Grape-stomping good time at Northstar’s Autumn Food and Wine Festival |

Grape-stomping good time at Northstar’s Autumn Food and Wine Festival

How can you tell autumn is about to arrive?

Look for people with purple feet.

The Village Grape Stop and Vineyard Luncheon on Friday, Sept. 9 will be done by teams of adults and singles, more than 21 years old, in a frenzied re-enactment of the classic “I Love Lucy” 1950s television series.

Held at noon at the Overlook Pavilion at the Village at Northstar, the event is in its eighth year of the barefoot extraction of grape juice by teams for the 26th annual Autumn Food and Wine Festival.

Armed with a multitude of events the grape stomp is among the most fun and colorful.

For a fee of $50 per person there are more than just squashed grape skins between the toes. An al fresco luncheon complete with Belgian-style beer tastings from five breweries including Hoegaarden, Shock Top and Leffe.

A free event at 11 a.m. kicks off Saturday’s activities.

Truckee’s Moody’s Bistro and Lounge multi-talented Chef Mark Estee is presenting a demonstration on outdoor grilling.

If you are still rocking for more Chef Jason Gronlund Senior Director of Culinary and Executive Chef for Hard Rock Cafe International is next on the set list. His expert techniques and recipes are sure to charge up one’s desires to create culinary masterpieces.

A stroll through the gourmet marketplace trade fair, with its free samples of olives, oils and other ingredients, will fill the desire deliciously.

When it comes to wineries the festival presents a wide range of wines from several appellations around California.

Lake and Santa Cruz counties, along with Napa, Sonoma will be represented.

Santa Cruz Pinot Noir will be paired with artisan cheeses, like the Bandage Wrapped Cheddar from Fiscalini Farms.

Wines from the nearby Sierra Foothills will also be served.

Amador County will be offering tastings from seven wineries Driven Cellars, Helwig Vineyards and Winery and Deaver Vineyards, Shenandoah Vineyards, Sierra Ridge Vineyard and Winery, Sobon Estate and Dobra Zemjla.

Since the 1970s the Sobon family has been preserving California’s proud wine heritage while practicing sustainable agricultural procedures at both of their wineries.

Their Shenandoah Vineyards’ Vintners Special Reserve Zinfandel with its deep flavorings of summer berries, stone fruit and tempered by a roasted coffee notes will be poured. An old vine Zin flavored with cherries and berries and called “Rocky Top” and a Viognier full of stone-fruit brightness will be offered by Sobon Estate.

Helwig Vineyards and Winery will be making their first appearance at the festival.

To mark their inauguration they are providing their gold medal winning “Sea of Grapes” Zinfandel.

Bold and zesty from the melee of dark berry tastes like black and cranberry while black pepper and cocoa add levels of spiciness, the wine will meet any depth of char on grilled meat or creamy sauce admirably.

While life is fine with wine – chocolate makes everything better.

At the Chocolate Bar Restaurant ticket holders will dive into chocolate martinis, hot chocolate and chocolate mousse.

This is a family event complete with free cupcake demonstrations and cooking classes on how to make Thai spring rolls. The latter is available at a nominal fee.

Winemaker’s dinners will be offered in various restaurants throughout the three-day event. More details are found on the website.

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