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Grape Stomping is Still a Thing

If you've ever wondered if winemaking is ever still made with people crushing grapes with their bare feet, the answer is yes. This age-old tradition is still followed at the Port house Taylor Fladgate, where clusters of Touriga Francesca and Tinta Barroca have been stomped into juice in granite tanks for centuries -- and still are to this day.

The details of this process are documented in a recent Sauveur article, in which the writer describes his participation in the tradition alongside the Port house's grape pickers. I've always been curious about how this is actually done, and the article did answer many of my questions to my satisfaction. (Are the stompers' feet cleaned beforehand? Yes, their legs are first submerged in alcohol. Is it difficult to walk on top of the grapes? "There's weight; there's resistance," the writer says, but adds, "frankly, it's difficult.")

There were also some surprising details that I didn't know about the process (hint: The chicken dance is involved), and it's definitely an interesting read. You can access the full article here.

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