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Teams competing

Photos by Krista Weberr for the Tidings

The grapestomp's here ...

Alan Panebakerr Tidings Correspondent

Through sticky toes and sloshing bottles, participants returned to the basics of winemaking Saturday at Weisinger&

s of Ashland&

s 17th annual Grape Stomp.

In teams of two, competitors pounded grapes on top of oak barrels trying to be the first duo to fill two wine bottles, explained winemaker Eric Weisinger.



s an opportunity for people to come out and sort of experience the true roots, if you will, of wine production,&

Weisinger said.

This grassroots celebration is not just for Oregonians. Weisinger said the festivity gained casual mention last year on ESPN.

Despite the national publicity, Weisinger said he tries to stay grounded in his local orchards keeping a relaxed atmosphere for visitors and using only local fruit in his wines. Stepping inside the building where wine is actually made at Weisinger&

s, one can turn around to see a yellow &


sign with a crawling stick figure toting a bottle of the precious nectar.

This type of fun seems to be the top priority for everyone who attends this outrageous wine party.


Juice is flyin&

everywhere, and people are getting sticky,&

Weisinger said. &


s great.&

Of the 16 teams of crushers, Priscilla Vidal and Casey Hedler stomped the competition, proving themselves the victors until next year.

For those who missed the Grape Stomp, Weisinger Vineyards is having a harvesting party Sept. 24. Volunteers will pluck grapes, get served lunch and of course, drink wine.

More information can be found at www.weisingers.com.