When I first learned about Grapevine, Texas, I was excited to check it out. After all, I haven’t explored much of Texas, so I’m always interested in discovering more of its great cities. So when I headed to Grapevine in December, I was pleasantly surprised to find that, although this is one of the Lone Star’s smaller cities, it still delivers big sites and entertainment for every visitor. Unfortunately, there was so much to see and do in Grapevine that I cannot cover it all here. Therefore, I will focus on one of Grapevine’s main draws: wine.
Just a short 10-minute drive from the Dallas-Fort Worth airport, Grapevine earned its name from its location on the Grape Vine Prairie near Grape Vine Springs, both of which were named for the wild mustang grapes that populated the region. Today, a number of wineries call the area home, many of which are part of the Urban Wine Trail. During my visit, I had the opportunity to visit the tasting rooms of two of these wineries in downtown Grapevine.
The first, Messina Hof Winery & Resort, actually opened its Grapevine tasting room in the Wallis Hotel during my stay. This new facility features 2,000 gallons of wine production space, a wine bar with nine wines on tap along with light and gourmet food options, and a gift shop where you can purchase not only Messina Hof wines but also a selection of wine accessories.
While I was at Messina Hof, I had the pleasure of sampling a few of the winery’s most popular vintages, including Papa Paulo’s Port and the Paulo Bordeaux Blend. Although I’m not much of a wine drinker, and, thus, not an expert on the subject, these wines were very well-received by my traveling colleagues. If you are a wine aficionado, then Messina Hof definitely should be on your itinerary when visiting Grapevine.
Our second stop was at Sloan & Williams Winery. This recent addition to the Grapevine wine community offers seven varietals and three blends. For our visit, we had the opportunity to sample four different wines, including the 2013 Serenity (a white), the 2013 Spectrum (a blush), and the 2010 Sangiovese and 2012 Serendipity (both reds). Now, when I do drink wine, I normally lean toward whites, but my favorite at this winery was the 2013 Spectrum, a blush with a lightly sweet, fruity wine with a slightly tart finish. Now, as I mentioned before, I’m not much of a wine drinker, but this was my impression. I definitely would sample it again.
Visitors to Sloan & Williams Winery also can enjoy a selection of light bites with their wine. The menu runs from meat and cheese plates to Asian tapas or pita bread and hummus. For something a little different, try the wine ice cream, which comes in such flavors as cherry merlot, peach white zinfandel and port.
My last experience with Grapevine’s wine scene was a trip on the Christmas Wine Train with the Grapevine Vintage Railroad. These annual excursions showcase one of the area’s wineries along with a selection of passed hors d’oeuvres from a local restaurant. This is a unique way to enjoy some great wine with your girlfriends or as a couples’ night out. The Grapevine Vintage Railroad hosts additional wine trains during the year, such as the Jazz Wine Trains scheduled for March. To find out if there’s a wine train scheduled during your visit, check out the event schedule at www.gvrr.com.
Visitors to Grapevine can continue their wine adventure with several special events throughout the year, such as the Blessing of the Vines and New Vintage Wine & Gallery Trail in April and GrapeFest, the largest wine festival in the Southwest, which takes place every September. You also can explore Grapevine’s Urban Wine Trail, which includes eight wineries throughout downtown Grapevine.
All in all, when it comes to wine, Grapevine delivers a lot for wine lovers to experience and enjoy. To learn more or to plan your visit, check out www.grapevinetexasusa.com.
Disclosure: Karon visited Grapevine, Texas, as a guest of the Grapevine Texas Convention and Visitors Bureau. All thoughts and opinions expressed herein are entirely those of the author.