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‘Stompapalooza’ grape stompers welcome event to Pahrump

Scores of attendees visited the Pahrump Valley Winery for the inaugural “Stompapalooza” over the past weekend.

The two-day event, formerly known as the annual “Grape Stomp,” got underway at the winery’s 3810 Winery Road location on Saturday, Oct. 5 through Sunday, Oct. 6.

The grape stomp, which began back in 2003, has become a traditional Autumn celebration in Pahrump, along with music, vendors, and of course wine tastings throughout the weekend.

Welcome surprise

Tziam Ortiz and Araceri Torres arrived at the winery early Sunday afternoon.

Both were unaware of the weekend Stompapalooza.

“I’m from Las Vegas and Araceri came in from Los Angeles,” Ortiz said. “I wasn’t expecting this event but it’s a lot of fun and we thought we would try it out. We came out here to visit the winery and that’s how we found out about the grape stomp, so it was a bonus for us to see this event and take part in it.”

Torres, meanwhile, actually took part in the stomping, where the idea is to stomp as much juice as possible from the grapes.

The two-person teams stomp every 15 minutes for a four-hour period, according to organizers.

It’s important to note that the extracted juice is not used to make the winery’s line of award-winning wines.

“The stomping was really, really fun,” she said. “I felt like I was in the ‘I Love Lucy’ episode where they were grape stomping. I love that scene. We are going to hang out here today, check out the event and taste some wine.”

Well worth the trip

More than a dozen vendors also participated in the event, including Henderson resident Alana Hodge, owner and creator of Na ‘Churals Body Care Essentials.

It was the first such event she has taken part in locally after being in business for roughly two years.

“It’s a nice two-day event, but it has been kind of slow sometimes but it’s picking up,” she said on Sunday. “It’s good to see people coming out and strolling around. They are actually looking around before they decide to buy, but that’s expected. This is my first year here, and I’m looking forward to it getting bigger and better next year.”

Regarding her business, Hodge said more and more people are becoming receptive to her products, as of late.

“More people are becoming familiar with the importance of taking care of themselves and returning to a holistic and natural life, and we are here to help them in the transition, so it’s been great,” she said.

Additionally, Hodge said she thought the road trip from Clark County was well worth it.

She lamented, however, missing the recent Pahrump Fall Festival last month. “When you sign up for these kinds of events you never really know what to expect sometimes,” she said. “Sometimes you strike it big financially, while other times you can get great opportunities. I always keep an open mind for these types of events, because you just never know. I’m sorry I missed the fall festival, because I would have loved to have come out here. It’s just a 45-minute drive from Las Vegas and it’s very serene here. There is not as much congestion and traffic out here, which is also a plus.”

A few modifications

What’s noteworthy about this year’s event were the noticeable changes and alterations made under the new ownership.

The winery’s previous owners, Bill and Gretchen Loken, opened the Pahrump Valley Winery Grape Stomp event to all area families, while the Stompapalooza was an adults-only affair.

Event rules dictated no kids, lawn chairs, umbrellas, blankets or bad attitudes, as noted by new owner Kathy Trout.

“Nobody cares who owns this place,” she said. “We just want people to have beautiful wine, great food and a good experience. All that matters is that this is the celebration of the harvest, and it’s also for the community.”

Contact reporter Selwyn Harris at sharris@pvtimes.com, on Twitter: @pvtimes

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