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Grape-crushing festival Saturday
Visitors may squish wine grapes with their feet
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Visitors stomp wine grapes in a barrel during the 2012 Crush Fest at Yonah Mountain Vineyards in Cleveland.

The fourth annual Crush Fest will begin Labor Day weekend with the harvest celebration from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 31, at Yonah Mountain Vineyards near Cleveland.

As part of Yonah Mountain Vineyards’ fourth grape harvest, the vineyard’s entire 13 acres will be picked. Grapes to be harvested include chardonnay, cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc, sauvignon blanc, merlot, malbec and petit verdot.

An estimated 3,000 wine lovers are expected to attend the annual event. They also will have a peek at Yonah Mountain Vineyards’ new tasting room, which is scheduled to open in December 2013.

Admission is $25 for wine drinkers and $5 for general admission. Youth 16 and under are free.

During the family friendly event, grape stomping a’ la Lucille Ball (the “I Love Lucy” show) highlights the day. Owner Bob Miller will serenade grape stompers on his 40-key accordion while hourly appearances by the Atlanta Falcons drum line and the Atlanta Pipe Band enliven the day.

Horse-drawn wagon tours of the vineyard also offer stunning views of the 197-acre farm.

The live music stage will features performances by local favorite Olde Dawg and two Atlanta party bands, the Mercury Orkestar and the Brandy Brothers.

Supplying varied food options to satisfy visitors appetites will be Helen’s popular Nacoochee Village Tavern & Pizzeria, Braselton area purveyors Cucina Milano Catering and Jack’s Old South BBQ.

More than 40 vendors and artists will be on site offering locally produced and wine-related merchandise.

The Yonah Mountain Vineyards tasting room in Sautee will be closed the day of Crush Fest.

For information about the festival, call 706-878-5522 or email to info@yonahmountainvineyards.com.

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