‘I Love Lucy’: The Grape Suppliers For ‘Italian Movie’ Episode Requested This One Thing Be Done

by Clayton Edwards
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I Love Lucy made a huge mark on the world of television. However, it only ran for six seasons. During that time, the cast and crew entertained millions of people across the country. Today, fans all around the world stream the classic show, watch it in syndication, or own DVDs packed with classic episodes. With that big of a fan base, it’s hard to get a consensus on which episode is the best.

However, Lucille Ball had no problem pointing out which episode of I Love Lucy was her favorite. To her, the best episode of the show was the season five installment, “Lucy’s Italian Movie.” In that episode, Lucy tries to get cast in an Italian film. So, she goes to the countryside to stomp grapes. She hopes that by taking part in the traditional wine-making process she can soak up some local culture.

Behind the scenes, Lucille Ball actually got to get her hands dirty for the I Love Lucy episode. Well, she got her feet dirty, anyway. She stomped grapes and was reportedly almost drowned in the vat when a scripted fight went south due to a language barrier.

So, you might be wondering where the I Love Lucy crew got all those grapes to stomp. Well, they got them from a California winery. However, before they gave up all those grapes, they had one demand.

The Stipulation that Allowed I Love Lucy to Get the Grapes

The Napa-area winery would only partner with I Love Lucy if they specifically said in the script that no one stomps grapes anymore, according to IMDb. In fact, that practice ended in the middle ages. Since then, most wineries have used some kind of machination to crush grapes. So, the practice ended hundreds of years before the episode was shot.

However, watching Lucy run a mechanical press wouldn’t be nearly as entertaining. Even though the scene doesn’t accurately show how things are done, it really worked out in the end. The I Love Lucy episode was rated by TV Guide as one of the best television episodes of all time.

On the other hand, it’s nice to know that no one is stomping grapes to make wine anymore. Alcohol might sterilize some things but it would take more than a glass or two of wine to wash away the thought of drinking something that had been crushed by someone’s bare feet.

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