Buck Buck Here. Stomp Stomp There. Annual Grape Stomp at Henscratch Farms in Lake Placid, Florida

Doing My Part for Foot Stomped Wine, Henscratch Farms, Lake Placid, Fla.
Doing My Part for Foot Stomped Wine, Henscratch Farms, Lake Placid, Fla.

Guts of muscadine grapes oozed between my toes as a I did my part to squish 2,000 pounds of grapes during Henscratch Farm’s 11th Annual Grape Stomp on Aug. 13, 2011. Yes, I admit to channeling a little bit of Lucy with each step I took in the metal bin. Stomping grapes would bring out the comedian in anyone.

Located in Lake Placid, Florida, about a 90-minute drive northeast from my Port Charlotte home, Henscratch Farms offers a winery and country store and each year, the Grape Stomp with fruit grown on site.

Rooster at Henscratch Farms, Lake Placid, Fla.
Rooster at Henscratch Farms, Lake Placid, Fla.

Henscratch, What a Fun Name!

Admittedly, I fell in love with Henscratch Farm’s name about two years ago when I heard about the event but it wasn’t until this year when I was able to attend. “Henscratch.” What an awesome name. Visions of chickens running around a vineyard flooded my mind and driving up during my first visit, the farm did not disappoint.

Wine at Henscratch Farms, Lake Placid, Fla.
Wine at Henscratch Farms, Lake Placid, Fla

Chickens ran around the farm and visitors could feed the birds cereal distributed from the country store. Roosters crowed while hens pecked. I recognized different varieties of chickens including Barred Rocks and Rhode Island Reds. Apparently, some species of chickens eat bugs and other pests that could cause damage to farm crops and their presence can minimize the use of pesticides.

Entrance to Henscratch Farms, Lake Placid, Fla.
Entrance to Henscratch Farms, Lake Placid, Fla.

Squish, Squish. Stomping Grapes to Make Wine
Concerned about toe jam or other bits of feet that may have entered the stomping vat? Having the feet sprayed down with a hose isn’t going to kill everything so potassium meta bi-sulfate is added to kill wild yeast and toe jam. Afterward, pectin is added to break down fiber  in grapes and sugar is added to create 12 percent alcohol. After the juice has rested about 24 hours, yeast is added to begin the fermentation process. The grapes I stomped Saturday will be bottled and ready by mid-November. The customized label will include my photo stomping grapes!

Muscadine Grapes Ripening on Vine at Henscratch Farms, Lake Placid, Fla.
Muscadine Grapes Ripening on Vine at Henscratch Farms, Lake Placid, Fla.

In addition to the grape stomp, the day included live music, wine tastings and grape picking right off the vine, all for for $6. There were a variety of food vendors but the most refreshing beverage I found was a frozen cup of wine. When Henscratch Farms does not have a special event, visitors are welcome to tour the farm (see Big Boy Harley the pig), feed the chickens and sample the sweet Florida wine. The country store is adorable and full of canned goods and those perfect, unique items for the home and kitchen. I brought home a wine glass cuzzi. Too cute!

I’ll be heading back in November to pick up my wine and I’m looking forward to seeing the farm during a Florida Fall. As for the date of the next Annual Grape Stomp, visit the Henscratch Farms website for updates.

Henscratch Farms Vineyard & Winery
980 Henscratch Road
Lake Placid, Fla.
Tel: (863) 699-2060



Jennifer A. Huber is an award-winning travel and outdoor blogger and writer in Southwest Florida. Originally from Buffalo, N.Y., a hiking trail led her to a career path in the tourism industry for more than 30 years. She spent a decade with a park management company in Yellowstone, Death Valley, and Everglades National Parks. She founded the travel blog, SoloTravelGirl.com with the goal of inspiring others to travel alone, not lonely. The unexpected death of her former husband in 2008 reminded her how short life is. His passing was a catalyst for sharing her experiences with the goal of inspiring and empowering others to travel solo. Jennifer holds a Travel Marketing Professional certification from the Southeast Tourism Society, is a certified food judge, member of the NASA Social community, and alum of the FBI Citizens Academy. When not traveling, she is either in the kitchen, practicing her photography skills, or road tripping with her dog, Radcliff.

3 thoughts on “Buck Buck Here. Stomp Stomp There. Annual Grape Stomp at Henscratch Farms in Lake Placid, Florida

  1. This looks great! I will have to look into it for next year. I was amazed to discover you live in Port Charlotte, as I just recently moved here myself. So glad to know there are other solo travel lovers in the area!

  2. Hi Rachel and thanks for dropping by! Yes, very cool to connect with another solo traveler :). Are you a member of Travel Blog Exchange? There’s a Central Florida chapter – it’s the only FL chapter right now – and provides great networking, etc. Hope to catch up with ya soon!

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