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Uncork Fun at Grapevine’s 31st Annual GrapeFest®

by Leigh Lyons, Grapevine Convention & Visitors Bureau

Uncork the fun at Grapevine’s 31st Annual GrapeFest – A Texas Wine Experience, presented by Bank of the West, September 14, 15, 16 and 17. Set in beautiful Historic Downtown Grapevine, guests can experience a variety of tasting sensations including a special emphasis on wines from Texas, New York’s Finger Lakes region and Canada’s Niagara-on-the-Lake region. Get your tickets now to experience these exciting wines, many of which are not normally available in Texas. For up to the minute schedule and event information, visit www.GrapeFest.com

GrapeFest, the largest wine festival in the Southwest offers four days of family-friendly festival fun for all ages. Can’t miss events include the People’s Choice Wine Tasting Classic, the largest consumer-judged wine competition in the nation; the Texas Wine Tribute; GrapeStomp; Champagne Terrace, KidsWorld, GrapeFest Golf Classic, GrapeFest Tennis Classic, ItalianCarFest, live entertainment and much more!

Savor more than 140 Texas varietals from 39 Texas wineries at the People’s Choice Wine Tasting Classic, the largest consumer-judged wine competition in the United States. During 11 sessions throughout the weekend, guests taste, talk with winery and vineyard representatives and vote for their favorite wines. The winners are announced on Sunday, September 17. Tickets are $23 in advance or $25 at the festival.

GrapeFest is a celebration of Texas wines. 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. More than 300 wineries and 4,400-acres of producing vineyard farmland yields three million gallons of Texas wine annually.

GrapeFest is the perfect opportunity to try wines from guest wineries. Guests will find wines from the Finger Lakes Region of New York in the Liberty Park Plaza Wine Experience, sponsored by Gaylord Texan Resort. The Finger Lakes region is New York’s largest wine producing region with more than 100 wineries and vineyards. The main grape varieties grown are Chardonnay, Riesling, Gewürztraminer, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Franc, Vidal Blanc and Seyval Blanc. GrapeFest guest wineries from the Finger Lakes Region include Glenora Wine Cellars, Knapp Winery, Fox Run Vineyards, Anthony Road Wine Company, Hazlitt 1852 Vineyards, Wagner Vineyards and Thirsty Owl Wine Company.

In the Liberty Park Plaza Wine Experience, festival guests can also sample wines from guest wineries from Niagara-on-the-Lake, Canada. Canada’s Niagara-on-the-Lake region is known for producing mineral-rich, light-bodied Chardonnays, citrus Rieslings and complex Cabernet Franc wines, the region is also home to Icewine, a dessert wine produced from frozen grapes. Guest wineries from Niagara-on-the-Lake include Konzelmann Estate Winery, Pillitteri Estates Winery and The Ice House.

Stomp your way to victory at the annual GrapeStomp competition, sponsored by Tom Thumb and Albertsons. 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. Entry fee is $5 per person. Special GrapeStomp events include the Mayoral GrapeStomp on Saturday, September 16 at 11 a.m. A free special stomping area is also available for kids 12 and under.

Feel the rhythm at the 31st Annual GrapeFest! The Grapevine Mills Main Stage, the Town Square Gazebo Stage and the Palace Theatre Stage will feature live entertainment throughout the festival. In addition to live music, one of this year’s featured performers is Wacky Chad. With award winning pogo stick skills, charmingly funny jokes and antics, Wacky Chad has appeared on “America’s Got Talent,” as well as performed in 25 countries. Wacky Chad’s appearance at GrapeFest will be his first appearance in Texas.

The 31st Annual GrapeFest, opens on Thursday, September 14 at 10 a.m. Admission is free 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 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.  Admission is $8 for adults, $5 for seniors and children and free for children five and under.

Weekend passes are available for $18 and souvenir weekend passes are $23. For more information or tickets, call the Grapevine Convention & Visitors Bureau at 800-457-6338 or visit www.GrapeFest.com.