Whenever Duplin Winery co-founder Dave Fussell Sr. got an idea, people knew it would turn into something unforgettable. So, when Fussell invited everyone to come help stomp grapes for Duplin’s first-ever batch of muscadine wine nearly a half century ago, hundreds of people showed up. From that moment, the Duplin Winery Grape Stomp became one of North Carolina’s most famous events.
Duplin’s Grape Stomp returns after a two-year hiatus -- bigger than ever! A jamming concert, plenty of wine from the world’s largest muscadine winery and a chance to taste the family-owned winery’s new, top-secret Christmas wine are just some of the reasons to attend.
The winery’s most-anticipated party of the year happens 1 to 5 p.m. Sept. 10 in the vineyards at 918 West Charity Road, immediately off Interstate-40 and near Duplin’s original Rose Hill, N.C., location.
Grape stomping is the main attraction at this true harvest festival set in Duplin’s gorgeous vineyards. People travel for miles to compete in a contest to see who can produce the most juice by crushing grapes in a barrel the old-fashioned way – with their bare feet.
Attendees can taste many of Duplin’s 40-plus wines, take a tour of the beautiful vineyards, enjoy huge discounts on cases of wine and be the first to try the winery’s yet-to-be revealed holiday rosé for 2022. “We’re very proud of it. It’s truly unlike anything we’ve ever crafted before,” Duplin co-owner Jonathan Fussell said.
Throughout the Grape Stomp, award-winning Cat5 Band of Charlotte will play everything from Bruno Mars to Johnny Cash hits, plus originals. Festival food like barbecue sandwiches will also be available for purchase.
Back at Duplin Winery, 505 North Sycamore Street, just 5 minutes from the festival grounds, lunchtime diners at The Bistro will have the chance to try muscadine grape hull pie, a traditional eastern North Carolina recipe passed down through generations of the Fussell family.
Visitors to the winery can indulge in wine tastings and learn about the new Winemaker Adventure Tours in the Duplin retail room, as well as take advantage of Grape Stomp sales on wine and Duplin Gourmet goodies like dressings, jellies and barbecue sauces made with muscadine grapes.
“The muscadine harvest has been a special time for our family since my dad put on that first Grape Stomp in 1976, before we had the mechanical grape crushers we use today. But the harvest also means a lot across the South,” Fussell said. “These are America’s native grapes, the grapes used to make the first American wines. We are honored to continue the tradition and share it with everyone at Grape Stomp.”
Tickets to attend the Grape Stomp festival and concert cost $15. An additional grape stomping ticket -- which includes a bottle of wine, souvenir stainless steel cup and the chance to stomp grapes -- is available for $35. Duplin takes $5 off the stomping ticket price when tickets are purchased in advance at duplinwinery.com/2022-rose-hill-grape-stomp.html.