Lightcatcher Winery in Fort Worth Hosts I Love Lucy Grape Stomping Party

Wine-lovers lined up to get up to their knees in grapes. (Photo by Julissa Treviño)

Our gal on the street, Julissa Treviño, attended Lightcatcher Winery’s Lucy Dance grape crushing party over the weekends. Behold her report:

Crowds of people—most of them in peasant skirts, peasant tops, and bandanas—lined up outside LightCatcher Winery in Fort Worth on Saturday at noon, waiting for their turn to participate in what the winery calls “the Lucy Dance.”

About 300 people showed up for the winery’s annual public grape crushing event, Crush Day, this weekend. Anyone dressed as Lucy (based on the I Love Lucy episode where she crushed grapes) got to take home a free bottle of the 2010 Texas Kiss Merlot Rosé.

jump for the report and messy pics…

Stompers lined up outsode the winery. (Photo by Julissa Treviño)

Thousands of pounds of grapes were de-stemmed on the patio just before the crushing began. The winery’s machine can de-stem about 1000 lbs in 15 minutes, said a winery employee. For $25, guests helped crush freshly harvested grapes with their bare feet in two large tubs. Not to worry: Everyone had to wash their feet before and after the crushing, and guests were asked not to wear any lotion or fragrances that could affect the product.

Fruit of the vine. (Photo by Julissa Treviño)

If you’ve never been to a grape crush before, here’s what it’s like: It feels cold, slushy and slippery, and it’s probably the most fun you can have in 106 degree weather. Grape juice will inevitably stain your clothes and your thighs, but there’s nothing quite like it. If you’re in the DFW area, Crush Day is a must. What’s cool about Crush Day is that you’re actually contributing to the wine making process. The crushed grapes will actually be used for the winery’s cabernet sauvignon and merlot, said wine maker and chef Caris Turpen, who, along with her husband Terry, owns LightCatcher Winery. The product will go through a long stage of inoculation, fermentation and aging. It will eventually be bottled in 2-3 years.

I Love Lucy-impersonation knows no gender. (Photo by Julissa Treviño)

The crushing lasted three hours. Before and after, guests sat inside the tasting room or outside on the patio, where they could hear live music and order glasses or bottles from a list of about 15 wines and food. I tasted four wines: the Summer Sangria, 2009 Remuda Red, 2010 Chardonnay, and 2010 Hummingbird White. My favorite, the Summer Sangria, is sweet red wine infused with Texas peaches and apples and brandy and is very purple dark in color. It’s not too sweet; it’s actually slightly bitter and tart. The Remuda is soft and fruity (with plum, cherry, and blackberry notes), but it’s drier than the Summer Sangria. The two white wines proved to be very tart and with notes of citrus. Many of the guests opted for frozen Bellinis, but every time I tried ordering one, I was told the machine either wasn’t working or the drinks were coming out too watery. Oh well; there’s always next year.

Summer sangria. (Photo by Julissa Treviño)
Wine barrels at Lightcatcher Winery in Fort Worth. (Photo by Julissa Treviño)