If crushing grapes conjures up visions of Lucille Ball in the classic grape stomping episode, then this event is for you. The Great Grape Stomp returns to Fountain Hills on Saturday, November 3, from 10-4 p.m. The full-day event kicks off with a 5K race at Fountain Park (race-day registration or check-in starts at 9:00 a.m.). The Stomp festival include wine tastings ($15 tasting fee, guests receive 8 tastings plus a commemorative glass) featuring wines from Arizona’s four main wine regions. The event includes a Farmer’s Market, Fine Artists displaying their original art, cooking and wine-pairing demonstrations, entertainment featuring vocalist Donna McGee, and a grape stomping competition. Executive Chef Paul O’Connor of Alchemy Restaurant at Copperwynd Resort and Winemaker Curt Dunham will provide a wine pairing demonstration with Lawrence Dunham Vineyards’ wines and a variety of small bites offerings featuring products from the Farmer’s Market.

Donna McGee will be providing listenable vocals throughout the event. A veteran of the café scene in Tucson, she brings her easy but elegant style to the Valley. Over 40 vendors will be on display with all manner of snacks and meals, starting with a variety of healthy breakfast items from Eat me Catering. Desserts, from whoopie pies to fudge and popcorn will abound.

A wide variety of juried artists will be selling original art and wearable art pieces throughout the show and an award ceremony at center stage on the Avenue of the Fountains will announce the winners of the 5K race. But the most fun will be the Grape Stomping Competition. For a $10 fee “Stomping Teams” will compete for the Phoenix Area Great Grape Stomp Championship. After expenses, proceeds from the “Stomp” will benefit the Arizona Wine Growers Association. This is a family-friendly adventure, and team-members will join a harvest tradition that spans centuries. (Hint: dress in black or dark clothing!)

Grape Stomp Schedule of Events:

9:00 a.m. 5K race check-in; race start at 10:00 a.m. at Fountainside Plaza. For more information and online race registration ($35 includes race, t-shirt, goodie bag, & festival wine tasting fee) at http://www.arizonawine.org/grapestomp.html.

Winemaker Curt Dunham/ Chef Paul O’Connor from Alchemy at Copperwynd sessions between 11:30 – 1p.m. featuring Farmer’s Market products and wine from Lawrence Dunham Vineyards.

Grape Stomping: Starting with local celebrity teams, the grape stomp will occur between 2:00 – 3:30 p.m. Teams (three or more) can pre-register by email to info@lawrencedunhamvineyards.com or at the Festival entry gate.

For more event information: http://www.arizonawine.org/resources/FtHills_Grape_Stomp_Poster_10-22-12.pdf or contact, Peggy Fiandaca about the Grape Stomp festival email info@LawrenceDunhamVineyards.com or contact the AWGA Office at (623) 236-2338.

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