Known for its rich history and eclectic small-town charm, Grapevine has long established itself as a preeminent destination for folks visiting North Texas.
Grapevine is the oldest settlement founded in Tarrant County in 1844 and has deep roots in Texas wine culture to live up to its name with an impressive array of local wineries.
Closely behind California and Oregon, Texas is one of the largest wine-producing states in the U.S., and Grapevine’s urban wine trail offers a spectacular introduction to the vast wine selections the state has to offer.
September 15-18 will mark the 36th annual GrapeFest wine festival, which hosts several events, contests, and tastings for wine-lovers. The festival offers so many activities it’s difficult to know where to begin, but the wine tours are certainly a good place to start, as well as lunch and dinner tours (also available to book year-round) with daily rotating itineraries and shuttle bus service to and from nearby hotels.
Other happenings include the People’s Choice Wine Tasting Classic, a competition of more than 35 Texas wineries, where visitors can sample and vote on their favorites. Hosted in the Cotton Belt Railroad District on Main Street, it is the nation’s largest consumer-judged wine competition.
Located in Weem’s Alley, Champagne Terrace is a singular experience dedicated to champagne tastings. Open all four days of GrapeFest, this venue offers live music and an ideally shaded patio for bubbly lovers.
Another GrapeFest favorite is the Liberty Park Plaza Wine Tasting, which hosts an international wine tasting experience with wines from Sicily, Italy, and Sonoma County, Calif. This year, Liberty Park Plaza will introduce a VIP experience that includes a “Sicily to Sonoma” wine flight, premiere seating in the Gaylord Texan Luxury Lounge, and two glasses of wine from the private bar.
For entertainment, Jack Ingram is headlining GrapeFest along with the Zack King Band, Squeezebox Bandits, Justin Mason, Bon Jovi tribute band Blaze of Glory, and Led Zeppelin tribute band Battle of Evermore.
Of the many wineries to sample during GrapeFest, the family-run Bull Lion Winery is among the standouts. Their malbec continues to win the medium- and bold-red categories of the Grapefest’s People’s Choice Awards. This wine delivers a smooth, distinctive taste that pairs perfectly with Bull Lion’s rotating cheese selection and is equally delicious on its own — clearly everyone’s favorite for a reason. For something punchier and bolder, try the “Poncho & Lefty” and “Texican” reds. Although Bull Lion specializes primarily in Italian red wines, their Trebbiano Dry white blend provides a crisp, refreshing diversion from Texas summer heat.
GrapeFest is also a great way to explore Grapevine’s Historic Township, home to a collection of unique and locally sourced shops and restaurants. A favorite among both visitors and locals, the Main Street Bakery/Chez Fabien Bistro offers authentic French pastries alongside an elevated French bistro — ideal for a refined breakfast or hearty lunch. Favored dinner options include Dino’s Steak & Claw House and Farina’s Winery & Café, both of which offer fine dining and craft cocktails.
For goods and groceries to take home, the Grapevine Farmers Market is a go-to for fresh produce, treats, and other locally sourced products alongside fresh tamales and homemade custard.
As far as attractions go, the Grapevine Vintage Railroad offers kid-friendly seasonal train tours, as well as adults-only wine tours throughout the year.
For a uniquely Texan celebration of wine, purchase your tickets to GrapeFest here.