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The Last Great Grape Stomp: Richwood Winery hosts 40 stompers for final event

Five heats of four two-person teams — 40 stompers in all — competed at Richwood Winery's final Grape Stomp on Saturday, Sept. 10. The winery will be closing on Sept. 24 after 12 years in business.

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RICHWOOD — It was the end of an era on Saturday, Sept. 10, as the Last Great Grape Stomp was held at Richwood Winery.

The small, rural vintner will be closing its doors for good on Sept. 24, after 12 years in business. But you wouldn't have known it on Saturday, as a total of 40 stompers took part in the mid-afternoon competition, surrounded by hundreds of well-wishers cheering them on. Attendance for the event was estimated at between 315-350, including vendors and staff.

Five heats were held, with four teams of two taking part in each heat. Some of the stompers came in costume, some did not — but all of them tried their hardest, with one team member occasionally jumping out of the wooden vat to clear the grape residue from the spigot so they could keep the juice flowing. The winning teams were those who could generate the most grape juice, by weight.

The winning team was Kathy and Kirk Watt, also known as Father Noah's Farm, while second place went to Joe Johnson and Patrick Carroll, also known as Total Destruction. Both of the top two teams were from Heat 4, while the third-place team, Cody Lake and Rose Skoog — aka Ancient Staples — came from the first heat.

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Competitors of all ages took part in Richwood Winery's final Grape Stomp on Saturday, Sept. 10, 2022. The competition drew a total of 40 stompers from all over the region.
Vicki Gerdes / Detroit Lakes Tribune
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Though the competition at Richwood Winery's Grape Stomp was intense, it was also in good fun, as the stompers often smiled and laughed at the feel of the wet, slippery grapes beneath their feet.
Vicki Gerdes / Detroit Lakes Tribune
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Some of the competitors at Richwood Winery's Grape Stomp showed up in costume, complete with dreadlocks and tie-died shirts, while others just decided to sign up at the last minute. A total of 40 people took part in the winery's final stomp on Saturday, Sept. 10, 2022, with hundreds more cheering them on.
Vicki Gerdes / Detroit Lakes Tribune

Both before and after the stomp, live music could be heard wafting out over the grape vines, first from Zach Thomas , and later from Todd Sisson . There will be one more chance to hear live music at the winery, at the closing celebration on Sept. 24.

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"We'll be opening the gates at 1 p.m., and we'll stay open 'til the last person goes home," says winery coordinator/manager Deb Krogsgaard of the winery's last big party.

Doug Thompson will be playing from 4-6 p.m., with music ranging from Louis Armstrong to Lee Greenwood and Neil Diamond. There will also be wine for sale, both by the glass and by the bottle, and there will be other beverage and food options available as well.

Related Topics: DETROIT LAKESBECKER COUNTY
A reporter at Detroit Lakes Newspapers since relocating to the community in October 2000, Vicki was promoted to Community News Lead for the Detroit Lakes Tribune and Perham Focus on Jan. 1, 2022. She has covered pretty much every "beat" that a reporter can be assigned, from county board and city council to entertainment, crime and even sports. Born and raised in Madelia, Minnesota, she is a graduate of Hamline University, from which she earned a bachelor's degree in English literature (writing concentration). You can reach her at vgerdes@dlnewspapers.com.
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