First Annual Capay Crush Festival

I shoveled about two dozen scoops of fresh, Syrah grapes into the ‘stomping tub’ and stood back, leaning on my shovel and dreaming about cool grapes squishing under bare feet. A half an hour later, dozens of guests were taking off their shoes, rolling up their pants, and living the dream!

Our First Annual Capay Crush was held on our farm in Capay the last Sunday in September, and it was great fun! Like our Capay Tomato event in July, our Capay Crush event benefits our Kathleen Barsotti Non-Profit for Sustainable Agriculture.

Although some mid-day showers threatened to muddy up the afternoon, the sun broke through the rain clouds in time to dry the ground and shine up the Capay Valley into a beautiful, bright backdrop.

The Grenache grapes on the vines perked up during the brief rain and looked wonderful in the sun as guests pulled off clusters and ate bunches. All around me people were harvesting grapes by hand, eating grapes by mouth, and crushing grapes by feet!

Freshly Picked Grapes

Then there was the wine.

I saw faces concentrated in sipping, swirling and smelling the many local vintages that six wonderful local wineries brought to Capay Crush to be sampled. Tempranillo, Viognier, Malbec, Zinfindel, Syrah, Chardonnay, Cabernet and more were poured in glasses, tasted and scored on tasting sheets all evening long.

Fascinating insights into the finer points of wine tasting were presented in our Wine Talk by Dr. David Block of the UC Davis Viticulture and Enology Department. My favorite part: Dr. Block had volunteers come on stage to sample and compare tasting notes to prove the differences in personal preference and taste. Volunteers used a wine aroma wheel to identify the flavors and smells in their wine – grapefruit, fruity, oaky, spicy were among the responses.

The live music was lovely. The tractor rides were picturesque thanks to the morning rain and sun beams. The photo booth activity we had set up couldn’t have had a prettier backdrop as the sun lowered and lengthened the shadows in the hills that flank the valley.

Capay Crush 2011

The sun set over the valley and the event was winding down as folks stopped by the market stand to buy some Capay Organic carrots or tomatoes or figs on their way out. I saw a lot of smiling couples and happy families, but the pleasure was all ours. We love having folks out on the farm!  Hope to see you at next year’s Capay Crush!

View a slideshow of images from our Capay Crush event here.



WINERIES: A big thank you to these local wineries pouring at Capay Crush:

- Berryessa Gap –
- Capay Valley Vineyards –
- Rominger West –
- Seka Hills –
- Simas Family Vineyards –
- Turkovich Family Wines –



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Kathleen Barsotti

Kathleen was a pioneer in the organic agriculture movement founding one of Northern California's first certified organic farms, playing an instrumental role in the creation of the renowned Davis Farmers Market, and starting the successful CSA Farm Fresh To You.

She is beloved by all who knew her as a devoted student to ecological sciences, an excellent farmer, and loving mother of four sons.