Fit Friday: Grape stomping edition

I was reminiscing about my San Diego trip last year and decided I’d make this Friday a fit one…the old world Italian way. With lots of antioxidants (from the wine, of course) and cardio from grape stomping in Julian!

It’s a small, historic  gold-mining town known for its apples. They have a vibrant community life and often have events.

I was lucky enough to not only find the event through San Diego Magazine via PDB, but actually have planned to be in the area with my Mom the weekend they held their annual Grape Stomp Festa.

Of course, we put it on our itinerary immediately. We landed Friday afternoon and got up at 9 a.m. Saturday to head to the Festa.

It's a beautiful drive.

The town of Julian is an hour north of San Diego so we had plenty of time to take in the scenery. The landscape really changes and it was fun navigating the winding roads and steep elevation changes.

We knew we were getting close when we saw these adorable signs!

There were others before these that said “Eat Me” and “Drink Me” so naturally “Stomp Me” and “Make Me Wine” followed. 🙂

First look at the town.

We finally made it! We paid the entrance fee, picked up our commemorative wine glasses and made a bee line to the long line of people waiting to get their turn to stomp grapes.

While we waited in line, we took advantage of the sights and opportunities nearby.

Like posing with the locals.


And posing with the real stars of the show--the grapes!

After an hour, it was finally our turn. The thing about waiting in line for an hour is you get to meet great people. The family behind us were so fun and nice enough to snap our picture while they waited to get in.

Finally time to stomp!

We weren’t very good stompers. Everyone is far more concerned with taking pictures than making wine but it was still a lot of work. Grape stomping is great exercise for your calves, quads, hamstrings and glutes! 🙂 Also, the barrels are so full that it was hard to stomp without making a huge mess and falling on your butt so core strength and balance was key.

It was amazing to have so many people from all over just having a great time. Unconcerned about how many dirty, sweaty feet you are sharing a tub with–that’s unity.

Mmmmmmmm, grapey.

Gotta love the feeling of grapes between your toes in the sunshine.

Here’s a picture of the family we made friends with in line:

Look at how many people fit in one barrel!

The guy taking the picture was so hyper and fun. We all took a picture together but it was on his camera…and I have no way to get ahold of him. I do know that he was a chef and had just opened his own bakery. Funny that someone else has family pictures with us in the mix.

After we enough fun and our toes started to get pruney, it was time to hop out and head to the water spigot.

Luckily, you could hose off once you got out or we would've had purple "socks" all day.

Once our stomping was over, we could explore the rest of the Festa. They had a ton of wineries represented all selling samples and bottles.

My favorite was this passion fruit wine.

I would’ve bought it but the employees were so rude! I know it was a crowded, long, loud and hot day, but they weren’t happy and made sure we knew it. It also meant I would’ve had to check a bag at the airport and that’s against my rules.

Once we were wine-ding down (see what I did there?), we toured the rest of the property. Which included this guy:


And the actual winery building.

They were offering an olive oil tasting.


A closer look at the processing and mechanics of the winery.

Then we headed out to explore the rest of Julian. First stop? After many recommendations, it was Mom’s pie shop.

When there's a 30-minute line for pie, you know it's going to be good.

They had every kind of pie you could think of but we split a classic.

Are you drooling?

We left only sad that we split a piece and not a whole pie because it was so good. 🙂 Then to offset the pie, we walked up, down and all around.

Plenty of directions to choose from.

It was such great fun–definitely not something we thought we’d do on our trip, or maybe ever. Finally, after seven hours of sun, smiles and stomping, we headed back to San Diego. But, not without souvenirs.

My Mom got this cute little olive oil trio.

My souvenir was less cute. And I’m from Florida so this is particularly heinous because I know better!

Whoops. Oh well. I had aloe and sun block every day for the rest of the trip!

So, that is my old Italian workout story. Hope you have a great weekend!


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