GRAPE STOMPING: Annelize Streicher and Jackie Scheepers show how it's done as part of the Paarl Girls High and Paarl Boys High schools team that won the annual inter-schools grape stomping competition. The timekeeper was Danie Marais of Windmeul Cellar.
Cape Town - There's not a school in the Paarl area that can match the well-oiled heels of Paarl Girls High and Paarl Boys High schools when it comes to stomping grapes to a pulp.

They proved this when a grape-stomping team comprising two teachers, two former pupils and two current pupils won the 11th Ommiberg Harvest Celebration annual inter-schools grape-stomping competition at the Windmeul Cellar in Paarl on Saturday.

On their road to beating the team of La Rochelle and Boland Agricultural, the team extracted the most juice of 77.24kg compared to their opponents’ 75.45kg, winning a R5000 gift voucher and the Ommiberg Grape Stomping Trophy. Teams of two were given two minutes to tread 15kg of grapes in an effort to extract the most juice.

Windmeul Cellar is hoping to harvest 12000 tons of grapes this season in spite of the drought, and was one of eight farms that participated in the annual harvest festival that drew thousands of festival goers to Paarl.

This year’s event paid homage to all things harvest at the eight participating Paarl Wine Route members - Boland Kelder, Domaine Brahms, Landskroon, Mellasat, Perdeberg, Rhebokskloof, Ridgeback and Windmeul.

Drakenstein Local Tourism Association general manager Annelize Stroebel said: “All our event plans have included water-wise activations, and we have liaised closely with the participating wineries to ensure wine lovers can still enjoy this amazing celebration of the annual harvest, while conserving water.

“Participants have adapted their activities to ensure no water wastage takes place. Bottled water was on sale at each venue, as has become the norm.”