By Kris Haynes- Desert Wonder Tours and Trips contributor. Published August 30th’s 2019
Pigage, more commonly known as grape stomping or grape treading, is a tradition that dates to at least A.D. 210–220 (See Roman Sarcophagus Lid exhibiting this practice below). Pigage à pied, in French translates to “punch down” the cap. An early Artifact reveals the practice appears on a Roman Empire sarcophagus from the 3rd century CE, depicting an idealized pastoral scene with a group of Erotes harvesting and stomping grapes at Vindemia, a rural Roman vintage festival.
Participants repeatedly trampled in vats by barefoot participants to release their juices and begin fermentation. Historically this is the ideal method as the pressure of the human force is gentle enough so that it doesn’t crack the seeds which cause the wine to be bitter. The human foot is firm enough to slit the skin and squeeze out the juices from the pulp.
Grape stomping has become a coveted celebration of the end of harvest. Stetson Winery, nestled in a beautiful, high-desert valley and surrounded by the Peacock, Long and Music Mountain ranges, hosts this Harvest Celebration every year.
Desert Wonder Tours and Trips home-based in Kingman, Arizona, provides chauffeured shuttle service to the Stetson Winery which is located approximately 20 miles down the Historic Route 66. Hotel Pickup and return from Lake Havasu City, Laughlin, Nevada, or Kingman, Arizonaprovides a fun, safe way to travel to this desert gem hideaway.
The Perfect Way to Celebrate a Pigeage in the Desert!