GrapeFest, held along Grapevine's Historic Main Street, is the largest wine festival in the Southwest. Some of the favorite festival events include the People's Choice Wine Tasting Classic, the largest consumer-judged wine competition in the nation; GrapeStomp; the Champagne Terrace; KidsWorld; Palette Pleasers at the Palace; GrapeFest Golf Classic; GrapeFest Tennis Classic; ItalianCarFest; five stages offering live entertainment, the Texas Wine Tribute and much more!
Sample more than 140 Texas varietals from 44 Texas wineries at the People's Choice Wine Tasting Classic, the largest consumer-judged wine competition in the United States. This must-do GrapeFest event is one of the most popular festival activities so get your tickets early. Guests can meet winery representatives and find new favorites among the available varietals. Eleven sessions are held throughout the four-day festival. The winners of the competition will be announced on Sunday, September 14 at 5 p.m. Tickets are $23 and advance purchase is recommended. Guests must be 21 and up.
Why celebrate Texas wine? Texas is the fifth-largest wine producing state in the United States. Named for the wild Mustang grapes that blanketed the land when settlers first arrived to the area in 1844, Grapevine is the headquarters of the Texas Wine Industry. Texas is the site of the first vineyard established in North America circa 1662. As European settlers followed the development of mission outposts, they brought more grapevine cuttings, further developing the industry through the 1800s. Today, Texas is home to nearly 300 wineries and has approximately 4,400 acres of producing vineyard farmland, producing nearly 3 million gallons each year.
Stop by the Washington Wine Pavilion! Known for producing premium wines, the state of Washington is home to thirteen American Viticultural Areas and produces more than 40 varietals. At GrapeFest, sample wines from wineries such as Daven Lore, Windy Point Vineyards and Elevation Cellars, that are not normally distributed in Texas. Or check out wines from Trevari Cellars, one of the wines that Texans routinely enjoy. Washington wineries produce more than 12.5 million cases of wine annually from more than 50,000 acres. Today, Washington's wine industry grosses more than $8.6 billion annually and the state of Washington is now considered to be the second largest producer of premium wine in the United States. Additional participating Washington wineries will be announced in the coming weeks.
Festival guests will also want to stop by the International Wine Pavilion, featuring a variety of wines from Italy as well as Grapevine's Sister Cities. Italy is home to 20 wine regions and the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry has documented more than 350 kinds of grapes grown in Italy. Depending on the vintage, modern Italy is either the largest or second-largest producer of wine in the world. Its contribution is about 45-50 million hectoliters (one hectoliter is equal to 100 liters) per year, and represents about 1/3 of global production. Participating Italian wineries include Aglianico del Vulture, Marchesi Antinori, Beni di Batasiolo and more.
Celebrate the Texas Wine Tribute on Saturday, September 6 at 7 p.m. Each year, this 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 2014 "Tall in Texas" Award winner is Becker Vineyards from Stonewall, TX. The Texas Wine Tribute benefits the Texas Wine and Grape Growers Foundation and Metroport Meals On Wheels. Tickets are $125 per person and advance purchase is required.
Get the juices flowing at the annual GrapeStomp competition! 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, a beautiful glass foot from Grapevine's Vetro Glassblowing Studio. Entry fee is $5 per person. Special GrapeStomp events include the Senior GrapeStomp at 10:30 a.m. on Friday, September 12 and the Mayoral GrapeStomp on Saturday, September 13 at 11 a.m. A free special stomping area is also available for kids 13 and under.
Dance the night away at the 28th Annual GrapeFest! Five stages are located throughout the festival grounds and will feature more than 90 opportunities for guests to see live music during the four-day festival. Headliners include Johnny Lee, Thursday, September 11; David Cook, Friday, September 12; Dale Watson, Friday, September 12; and Bowling for Soup, Saturday, September 13.
Attend pre- and post-festival fun events including:
- ItalianCarFest, September 6, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m., Nash Farm, 626 Ball St.;
- Texas Wine Tribute, Saturday, September 6, Reception at 6:30, followed by dinner at 7 p.m.;
- GrapeFest Wine and Food Pairings and
- GrapeFest Golf Classic, Friday, September 5.
Make plans now to enjoy all of these fun activities during GrapeFest:
- Artisan Vendors;
- Carnival Rides and Midway Games;
- Champagne Cork Shoot-Off, Saturday, September 14, 12:30 p.m.;
- Champagne Terrace;
- Draft & Craft Beers;
- Festival Foods;
- GrapeFest Tennis Classic, presented by Adolphson & Peterson, Friday, September 12, Saturday, September 13 and Sunday, September 14;
- Grapevine Glockenspiel Clock Tower's Would-Be Train Robbers Nat Barrett and Willy Majors appearing at Noon, 3 p.m., 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. daily;
- The Grapevine Opry Show, Saturday, September 13 at 7:30 p.m.;
- Grapevine Vintage Railroad stationary exhibits featuring "Puffy," the 1896 steam locomotive and a preview of the 2014 North Pole Express®;
- Grapevine Winery Tours, Saturday, September 13 and Sunday, September 14;
- KidsWorld, featuring LEGOLAND® Discovery Center, SEA LIFE Grapevine Aquarium and interactive games;
- Palate Pleasers at the Palace culinary events;
- Shopping at the stores in Historic Downtown Grapevine throughout the festival;
- Unlimited Carnival Ride Pass, September 11, 5 p.m. - close. $25 in advance; $30 at the festival;
- Variety of stages featuring more than 90 opportunities to see live entertainment throughout the festival and much, much more!
Discover Grapevine's hotels during GrapeFest! For information on hotels, packages and where to stay, visit www.GrapevineTexasUSA.com/GrapeFest.
The 28th Annual GrapeFest - A Wine Experience will open on Thursday, September 11 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 visit www.GrapevineTexasUSA.com/GrapeFest.