Family-friendly fun also highlights the largest wine festival in the Southwest
On September 11, 12, 13 and 14, the 28th Annual GrapeFest welcomed thousands of guests to Main Street in Historic Downtown Grapevine. New wine experiences, family-friendly fun, live entertainment and cooler temperatures combined to make the annual festival a must-do event for guests from around the world.
Guests participating in the People's Choice Wine Tasting Classic, the largest consumer-judged wine competition in the nation, had the opportunity to sample 154 wines from 43 Texas wineries. After sampling the wines, guests then voted on their favorites in ten categories.
The winners of the People's Choice Wine Tasting Classic are:
• Gold: Messina Hof Winery and Resort - Private Reserve Chardonnay, 2012
• Silver: LightCatcher Winery - Sunflower Blanc du Bois, 2012
• Bronze: Blue Ostrich Winery & Vineyard - Viognier, 2013
• Gold: Messina Hof Winery and Resort - Father and Son Riesling, 2012
• Silver: Blue Ostrich Winery & Vineyard - Blanc du Bois, 2013
• Bronze: Sweet Springs Winery - Reckless Lady, 2013
• Gold: Landon Winery - Yellow Rose, NV
• Silver: Messina Hof Winery and Resort - Late Harvest Riesling Angel, NV
• Bronze: Arché - Yellow Rose, 2012
• Gold: Sweet Springs Winery - Parker Peach, 2013
• Silver: St. Rose Vineyard & Winery- Foxy Peach, 2013
• Bronze: Brennan Vineyards - Lily, 2012
• Gold: Piney Woods Country Winery & Vineyards- Texas Festival Chocolate Dipped Strawberries, NV
• Silver: CrossRoads Winery - My Cheeky Bastard, NV
• Bronze: Cross Timbers Winery - Texas Blush, NV
• Gold: Messina Hof Winery and Resort - Private Reserve Pinot Noir, 2012
• Silver: LightCatcher Winery - Red Fox Merlot, 2007
• Bronze: Landon Winery - Pinot Noir, 2012
• Gold: Blue Ostrich Winery & Vineyard - Sangiovese, 2012
• Silver: Haak Vineyards and Winery - Tempranillo, 2012
• Bronze: McPherson Cellars - Sangiovese, 2012
• Gold: Texas Hills Vineyard - Kick Butt Cab, 2010
• Silver: Blue Ostrich Winery & Vineyard - Cabernet Sauvignon, 2012
• Bronze: Red Caboose Winery - La Reina Tempranillo, 2012
• Gold: Homestead Winery - Chocolate Rose, NV
• Silver: Chisholm Trail Winery - Ghost Rider, 2013
• Bronze: Los Pinos Ranch Vineyards - Besitos de Chocolate, 2013
• Gold: Sloan & Williams Winery - Serendipity, 2012
• Silver: Llano Estacado Winery - Viviano, 2010
• Bronze: CrossRoads Winery - CSM, 2013
Guests were also treated to new wine experiences including the Washington Wine Experience, featuring wineries and winemakers from the state of Washington. Participants included Gordon Taylor, Daven Lore Winery; Liz Stepniewski, Windy Point Vineyards; Anthony Fuller, Cascade Cliffs; Juergen Grieb, Treveri Cellars and Sandra Lee, Woodinville Wine Country. Guests also enjoyed wines from five of Italy's wine regions in the all-new Italian Wine Experience.
"We are honored to be the co-chairs of the 28th Annual GrapeFest and are thrilled with all of the participation and crowds surrounding all aspects of the festival," said C. Shane Wilbanks, Festival Co-Chair. "The community comes together in full force to host GrapeFest and with hundreds of volunteers dedicated to creating memories that will last a lifetime for all of our guests. Grapevine truly delivered."
"GrapeFest featured so many activities for all ages including the KidsWorld, the Carnival and Midway, festival food, live music, wine and more. Whether guests were enjoying shopping at the vendor booths or in the shops on Main Street, sampling fantastic wines from around the world, or judging the best wines that Texas has to offer in the People's Choice, we truly had something special for every age and interest." said Paula Wilbanks, Festival Co-Chair.
On Saturday, September 6, the Texas Wine Tribute was held at the Cotton Belt Tower Grand Hall. At the Texas Wine Tribute, Becker Vineyards of Stonewall, Texas and Dr. Richard and Bunny Becker were named the recipient of the annual "Tall in Texas" Award. Each year, the recipient of the Tall in Texas Award is selected by a panel of highly-regarded industry professionals and is presented to a Texas winery in recognition of the winery's leadership role in the dedication to, support of and promotion of the Texas Wine Industry. Along with being one of the most highly awarded wineries in Texas, Becker Vineyards and the Beckers have a long history in supporting and mentoring others within the Texas Wine Industry.
One of the most popular events, GrapeStomp, returned with feet flying fast as teams of two stomped 18 pounds of grapes for two minutes throughout the weekend. Festival-growers gathered around the competition stage and cheered on the competitors. Winners of the GrapeStomp daily sessions competed in the Grand Champion Stomp-Off on Sunday, September 14. The winning team Lam Nguyen and Jorge Bermeo of Dallas, received the Coveted Purple Foot Award, along with a glass foot sculpture of their own feet from Grapevine's Vetro Glassblowing Studio. The team stomped under the name of Awesome & Awesomer and stomped a total of 39 ounces in the Grand Championship Stomp Off.
Held on Saturday, September 13, the 2014 Mayoral GrapeStomp featured 12 teams from across North Texas including Carrollton, Colleyville, Combine, Coppell, Grapevine, Haslet, Hurst, Pantego and Westlake as well as from Grapevine's International Sister Cities of Parras de la Fuente, Mexico; Krems, Austria and West Lothian, Scotland. The winners of the Most Juice Stomped Award, with 26 ounces, was the team from Colleyville featuring Mayor Pro Tem Mike Taylor and Councilman Chuck Mogged. Some of the other winners included Best Costume Depicting Your Community to the team from West Lothian, Scotland and the Dirtiest Foot Award was given to Mayor Bob Golden and Council Member Kathy Hopper from Haslet.