When Spanish missionaries came to this hemisphere, they planted their native grapes all over the soils of the American Southwest. Many of their efforts were unsuccessful, but some of the grapes took to the New World, like tempranillo. You can ponder that while you’re at GrapeFest, where this year’s event boasts a sidelight on Rioja, the Spanish red wine made from tempranillo grapes that give it that mouth-filling feel, while the oak barrels that it ages in impart that pleasing vanilla finish.
If you’re not in the mood for Spanish flavors, another event at the annual festival brings you the cabernet, pinot noir, and chardonnay from Mendocino County on California’s northern coast. Of course, one pavilion will be reserved for that eternal crowd-pleaser, champagne. To help you pace yourself with the alcohol, Grapevine’s eateries from Brazilian Chef to Nomadic Noodles will be providing food, and we wonder what wine will go with the popcorn from The Kettle Corn Company. The live music will be headlined by Jo Dee Messina and Don Felder, and as always with this event, carnival games and strolling entertainers will be on hand to entertain the young ’uns who can’t drink alcohol yet. This is the 32nd edition of Grapevine’s celebration of wine, and the bottle shows no signs of running empty.
GrapeFest runs Thu-Sun at historic downtown Grapevine. Tickets are $5-23. Call 817-410-3185.