Sunny skies greet large crowds over four days of family-friendly fun

GRAPEVINE, TEXAS (September 15, 2019) – Droves of festival-goers celebrated wine and the golden age of travel at Grapevine’s 33rdAnnual GrapeFest – A Texas Wine Experience, presented by Bank of the West, in Historic Downtown Grapevine, September 12, 13, 14 and 15. Decorations representing this year’s “Planes, Trains and Automobiles” theme, a nod to Grapevine’s rich transportation history including the Cotton Belt Route, Grapevine Vintage Railroad, TEXRail commuter rail, Dallas Fort Worth International Airport and the multitude of auto dealerships throughout the city, could be seen across festival grounds. Visitors sampled Texas wines, and unique wines from the Piedmont Region of Italy and the Traverse Wine Coast of Michigan. Guests participated in festival favorite events such as People’s Choice Wine Tasting Classic; Liberty Park Plaza Wine Experience; GrapeStomp; Great Texas Champagne Cork Shoot-Off; fun, family-friendly activities; and live entertainment on two stages.

Inside the Liberty Park Plaza Wine Experience, sponsored by Gaylord Texan Resort, guests had the opportunity to taste wines and visit with guest wineries of the 45thparallel from the Piedmont Region of Italy and the Traverse Wine Coast of Michigan.

“We’ve been part of many festivals, but we have never experienced the level of sophistication and the open-mindedness of guests like we found here at GrapeFest,” said Sean O’Keefe, winemaker, Mari Vineyards.

Added Jordan Hooker, assistant winemaker, Brys Estate Vineyard and Winery, “To see wine held to a higher standard and highlighted as a craftsmanship at a festival of this magnitude is inspiring.”

In addition to wine tasting, GrapeFest festival-goers experienced four full days of festival fun.

“Blue skies and fantastic entertainment brought large crowds of festival-goers to GrapeFest,” said Lori Choate, chairwoman of the 33rd Annual GrapeFest. “In addition to the phenomenal wines available to sample from visiting wineries and our own Texas wineries throughout the four days, guests enjoyed family-friendly activities, festival food and great shopping from fabulous vendors.”

The 2019 Mayoral GrapeStomp featured a record-setting 16 teams from around the world and across North Texas, including Grapevine’s Sister Cities, Krems, Austria and Parras de la Fuente, Mexico, Balch Springs, Bedford, Carrollton, Combine, Euless, Grapevine, Haslet, Hurst, Irving, Keller, Kennedale, Lewisville, North Richland Hills and Trophy Club. The winners of the “Most Juice Stomped Award,” with 32.50 ounces, was the team from Kennedale, featuring Councilman Chris Pugh and Alayna Pugh. Other winners included the team from Bedford, which won the “Most Likely to go Viral on Social Media” award; the team from Parras de la Fuente, Mexico which won the award for “Best Costume Depicting Your Community;” and the team from Krems, Austria which won the award for “Best Fan Club.”

The juice and feet were flying at the daily GrapeStomp competitions. Sabrina Sims and Jonathan Morgan from the Metroplex, won the “Coveted Purple Foot Award” in the Grand Championship Stomp-Off. Throughout the festival, teams of two stomped 18 pounds of grapes for two minutes. Under the team name “A Taste of Grapeness,” they stomped a record-setting 61 ounces in the Grand Champion StompOff, dethroning five-time reigning champions, “Awesome and Awesomer.”

Each day of the festival, corks were popping during the Great Texas Champagne Cork Shoot-Off. Ashley Bahls from Haslet became the Great Texas Champagne Cork Shoot-Off Grand Champion after launching the winning cork 67 feet in Sunday’s championship competition. To get into the Grand Championship, Bahls launched the cork 58 feet in Sunday’s qualifying round. The current GrapeFest record, dating back to 1997, is held by Teri Bishop at 128 feet and 5 inches.

One of GrapeFest’s signature events, the People’s Choice Wine Tasting Classic, is the largest consumer-judged wine competition in the nation. Guests had the opportunity to sample 162 Texas wines from 44 Texas wineries. Some of the wineries in attendance included 4R Ranch Vineyards & Winery; Blue Ostrich Winery & Vineyard; Bull Lion Ranch and Vineyard; Haak Vineyards and Winery; and Silver Dollar Winery. After sampling the wines, guests then voted on their favorites in ten categories, submitting a record number of ballots. 

The winners of the People’s Choice Wine Tasting Classic are:

White: Dry

  • Gold: Bingham Family Vineyards, Cloudburst, 2014
  • Silver: Wedding Oak Winery, Albariño, 2017
  • Bronze: Becker Vineyards, Prairie Cuvée, 2015

White: Off Dry

  • Gold: Messina Hof Winery, Father and Son Cuvée, 2018
  • Silver: Angelita Vineyard & Winery, Anna’s Angel, 2018
  • Bronze: Landon Winery, Viognier, 2018

White: Sweet

  • Gold: Messina Hof Winery, Angel, Late Harvest Riesling, NV
  • Silver: Texas Legato, Sweet Peggy-Sue, NV
  • Bronze: Llano Estacado Winery, Moscato, 2018

White: Blends

  • Gold: Silver Dollar Winery, IM’Peached, 2018
  • Silver: Cross Timbers Winery, Grapevine White, NV
  • Bronze: Brennan Vineyards, Lily, 2017

Blush/Rosé

  • Gold: Blue Mule Wines, Cowboy, 2018
  • Silver: Llano Estacado Winery, Signature Rosé, 2018
  • Bronze: Becker Vineyards, Jolie, 2017

Red: Light

  • Gold: Messina Hof Winery, GSM, 2017
  • Silver: Landon Winery, Tempranillo, 2017
  • Bronze: Silver Dollar Winery, Peace Maker Merlot Reserve, 2017

Red: Medium

  • Gold: Bull Lion Ranch and Vineyard, Montepulciano, 2016
  • Silver: Blue Ostrich Winery & Vineyard, Sangiovese, 2018
  • Bronze: Landon Winery, Merlot Reserve, 2017

Red: Bold

  • Gold: Bull Lion Ranch and Vineyard, Malbec, 2016
  • Silver: Texas Hills Vineyard, Kick Butt Cab, 2015
  • Bronze: Messina Hof Winery, Sagrantino Reserva, 2017

Red: Sweet

  • Gold: Homestead Winery, Chocolate Rose, NV
  • Silver: Chisolm Trail Winery, Ghost Rider, NV
  • Bronze: Red Road Vineyard, Chocolate Lach Rua, 2018

Red: Blends

  • Gold: Bull Lion Ranch and Vineyard, Texianti, 2015
  • Silver: Bingham Family Vineyards, Dirt Farmer, 2016
  • Bronze: Llano Estacado Winery, Viviano, by Llano Estacado, 2015

On Saturday, history was made inside Liberty Park with the re-signing of the Sister City Accords with Krems, Austria, celebrating 20 years since the original signing. Mayor William D. Tate and Bürgermeister Dr. Reinhard Resch spoke to the crowd consisting of delegates from Grapevine’s Sister Cities about the special relationship the cities hold. After an exchange of gifts, the two leaders signed the 20thAnniversary Accord, as well as city officials from Krems and Grapevine.

“Having delegates from two of our Sister Cities was an amazingly special element,” said Choate. “I was honored to be able to witness this historic event.”

In 2020, the 34th Annual GrapeFest – A Texas Wine Experience will take place September 17, 18, 19 and 20. For more information, visit GrapeFest.com.

About GrapeFest

GrapeFest is a celebration of Texas wines. Home to more than 400 wineries and 4,400 acres of vineyards producing nearly three million gallons of Texas wine each year, 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.

About Bank of the West
Bank of the West is proud to be an Independent Community Bank, headquartered in Grapevine and serving North Texas for more than three decades; helping to create flourishing communities by putting your dollars to work LOCALLY...with decisions made LOCALLY.

Bank of the West, Member FDIC, Presenting Sponsor of the 33rd Annual GrapeFest.