Yesterday I did something that I thought wasn’t done anymore: I stomped on grapes to make wine from scratch! I heard that Tony’s family did this so I really wanted to try it out.
Here’s how it’s done: Markos collected grapes from the garden and they were put on tarps to dry in the sun for a little while. Then Markos, Linda, and I collected them in crates and brought them to the “grape stomping area”; it’s a walled concrete square with a spout on one side. Attached to the spout is a basket to keep debris out of the juice and below is a big barrel to collect the grape juice.
We stomped on the grapes one crate at a time. It’s a neat feeling, squishing your toes through the grapes! I thought it was a lot of fun despite what I was told by others who have done it year after year and are probably sick of it! It’s a novelty for me though so “fun and good exercise” is how I’d describe it! After we were done with a crate, we’d put the left over pulp to the side to be stepped on a second time later on. By the second time around, there isn’t much juice left, just grape pulp; that leftover pulp is used to make ouzo! All the stomping took about 2 hours. Notice my lovely grape covered feet! It gets soooo sticky when it dries, so we had a bucket of water near to dunk our feel and hands in. And yes, I did have a taste of the grape juice (feet flavor and all! Although it tasted really good!).
The next step is pouring the juice into smaller containers from the barrel so we can transport them into a permanent barrel near the house. Tony’s uncle Pandalis came and helped us move them. Once it’s in the main barrel, it stays in there for 40 days while it ferments and turns itself from purple juice into a clear blond wine. Markos had a bit of a grape juice bath while he was pouring it into the big barrel!