End of summer got you down? If you’re already sick of pumpkin-spiced everything, or cringe at the thought of yard cleanup, hear us out. Autumn is wine harvest season, and no matter your seasonal preference, perhaps we can all agree that practically nothing compares to the feeling of popping open a great pour. No, not even a sunny day at the beach.
So if you’re now scouring the web for a local wine festival, we can assure you that there are plenty in the Valley this season — but there are none like the annual Grape Stomping Festival at Robibero Family Vineyards in New Paltz. The two-day fest takes place on September 30 through October 1, and yes, it’s exactly what it sounds like. Six gigantic grape-filled barrels are set up on vineyard grounds (four for adults and two for kids), and festival-goers are encouraged to roll up their jeans and, well, get in. Go for a little squish-squash action and get out, but not before you pose for a sweet Instagram pic.
Though participants should expect to get a little soiled, owner Tiffany Robibero Selby says that it’s more fun than it is messy. “You don’t get dirty unless you are jumping around splashing the grapes everywhere,” she said. “Most people actually are surprised how nice it feels on your feet.” If you do get a little carried away, however, wash stations are available for a quick rinse, though you may still want to bring a towel.
Along with the good, not-so-clean fun, tickets include your choice of a tasting of five vineyard wines, or a full glass of wine, as well as a keepsake Robibero logo wine glass as a memento of the experience. And while you’re there, don’t think twice about ordering a pour (or even a bottle) of some of Robibero’s best selling wines, like the 87 North, a refreshing blend of Cayuga White and estate Vidal Blanc, or the award-winning Cabernet Franc. Local craft beer and house-made caramel apple sangria will also be available for purchase.
And though you must be 21 to drink up, the festival offers plenty of ways for underage visitors to get down. Kids under 12 stomp for free, plus the event will feature lawn games, live music, wood-fired pizza, and a bonfire, making for the perfect fall family fun day. The event is pet friendly too, so you can even bring Fido.
Now in its 7th year, Robibero anticipates a thousand people to attend the weekend festivities, so be sure to get your tickets in advance.