Stomping grapes in the mountains

Julian Travel Blog

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The whole town turns out ...this is the whole town, it's not very big
This is the annual Julian Grape Stomp Festa where the local vintners of the San Diego mountains get together to sell their wines. Now, you have to realize that these are really small vineyards, some are only a few acres in size, and they produce only a few cases of wine, but we can say that we have local San Diego wines though.

Julian is a little town up in the Laguna Mountains above San Diego. They're not big (2000m), but you can swim in the ocean in the morning, drive up into the pine trees in 40 minutes, then drive down the backside to the desert in another 30. The town itself is just some tourist shops, but you can hike the surrounding trails, visit gold mines, eat the famous apple pie. Make sure to drive around some while you're up there.
A future wino actually swimming in the grapes


Everyone turns out for the Grape Stomp
...there's not a lot else to do there (I lived in Julian for a while). The owners of the vineyards set up little booths where you can taste their wines and find out what they're up to. There's music, dancing, food- all the things you'd expect at something like this. The host winery shows you the winemaking process. In this case, it's some fermenting tanks in an old barn.

Now the downside to this is that most of the wines are ...pretty awful. I always feel bad because the owners are so proud of their work, and it's really hard not to make a face ...or reach for the phone to call the Poison Control hotline... while they're asking you how you like it.

It is pretty fun though, and there really are a few good wines. The Muscat and Viognier seem to do pretty well in the hot, dry climate.

Try to stop by if you're ever in the area on that weekend. Wear something cool since it's usually over a 100 degrees , and make sure you don't mind getting dyed purple by grape juice while you're stomping.
lisa says:
hey there! eric and i are planning a trip to julian in a couple weekends! do you have any tips?
Posted on: Oct 13, 2007
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The whole town turns out    ...thi…
The whole town turns out ...th…
A future wino actually swimming in…
A future wino actually swimming i…
The actual stomping of the grapes
The actual stomping of the grapes
Vat is starting to get crowded
Vat is starting to get crowded
Some well-stomped grapes
Some well-stomped grapes
The washing of the feet
The washing of the feet
Serenading the wine as it ferments…
Serenading the wine as it ferment…
Local growers hawking their wines-…
Local growers hawking their wines…
Lenora is a tiny winery in Ramona,…
Lenora is a tiny winery in Ramona…
Ok, the wines arent very good... …
Ok, the wines aren't very good...…
Reeling from one with sort of an e…
Reeling from one with sort of an …
Grape-stained and ...not drinking …
Grape-stained and ...not drinking…
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photo by: mandals