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Annual grape stomping competition returns at Pahrump winery

Owners of the Pahrump Valley Winery are welcoming back the annual Grape Stomp event on Saturday and Sunday.

Bill Loken, who owns the winery with his wife Gretchen, said he is expecting roughly 1,500 to 2,000 eventgoers each day on the two-day venue on Oct. 7-8. The gates open at 11 a.m. each day at the winery at 3810 Winery Road, just north of Highway 160 and Homestead Road.

Those who attend will find hot dogs, sandwiches, finger foods and sliders and, of course, the main event — a grape-stomping competition.

“It’s a good opportunity for people to get up in front of a large group of strangers and make a fool of themselves and get all sticky with grape juice,” Bill Loken said. “What a perfect way to spend a day.”

Local eatery Romero’s Mexican Restaurant will also set up shop at the event.

Admission is $10 at the gate. The event is open to all ages but Loken said it’s more of an adult atmosphere.

Free wine tastings will also be available throughout the day.

The stomping event was founded in 1990 by then-owner Jack Sanders. The Lokens purchased the winery from Sanders in 2003, carrying on the annual venue.

Loken added an extra day to the affair about five years ago, due to an increase in demand. The annual gathering usually brings in locals, people from Las Vegas and other tourists to experience a method of wine production used hundreds of years ago.

The grape-stomping event runs throughout the day with seven teams of two at a time on the stage, each team racing to produce the most juice in a two-minute period.

Loken said that might not seem that long, but it can be tiring, even for that short period.

To enter into the grape-stomping competition, eventgoers must pay an extra fee.

Loken said Saturday is already full and Sunday only has a few spots remaining. He expected those to be filled up today (Friday).

The grape-stomping event also brings large discounts on bottles of wine, Loken said.

Last year, he said the winery sold about 450 cases of wine, about 5 percent of the number of cases the winery sells annually.

Symphony’s Restaurant at the winery will be open for regular lunch hours, from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., during the festivities.

For more information, contact Pahrump Valley Winery at 775-751-7800.

Contact reporter Jeffrey Meehan at jmeehan@pvtimes.com. On Twitter: @pvtimes

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