Throngs of visitors celebrated Grapevine's 30th Annual GrapeFest A Texas Wine Experience in Historic Downtown Grapevine September 15, 16, 17 and 18. With a salute to the wines of Texas, Central Coast California and Barossa Valley Australia, attendees experienced fantastic festival fun throughout the weekend. The city of Grapevine is already ready to welcome all of the visitors out to the 31st Annual GrapeFest on September 14, 15, 16 and 17 in 2017.
"GrapeFest was a fantastic weekend of family-friendly fun," said Bruce Herndon, festival co-chair. "Throughout the weekend, guests of all ages enjoyed everything from wine tastings to live entertainment to wonderful shopping and festival food and so much more."
"Having a successful 30th Annual GrapeFest is based on the thousand-plus volunteers and the civic and service organizations who make sure all who come to GrapeFest have a fabulous time," said Rene Herndon, festival co-chair. "It's been an honor to lead such an incredible steering committee who has worked for an entire year to plan this year's GrapeFest."
During the 30th Annual GrapeFest, attendees tasted wines and met winemakers at the Central Coast California Wine Tasting and Barossa Valley Australia Wine Tasting. The Central Coast California Wine Tasting featured 20 wines from seven wineries. Some of the Central Coast California participants included Bill and Doris Cooper, Cooper-Garrod Estate Vineyards; Tony Lulling, Firestone Vineyards and Ernie Vandegrift, Tantara Vineyards. The Barossa Valley Australia Wine Tasting featured 15 wines from seven wineries and Australian winemaker Stuart Bourne met guests and discussed wines from the Barossa Valley.
Festival guests participating in the People's Choice Wine Tasting Classic, the largest consumer-judged wine competition in the nation, had the opportunity to sample 140 Texas wines from 39 Texas wineries. Throughout the festival, most of the 11 sessions were sold out. Some of the Texas wineries in attendance included Bingham Family Vineyards, Messina Hof Winery & Resort, Llano Estacado Winery, Umbra Winery, Wine Fusion Winery and this year's Tall in Texas award recipient, Homestead Winery. After sampling the wines, guests then voted on their favorites in ten categories.
With grapes flying and feet stomping at GrapeStomp, two-time defending champions Lam Nguyen and Jorge Bermeo, both of Dallas, won the Coveted Purple Foot Award for the third time. Throughout the festival, teams of two stomped 18 pounds of grapes for two minutes. Winners of the GrapeStomp daily sessions competed in the Grand Champion Stomp-Off on Sunday. Under the team name Awesome & Awesomer, Nguyen and Bermeo stomped a total of 36 ounces in the finale.
The 2016 Mayoral GrapeStomp featured 18 teams from across North Texas including Bedford, Colleyville, Combine, Euless, Grapevine, Haslet, Hurst, Irving, Keller, Mansfield, North Richland Hills, Pantego, Rowlett, Seagoville and Trophy Club as well as teams from Grapevine's Sister City of Parras de la Fuente, Mexico and West Lothian, Scotland. A team representing Barossa Valley Australia also participated in the competition. The winners of the Most Juice Stomped Award, with 18.25 ounces, was the team from Hurst, featuring Councilmember Trasa Cobern and her husband, Kyle. Some of the other winners included the team from Keller, which won the Most Likely to Get the Most Likes on Social Media and the team from Parras de la Fuente, Mexico which won the Best Costume.
The 30th Annual GrapeFest A Texas Wine Experience was presented by Bank of the West.