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‘Fair atmosphere’ slated Sept. 9 at Round Lake winery

ROUND LAKE -- The Round Lake Vineyard and Winery will send its guests back to winemaking's roots Sept. 9 during its third annual grape stomp. Beginning at 2 p.m., registered teams of two will have the opportunity to try their feet at the traditio...

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Round Lake Vineyard and Winery Owner Scott Ellenbecker (from left), Marketing Manager Heidi Petersen and the dog, Twist, are preparing the vineyard and winery northeast of Round Lake to welcome guests Sept. 9 for the third annual grape stomp. (Alyssa Sobotka / The Globe)

ROUND LAKE - The Round Lake Vineyard and Winery will send its guests back to winemaking’s roots Sept. 9 during its third annual grape stomp.

 

Beginning at 2 p.m., registered teams of two will have the opportunity to try their feet at the traditional winemaking technique used prior to the development of mechanical equipment used today. Teams will race other teams to separate and collect juices from the grapes by stomping on them barefoot.

 

“Being farm country, this is a great way to start the harvest season and have a party,” said Round Lake Vineyard and Winery Owner Scott Ellenbecker of the occasion.  

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While the grape stomp is one of the day’s featured attractions, there will be plenty of other activities that will provide guests with a fair atmosphere throughout eight acres of the grounds, Ellenbecker said. The vineyard and winery northeast of Round Lake will open its gates from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.

 

Guests are invited to spend the day wine and beer tasting; perusing 38 crafts, art and home goods vendors; visiting the food tent; and exploring, all while live music permeates throughout the grounds.

 

Jazz-style musician Elisabeth Hunstad will take the stage at noon and Powerplay, a lively rock n’ roll group, will follow at 3 p.m. Both bands are from Sioux Falls, S.D.

 

“It’s not just about the wine, but the atmosphere,” Ellenbecker said of the annual event at the West Coast-style vineyard and winery in southwest Minnesota.  

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Ellenbecker and his wife, Jenny’s, vision for the annual grape stomping event began forming in 2008 - one year after the first grape variety was planted at the vineyard.

 

The couple planted the bluebell variety that year, but would not get to witness the excitement the gooey, juicy jelly variety would produce for another seven years when the winery officially opened to guests in 2015.  

 

Ellenbecker said fruit does not bear optimum taste before its third year of maturity.

 

“It’s not something that happens overnight,” he said. “It takes a lot of vision and patience.”

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But the bluebells are not for making wine.

 

“They’re grown specifically for stomping,” Ellenbecker said.

 

As of Aug. 31, about 15 grape stomp slots remained. Teams may register up until the event in person, by calling (507) 945-1100 or online at www.roundlakevineyards.com/grape-stomp.html while slots remain open.

Related Topics: ROUND LAKE
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