You might remember me mentioning putting the Flame Hill Stomp on my 'to-do' list for 2017. For those of you who didn't join me at this awesome event - sadly, you missed out on a terrific day; and for those who did join us, we had an awesomely grape-ish, squishy sort-of fun day.
Show your tickets and receive a wine memento glass - Image: Elaine de Wet
The festivities started at 12.00pm, with guests having to show our tickets at the entrance (no grape-crashers were allowed). For large groups of ten or more, these guests were fortunate to have tables reserved for them; smaller groups like ours had the fun of locating an 'unreserved' table, but arriving early enough, this didn't prove to be a problem.
Vineyards and panoramic views - Image: Elaine de Wet
I must also mention that parking is very limited at Flame Hill Vineyard and guests who arrived in their own vehicles parked at the entrance and had the pleasure of negotiating a very long, downward walk to get to the festivities. This isn't a problem when you arrive fresh and ready to party, but I suspect after an afternoon of wining and stomping, the return upward journey would have been a bit of a huff-'n-a-puff. We chose to uber it, but discovered later that there is only one uber driver in the Montville area, who then had to do four return journeys to pick up festive clients from the Stomp.
Swing Central provided excellent entertainment - Image: Elaine de Wet
Swing Central provided the entertainment for most of the afternoon and they were absolutely sensational, with guests demurely foot-tapping along before jumping up and letting their hair down, bringing to mind the expression 'dance like nobody is watching'. I guess this could have been indicative of the amount of wine that had been imbibed between the foot-tapping and the letting the hair down bit.
The grape-stomping was scheduled for later in the afternoon at 4.30pm - I guess this is to allow guests to enjoy their afternoon in a relatively 'clean' state before stomping to their hearts' content and being covered in sticky, sweet grapes. There were four enormous bins filled with grapes - I was adamant I was just going to take photos, but the fun of it all proved to be too hard to resist and in I jumped, white pants and all. Much to my shock, the grapes were freezing cold (they must have been pre-refrigerated), but stomp I did and am happy to report no frost-bite as a result of the very cold grapes. We even had a trio of drummers to get us on our way with a wonderful beat to stomp to.
Yours truly stomping and yep, I wore white - Image: Barry de Wet
An excellent way to spend a Saturday afternoon, with plenty of entertainment, plenty of wine and in one of the Sunshine Coast's most spectacular scenic areas, Montville. If you missed the Grape Stomp at Flame Hill Vineyard, definitely bookmark it for next year - it's sure to be one of the highlights on your festival calendar.