8/27/2010 7:27:00 AM Grape Stomp clomps through Old Town
Joe Jenson of Alcantara Winery has located some wild grape vines in the vineyard property on which to try an experimental grafting of domestic wine grapes. Growers graft domestic varietals to heartier rootstock in an effort to make a more productive vine. VVN/Steve Ayers
COTTONWOOD - It's a great idea to run in the early morning when it's cool.
But if your run is to benefit the local wine growers, as is the case with the Great Arizona Grape Stomp in Cottonwood's Old Town on Saturday morning, then early morning may be a bit early for toasting and tasting the local wines.
To give attendees and participants an opportunity to do something else as they wait for a more appropriate hour, Alcantara Vineyards has a proposition. Beginning at 10 a.m. they will be offering a full-scale tour of their vineyard and winery along with the other amenities on their 100-acre site at the confluence of the Verde River and Oak Creek.
Included in the tour is a discussion about finding a unique way to go really local with your vines.
Part of the two-hour tour will be an introduction to grafting wine grape vines to native wild grape vines.
The valley has an abundance of wild grape vines, a point that has been noted since the first Europeans arrived in 1583.
"It's not as far-fetched as it sounds. You, of course, have to grow where the wild grapes are rooted. But if you have the opportunity to try it, it can prove to be the best rootstock around,' says Alcantara owner Barbara Predmore.
Almost all domestic wine grape vines are grafted to the rootstock of some other heartier variety, a practice that has been around as long as domestic grapes have been cultivated.
Cottonwood's Great Arizona Grape Stomp 5K race will begin at the Lions Club Park on the corner of Min Street and Willard Street at 7 a.m. anyone wanting to participate who hasn't registered is asked to be there by 6:30 a.m.
There is a $35 entry fee, the proceeds of which go to supporting and growing the state's wineries.