Festival attendees enjoy premium wines, live music, festival fun and more

GrapeFest PosterGRAPEVINE, TEXAS (September 19, 2021) – A strong turnout of festival-goers celebrated Grapevine’s 35th Annual GrapeFest – A Texas Wine Experience, presented by Bank of the West, in Historic Downtown Grapevine, September 16,17,18 and 19. During the festival, Grapevine’s newest public work of art, “Peace Circle,” was unveiled on Peace Plaza at Grapevine Main Station and the Sister Cities Friendship Hall dedication was held.  Attendees celebrated wine during the Liberty Park Plaza Wine Experience with the Taste of Two Valleys, sponsored by Gaylord Texan Resort, where they sipped unique wines from South Australia’s Barossa Valley and California’s Napa Valley.  GrapeFest’s signature event, the People’s Choice Wine Tasting Classic, sponsored by Bank of the West and Trinity Metro TEXRail, invited visitors to enjoy Texas wines from more than 30 Texas wineries.  Guests also participated in festival favorites such as GrapeStomp, Champagne Cork Shoot-Off, live entertainment on four stages and many other festival events and activities.

A monumental tribute to the American Indian, “Peace Circle,” was unveiled on Peace Plaza at Grapevine Main Station.  The artwork consists of 11 larger-than-life statues of 10 American Indian Chiefs and Captains from the Delaware, Chickasaw, Waco, Tawakoni, Keechi, Caddo, Anadarko, Ioni, Biloxi, Cherokee Nations. The   11th being the Republic of Texas represented by President Sam Houston.

Representatives from the Sam Houston Memorial Museum as well as from the 10 American Indian nations were in attendance. The dedication ceremony included a presentation of a Land Acknowledgement by Mayor Pro Tem Darlene Freed that recognizes that Grapevine is the ancestral home of the American Indian Nations. City Councilmembers presented Peace Medals to the Indian Nation representatives and they in turn presented medals to City Councilmembers.

The dedication of Sister Cities Friendship Hall, a new addition to the Settlement to City Museums complex, features artifacts and photographs of Grapevine’s Sister Cities. Grapevine’s Sister Cities include: Parras de la Fuente, Mexico; Krems, Austria; and West Lothian, Scotland.  

At the Liberty Park Plaza Wine Experience, sponsored by Gaylord Texan Resort, guests had the opportunity to taste wines from South Australia’s Barossa Valley and California’s Napa Valley.  Wine experts Mark Rashap, Certified Wine Educator, and Walden Pemantle, Manager of the Texas Wine School, shared information about the wines from Barossa and Napa Valleys.  Wine aficionado Kelli Kuehne from Kerr Cellars, a boutique Napa Valley and Sonoma Valley winery,  talked with visitors about Kerr Cellars and Napa Valley.

“It was really great working with hall the volunteers at GrapeFest. Everybody who was touching wine was friendly and amazing to work with,” said Mark Rashap, Certified Wine Educator (CWE) and Regional Sales Manager for Broadbent Selections. “The caliber of wines offered was better than many festivals I have been to. The thought put into the comparison of regions with Napa and Barossa valleys was fun and educational.”

“One of the most exciting things for me was seeing how many folks were there to taste Texas wines and the Australian and Napa wines,” Texas Wine School Manager Walden Pemantle said. “Some of the wines featured were off the beaten path, and it was great to see people lining up for wines that don’t usually get that much attention in Texas.”

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

“In this difficult time to see the happiness, laughter, warmth, the number of people and the great support they’ve given us at this year’s GrapeFest was unexpected, and it’s not just showing up, it’s saying thank you for being open,” Michael Marchant, festival co-chair said.

“GrapeFest is a great time to see friends, make new friends, enjoy a beer and great food,” festival co-chair Carol Merchant said.

A signature GrapeFest event, the People’s Choice Wine Tasting Classic, is the largest consumer-judged wine competition in the nation. Guests had the opportunity to sample Texas wines from more than 30 Texas wineries and 111 wines. There were 11 tasting sessions and nearly all were sold out.  Visit GrapeFest.com for a full list of wineries.   

“The People’s Choice Wine Tasting Classic has been a wonderful opportunity to see people again after such a strange year, and it’s fantastic to be able to celebrate Texas wine,” Karen Bonarrigo, Messina Hof Chief Administrative Officer, said. “GrapeFest is a great opportunity to be able to see a lot of Texas wine and People’s Choice has been phenomenal to be able to introduce so new people to the industry and the exciting things that we have going on.”

“This was a unique People’s Choice because we’re back and everybody seemed excited to be back,” Wine Pouring Society President Sonya Terpening said. “We had some of the best and unique Texas wines represented and a number of new wineries we have never had at People’s Choice before, so the public had a chance to taste and enjoy a wide variety of uniquely Texas wines.”

PEOPLE’S CHOICE WINE TASTING CLASSIC WINNING WINES

White: Dry

  • Gold: Bingham Family Vineyards
  • Silver: Blue Ostrich Winery
  • Bronze: Firelight Vineyards

White: Off Dry

  • Gold: Messina Hof Winery
  • Silver: Los Pinos Ranch Vineyards
  • Bronze: Bluff Dale Vineyards

White: Sweet

  • Gold: Landon Winery
  • Silver: Texas Legato
  • Bronze: Blue Ostrich Winery

White: Blends

  • Gold: Silver Dollar Winery
  • Silver: Llano Estacado Winery
  • Bronze: Rancho Loma Vineyards

Blush/Rosé

  • Gold: Messina Hof Winery
  • Silver: Silver Dollar Winery
  • Bronze: Checkered Past Winery

Red: Light

  • Gold: Messina Hof Winery
  • Silver: Blue Ostrich Winery
  • Bronze: Bull Lion Ranch & Vineyards

Red: Medium

  • Gold: Bull Lion Ranch & Vineyards
  • Silver: Landon Winery
  • Bronze: Cassaro Winery & Vineyards

Red: Bold

  • Gold: Bull Lion Ranch & Vineyards
  • Silver Blue Ostrich Winery
  • Bronze: Messina Hof Winery

Red: Sweet

  • Gold: Red Road Vineyard
  • Silver: Bingham Family Vineyards
  • Bronze: Firelight Vineyards

Red: Blends

  • Gold: Bull Lion Ranch & Vineyards
  • Silver: Landon Winery
  • Bronze: Bluff Dale Vineyards

The 2021 Mayoral GrapeStomp featured teams from across North Texas, including: Grapevine, Bedford, Carrollton, Colleyville, Euless, Flower Mound, Hurst, Irving, Keller, Lewisville and Pantego.  Winners for the most juice at 34.25 ounces were Pantego Councilmembers Fed Adair and Jeff Brown. Keller participants Mayor Armin Mizani and Councilmember Ross McMullin won Best Fan Club. Bedford Mayor Michael Boyter and Fire Marshal Joey Lankford, dressed as wine and cheese, won funniest costume.

The juice and feet were flying at the daily GrapeStomp competitions. Team Grape Lords won the “Coveted Purple Foot Award” in the Grand Champion Stomp-Off with 25 ounces of juice stomped from 18 pounds of grapes.

Corks were popping daily during the Great Texas Champagne Cork Shoot-Off, sponsored by Texas Gun Experience. Max Baley from Grapevine became the Great Texas Champagne Cork Shoot-Off Grand Champion after launching the winning cork in Sunday’s championship competition.  This contest required participants to accurately shoot a champagne cork at a target for a chance to win a Grand Champion cash prize.   

In 2022 the 36th Annual GrapeFest will take place September 15,16,17 and 18. The 35th Annual GrapeFest - a Texas Wine Experience, was presented by Bank of the West. Attendance numbers for the 35th Annual GrapeFest will be shared at a later date.  For more information, visit www.GrapeFest.com

ABOUT GRAPEFEST – TEXAS WINE. COME AND TASTE IT!

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 & Grape Growers Association and Texas’ premier Urban Wine Trail, featuring a variety of award-winning winery tasting rooms.

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, is the Presenting Sponsor of the 35th Annual GrapeFest – A Texas Wine Experience.

ABOUT GRAPEVINE, TEXAS

Historic Grapevine, Texas, centrally located between Fort Worth and Dallas, is the premier go-to destination when planning a getaway or vacation in North Texas! Step back in time on Historic Downtown Main Street with a collection of charming boutiques, art galleries and bistros and cafes. Enjoy fantastic hotels and resorts, great attractions for the entire family, a wide variety of outdoor recreational activities, exquisite winery tasting rooms, world-class shopping and much more. For more information, visit GrapevineTexasUSA.com.