Sip Some Fun At Grapevine’s 30th Annual GrapeFest
Last week I left a little piece of my heart in Grapevine Texas as I was introduced to the hospitality and warmth of the people while I had the chance to explore the shops, eateries, wineries and yes, down home feel of all there is to see and do here.
If you haven’t ever had the chance to visit America’s hometown, there’s no more perfect time to go than during than now when you can have the chance to sip some fun at Grapevine’s 30th Annual GrapeFest, A Texas Wine Experience, presented by Bank of the West, September 15, 16, 17 and 18. Set in beautiful Historic Downtown Grapevine, guests can affordably experience a variety of exciting taste sensations. This year’s event will feature a special emphasis on wines from Texas, California’s Central Coast and Australia’s Barossa Valley. So get your tickets now to experience these exciting wines, many of which are not normally available in Texas. For up to the minute schedule and event information, visit www.GrapevineTexasUSA.com/GrapeFest.
GrapeFest is the largest wine festival in the Southwest and offers four days of family-friendly festival fun for all ages. Some favorite GrapeFest events include the People’s Choice Wine Tasting Classic, the largest consumer-judged wine competition in the nation; the Texas Wine Tribute; GrapeStomp; the Champagne Terrace; KidsWorld; the GrapeFest Golf Classic; the GrapeFest Tennis Classic presented by Humphrey & Associates; ItalianCarFest; live entertainment and much more!
Savor more than 140 Texas varietals from 38 Texas wineries at the People’s Choice Wine Tasting Classic, the largest consumer-judged wine competition in the United States. During 11 sessions throughout the weekend, this signature event is one of the most popular GrapeFest events and tickets are already limited for certain sessions. Guests vote for their favorites and the winners of the competition will be announced on Sunday, September 18 at 5 p.m. Tickets are $23 in advance or $25 at the festival. Guests must be 21 and over to enter.
Texas is the fifth-largest wine producing state in the United States. Grapevine is home to the Texas Wine and Grape Growers Association and Texas’ premier Urban Wine Trail. More than 300 wineries and 4,400 acres of producing vineyard farmland yields nearly three million gallons of Texas wine each year.
California’s Central Coast is home to historic ranchlands, a romantic coast, country roads, stay-a-while towns and grapes. Top vintners have transformed the Central Coast into one of the state’s premier wine regions, with hundreds of wineries to visit in the rolling hills and sunny valleys. The weather transitions from moody to mild, which makes for excellent diversity in both wine and surf. The grapes are among the oldest in the state, planted by Franciscan monks as they made their way north on El Camino Real (“the royal road,” now Highway 101) in the late 1700s. Vineyards from California participating in the 30th Annual GrapeFest include Cooper-Garrod Estate Vineyards, Cottonwood Canyon Wine, Cowgirl Winery, Derby Wine Estates, Firestone Vineyards, Tantara Vineyards and Zaca Mesa Winery & Vineyard.
Australia’s Barossa Valley is home to more than 500 grape-growing families, many with the sixth generation still working the same plot of land of their ancestors, supplying quality grapes to more than 170 wine companies. Barossa incorporates both Barossa Valley and Eden Valley, making it one of the only areas in Australia to have neighboring warm and cool climate growing conditions. With such a diversity of growing conditions and soil types across both valleys, and vineyards that have been tended by hand for many generations, GrapeFest guest will be certain to find a favorite Barossa Valley wine at this year’s event. Vineyards from Australia participating in the 30th Annual GrapeFest include Cirillo Estate, Elderton Wines, Hentley Farm, Izway Wines and Smallfry Wines.
Make plans to attend the Texas Wine Tribute on Saturday, September 10. Beginning with a reception at 6:30 p.m. and followed by dinner at 7 p.m., this spectacular black-tie gala celebrates specially selected Texas wines paired with a four-course dinner. The Texas Wine Tribute will recognize the winner of the annual “Tall in Texas” Award. The “Tall in Texas” Award is presented to an individual winery that has been instrumental in promoting Texas wines and the Texas wine industry. The 2016 “Tall in Texas” Award winner is Homestead Winery from Ivanhoe, TX. The Texas Wine Tribute benefits Metroport Meals On Wheels. Tickets are $125 per person and advance purchase is required. Tickets go on sale August 1.
Stomp your way to victory at the annual GrapeStomp competition, co–sponsored by Frontier Communications and Kroger. Teams of two take turns to stomp approximately 18 pounds of grapes for two minutes. If your team stomps the most juice, you just might qualify to stomp some more at the Grand Champion StompOff on Sunday, with the winners being awarded the coveted “Purple Foot” award. Entry fee is $5 per person. Special GrapeStomp events include the Senior GrapeStomp at 10:30 a.m. on Friday, September 16 and the Mayoral GrapeStomp on Saturday, September 17 at 11 a.m. A free special stomping area is also available for kids 12 and under.
Feel the rhythm at the 30th Annual GrapeFest! Entertainment stages are located throughout the festival grounds and will feature a variety of live musical acts during the four-day event.
Attend pre-festival fun events including:
- GrapeFest Golf Classic, Friday, September 9;
- GrapeFest 13th Annual ItalianCarFest, presented by Boardwalk Ferrari Maserati and Lamborghini Dallas,
September 10, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., Nash Farm, 626 Ball St. and
- GrapeFest Wine Dinners.
Make plans now to enjoy all of these fun activities during GrapeFest:
- Artisan Vendors;
- Carnival Rides and Midway Games;
- Champagne Cork Shoot-Off, September 17, 12:30 p.m.;
- Champagne Terrace;
- KidsWorld, featuring LEGOLAND® Discovery Center, SEA LIFE Grapevine Aquarium and interactive games, Kids Celebration Show and petting zoo;
- Shopping at the stores in Historic Downtown Grapevine throughout the festival;
- Unlimited Carnival Ride Pass, September 15, 5 p.m. – close. $25 in advance; $30 at the festival;
- Draft & Craft Brews;
- Festival Foods;
- GrapeFest Tennis Classic, presented by Humphrey & Associates, September 17 and 18;
- Grapevine Glockenspiel Clock Tower’s Would-Be Train Robbers Nat Barrett and Willy Majors appearing several times daily;
- Grapevine Vintage Railroad stationary exhibits featuring a preview of the 2016 North Pole Express®;
- Grapevine Winery Tours, September 17 and 18 and
- Ice carving, September 16 and 17.
Discover Grapevine’s hotels during GrapeFest! For information on hotels, packages and where to stay, visitwww.GrapevineTexasUSA.com/GrapeFest.
The 30th Annual GrapeFest, A Texas Wine Experience, presented by Bank of the West, will open on Thursday, September 15 at 10 a.m.Admission is free to everyone all day Thursday and until 5 p.m. on Friday. Hours are Thursday, 10 a.m. to 10:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 11:30 p.m., and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Admission prices are $8 for adults, $5 for seniors (62+) and children (6-12).
Weekend passes are available for $18 and souvenir weekend passes are $23. Admission is free for children five and under. For more information, call the Grapevine Convention & Visitors Bureau at 800-457-6338 or 817-410-3185 or visitwww.GrapevineTexasUSA.com/GrapeFest.