficient entries, the 2016 Grape Stomp will consist of up to 12 qualifying heats of ten (10) teams each. Each heat will be three minutes in duration, and the barrel will contain twenty- five (25) pounds of grapes.
- There will be two semi-final stomps. To reach the semi-finals, teams must either a) win their heat, or b) qualify as a Wild Card team. Wild Cards are determined by juice weight. The number of Wild Card teams advancing will be determined by the judges. In the case of ties, both or all teams advance.
- Teams with the highest juice weight from the combined results of the semi-finals will advance to the Championship Stomp. The number of teams advancing to the Championship Stomp will be determined by the judges. In the case of a tie, both or all teams advance.
- The Championship Stomp will be 5 minutes in duration and additional grapes will be added to the barrels at the judges’ discretion. In case of ties, both or all teams will be declared Champion.
- All Rules are subject to change at the discretion of judges.