Grapevine celebrates 25 years of honored wines

By Laura Smith

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Photo by Laura Smith

Grape stomping, wine sipping, corndog-eating and Ferris wheel riding are just a few of the activities guests participated in last weekend in Grapevine, Texas, at the 25th annual GrapeFest–A Wine Experience.

GrapeFest, the largest wine festival in the Southwest, began in 1986, and its People’s Choice Wine Tasting Classic is the largest, consumer-judged wine competition in the nation. This year’s competition featured 119 wines from 33 Texas wineries. In addition to wine tasting and judging, GrapeFest featured a grape stomping competition, in which the winning team of two pounded out 39.76 ounces of juice to claim the coveted Purple Foot Award.

Attending GrapeFest not only opens visitors’ eyes to new wines, but it introduces Grapevine’s surrounding attractions, shopping and authentic Texas-style restaurants to savor. Grapevine’s newest additions, Legoland Discovery Center and Sea Life Aquarium, attract visitors of every age. Legoland combines fun with education about how Legos are built and used. Sea Life features more than 30 displays of marine life, including 11 sharks in the main Ocean Tank. The two attractions are located at Grapevine Mills Mall, which has more than 180 stores and the newly restored Palace Arts Center, which is home to the Grapevine Opry and hosts a number of performing arts groups throughout the year. The city’s a boon to meeting planners even when the festival isn’t in town: There’s more than 800,000 square feet of meeting space at venues including the Gaylord Texan Resort and Convention Center, Great Wolf Lodge and other area hotels.

Proceeds from GrapeFest benefit the Grapevine Heritage Foundation’s restoration and program development at Nash Farm, where groups learn about the history of the North Texas settlement, farming technology and more. Multiple venues on the farm can be rented for special events.


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