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Good Times in Grapevine Texas: Wineries, and the New Vintage Wine & Gallery Trail

With a name like Grapevine, focusing on wine is a natural. And there are wineries and wine-centered events throughout the year.

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One of the oldest settlements in the area, Grapevine dates back to 1844, a year before Texas became a state. Settled by pioneers from Missouri and the central area, they found a land filled with the wild Mustang grape and called the area Grape Vine Prairie. The town that grew alongside the wild grapes was Grape Vine Spring, which was eventually shortened to Grapevine. The vines, although plentiful, were a bit too bitter for eating or making wine so the farmers grew cotton and cantaloupe. But the name stayed, and in the 1980s, city officials reclaimed the result of the vines, focusing on wine. In fact, Grapevine is home to the Texas Wine and Grape Growers Association. Delaney was the first vineyard, and it has since been joined by several other wineries in the area, compact enough to create a delightful wine trail.

The premier event is the annual Blessing of the Vines and New Vintage Wine & Gallery Trail which takes place in April. Sampling wines is always happy-making, but the weekend’s activities are stellar.

The fun starts with Jazz Wine Train, then comes the ceremonial Blessing of the Vines and New Release Wines, and finishes with the Wine & Gallery Trail, which incorporates an assortment of unique art galleries in Historic Downtown Grapevine and a free shuttle service between all the wineries so the imbibing doesn’t require a designated driver and all can participate.

Jazz Wine Train

All aboard! We board the plush vintage train cars for jazz, plentiful pourings of wine, and a gourmet boxed meal. The wine flows, ably poured by members of Wine Pouring Society of Grapevine. Doing this on a moving train requires quite a bit of skill, and these ambassadors of the vine in their Burgundy vests help make the trip not only delightful but informative. It was the first of the wonderful events that made up our wine weekend.

Blessing of the Vines

The next day I’m standing in Delaney Vineyards and the Blessing of the Vines is about to begin. Marriachi band is playing, there are men as Spanish soldiers, a priest in his vestments, people carrying Saint Urbanus, the patron saint of vineyards, and even Bacchus and Ariadne are making an appearance.

After the official participants go by, the spectators are invited to join, so despite the drizzle, we parade into the fields. As we pass, the folks in the Grapevine Wine Pouring Society handed everyone a small glass of wine.

During the lovely blessing we are called to pour a libation on the vines, giving back a portion of God’s gift. We all lean over the brown vines, with budding green leaves, and the tiniest clusters of grapes I’ve ever seen, and pour our quite tasty wine over them. Some do this with obvious reluctance. Then, we walk back for the blessing of the new wine. Here, too, we receive a glass, but this is wine we are to drink.

New Vintage Wine and Gallery Trail

The grape vines have been blessed, the new wine sampled, and we are now ready to hit the Wine Trail to eat, sample wine, listen to music, and party. But we all party responsibly – the Grapevine Chamber of Commerce provides a free shuttle service that take revelers back and forth to the wineries, and the art galleries of town. Of course, if you are doing your own driving, there’s complimentary non-alcoholic beverages available at all the wineries.

We start at Delaney Vineyards where the Blessing of the Vines was held and combine walking with shuttling to visit the rest. Some are located on Main Street in town, others were off on side streets, and one or two are a ride away.

Visitors can purchase a “passport” that covers all the wineries and includes coupons for the wine tastings and food. Alternatively you can do it "a la carte" and just purchase tickets at the wineries of your choice for tastings and food.

All the stores and galleries in town participate in the event as well. Stroll among a throng of folks investigating the shops. Like a growing number of towns and cities across the country, Grapevine is cultivating its own unique shops. You won’t find chain stores in downtown Grapevine. What you will find are stores like Gypsy Warehouse for gifts, decor and more. Blue Moon - a gallery with a sampling of jewelry, art and home decor. In one of those “huh?” combinations, Hold Grounds offers 100 varieties of coffee and Christian jewelry and gifts. Make sure you visit Vetro glassblowing and art glass gallery. It’s at the train deport parking lot. Gorgeous and luminescent.

Although I recommend coming when Grapevine is throwing one of its wonderful wine trail events, if you come at another time, you can still enjoy the wineries on your own.

Wine Trail Events

With events going all year long, it isn't difficult to find a time to for a wine-themed visit.

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Neala McCarten

Photo courtesy of Grapevine Tourism

Published: June 26th, 2013

Updated: August 7, 2016

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