Largest Wine Festival in the Southwest U.S. Highlighted Wines from Texas, South Australia’s Barossa Valley and California’s Napa Valley

GRAPEVINE, TEXAS (September 28, 2021) – Festival-goers celebrated the Taste of Two Valleys at Grapevine’s 35th Annual GrapeFest – A Texas Wine Experience, presented by Bank of the West. Following COVID-19 shut downs in both Australia and California, as well as a long separation from wine tasting events due to the pandemic, more than 7,500 attendees turned out to celebrate wines from two of the greatest wine valleys of the new world, South Australia’s Barossa Valley and California’s Napa Valley. This unique pairing, one from the northern hemisphere and one from the southern, drew much attention. Online sales for this event were robust as were in person sales during this four-day event.

At times the lines were 30 people deep as they waited for their opportunity to compare these two regions and their renowned wineries. Discerning wine drinkers used their tasting cards to compare wines from each valley. The profile of the average taster, who typically was in his/her 30s and 40s, shows great promise for the future growth of premium wines. The event did bring forward Napa Valley elitists; however, there were many visitors who were connected to and engaged with the South Barossa Valley wines. Many came to see if vines from the oldest vineyards from South Australia’s Barossa Valley produced the robust flavor profiles that Barossa boasts.

Both Napa Valley and Barossa Valley contain distinct regions within their valleys due to diversity of soil, elevation and climate.

Barossa Valley is home to more than 500 grape growing families, many of whom have been growing vines for six generations. The wine region 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. Participating wineries from South Australia’s Barossa Valley included: Yalumba’s Y Series Cabernet Sauvignon and a Voignier; Chateau Tanunda’s Triathlon Red Blend and Grand Barossa Shiraz; Torbreck Vitners’s Woodcutters Shiraz and Cuvee Juvenilles; Langmeil Winery’s Three Gardens GSM and Spring Fever Chardonnay; Heathvale Wines’ Cabernet Sauvignon, The Encounter, and a Shiraz, The Reward; and Elderton Wines’ E-Series Shiraz/ Cabernet and Elderton Estate Cabernet Sauvignon.

California’s Napa Valley, known for its hundreds of hillside vineyards, is home to more than 475 wineries and more than 40 different grape varieties. Due to its unique geographic position between the cold Pacific Ocean and the warm Central Valley, a wide variety of climatic conditions exist within this small, contiguous area that are perfectly suited to producing a great variety of world-class wine grapes. Participating California Napa Valley wineries included: Bootleg’s Red Blend; Trefethen’s Reisling; The Hess Collection’s Napa Valley Allomi Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay; Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars’ KARIA Chardonnay; Freemark Abbey’s Napa Valley Merlot and a Savignon Blanc; Kerr Cellar’s Cabernet Sauvignon, Curvature; and Rombauer Vineyards’ Sauvignon Blanc.

It has been 45 years since the Judgement of Paris where Chateau Montelena became the first American wine to win this French wine competition. Chateau Montelena, also represented at GrapeFest’s Taste of Two Valleys, featured its Estate Zinfandel.

“It was really great working with all 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.”


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.


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

Emily Henvey

Emily Henvey is the Communications Coordinator for the Grapevine Convention & Visitors Bureau. An adventurer at heart, she is always up for a trip to West Texas or a trek to any of America's National Parks. In her free time, you will find her listening to British and classic rock and making stained glass windows.