Last week I got the chance to cross another item off my bucket list. Stomping grapes. The evening couldn’t have been more perfect. Great Friends, Great Weather and Great Wine. Without a doubt it was a trifecta.
Let me back up a bit. Last Friday afternoon, my friend Dawn from The Frugal Mom, asked me if I’d like to go with her to the Moonlight Harvest Festival at Messina Hof Winery in Bryan, TX. Well..duh! Of course I wanted to go. She was invited by the Grapevine CVB to attend this occasion and was allowed to bring a guest along – so while transportation and a meal was provided to me as part of the guest experience, I was by no means required to write about it. It was just such a neat experience…I wanted to share with you all .
We were transported in style on a limo bus from Grapevine, TX to Bryan, TX, which is about a three hour drive. Messina Hof made certain that the time passed quickly though, with some on board wine tastings We sampled four of their award winning wines during our journey.
When we arrived at the winery, we were brought into the lobby of The Villa Bed & Breakfast. This 4 Diamond property impresses as soon as you walk in the door. From stained glass windows to the incredible chandelier, it oozes luxury.
Then it was time to get an orientation on grape harvesting! They gave us all knives (I was wondering about the wisdom of that since we had already been drinking ), and then demonstrated the correct way to cut the grapes off the vines. After a sing along to get the juices (ha! get it?!) flowing, they let us loose in the vineyard.
But it wouldn’t be a Moonlit Harvest without doing some grape stomping a la “Lucy’s Italian Movie.” That’s right, I took off my shoes, climbed in a vat of grapes and stomped away. One part pure fun + One part strange texture = One priceless experience.
Now they had a stepping stool to get into the vat, not one to get out. Not so easy for this 40 year old 4’9″ gal to remove herself from a tub she could barely get her leg over – and I landed on my t-shirt!
(Okay, you got me, that was planned!) What a great souvenir.
They even fed the harvest hands. If you’re ever in the Bryan area, you won’t be disappointed with the food at The Village House Restaurant. Everything on the buffet table was excellent – especially the wine. I had the Riesling (which is blended with Moscato), and it was fantastic. If you are in Texas your local stores’ wine department may have some Messina Hof varieties. Or you can always order them online as well.
To clarify the last part of my blog post title – my stomping grounds are the area around Grapevine, TX. I live in Lewisville, TX and my home is just 15 minutes from downtown Grapevine (which if you’ve ever had to battle DFW highways, is pretty much like being next door!). So the excitement of the evening concluded with the announcement by Grapevine Mayor, William D. Tate, that Messina Hof is expanding to Grapevine.
They’re moving into the Wallis Hotel building. It will be a full-scale production facility with event spaces and retail space. They will have 18 wines on tap, too. It is set to open November of this year – and I’m so excited that this award winning winery will be (almost) in my back yard .
If you live in TX or are ever visiting and enjoy a glass of wine or two, Messina Hof has their current locations in both Bryan and Fredricksburg, and the one opening this fall in Grapevine. Be sure to check out their event page if you’re interested in what’s going on at Messina Hof.
Have you ever attend a grape harvest or stomped grapes before?