Stomping grapes to make wine is than you’d think.
For example, keeping your footing is difficult in the slippery pulp.
Ancient Egyptians invented a grid of overhead hand bars for treaders because they kept falling in and drowning: while a little “body” is considered a good thing in wine, an actual body is not.
Also, over long days and nights of treading, grapes would ferment, releasing carbon dioxide, and treaders sometimes died from asphyxiation.
If treading grapes still sounds like fun to you, despite these hazards, perhaps this description of a visit to a Spanish winery in 1877 will change your mind:
The treaders, with their white breeches well tecked up, form three separate rows of ten men each, and placing their arms on each other’s shoulders, commence work by raising and lowering their feet, varying this, after a time, with songs and shoutings in order to keep the weaker and the lazier ones up to the work, which is quite irksome and monotonous.
Taking part with them in the treading is a little band of musicians, who strike up a lively tune.
The grapes become pretty well crushed and walking over the pips and stalks, strewn at the bottom of the lagar, becomes something like the pilgrimages of old when the devout trudged wearily along, with hard peas backed between their feet and the soles of their shoes.
The treaders move slowly in a listless way. The fiddle strikes up anew, and the overseers drowsily upbraid. But all to no purpose.
Music has lost its inspiration and authority its terrors, and the men, dead beat, raise one purple leg languidly after the other.
Or this from an American visiting a Burgundy winery at about the same time, the American later turned down his host’s offer of red wine, electing to drink an untreaded white wine instead:
Ten men, stripped of all their clothes, step into the vessel and begin to tread down the floating mass, working it also with their hands.
This operation is repeated several times if the wine does not ferment rapidly enough. The reason is that the body heat of the men aids the wine in its fermentation.