Acres of Land Winery, founded in 2004, conducted its first grape stomp Saturday.

The event — a benefit for the Kirksville Community Center — will become an annual effect, said vintner Lowell Land.

After a day of wagon rides, vineyard tours, clogging and square dancing, guests got down to the really serious business of stomping some grapes.

Modern vineyards no longer following the ancient practice of pressing grapes with human feet, but it’s still a fun tradition, Land said.

The community center sold tickets and then drew 12 names to determine who would enter the stomping contest. The winners of three preliminary heats were selected for the finals.

Each contestant stomped 20 pounds of grape in a tub for two minutes.

The winners were selected by the weight of juice they produced.

Brenda Clark of Richmond was the champion.

She attributed her success to watching Lucille Ball in the famous grape stomp episode of the “I Love Lucy” TV show.

“I’d seen Lucy do it many times, so I was well prepared,” Clark said.

After the competition, children in attendance were given the opportunity to stomp the remains in a small plastic wading pool.

The winery also auctioned off the first bottle of wine it ever produced to benefit the community center.

Bill Roy of Richmond had the winning bid of $310.

He plans to save the bottle rather than drink the wine.

“In 20 years, this bottle of wine might be worth enough that I can sell it and retire,” Roy said.

Bill Robinson can be reached at brobinson@richmondregister.com or at 623-1669, Ext. 267.

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