If ever a wine destination was aptly named, it is Grapevine, Texas. This charming little town, just minutes from the sprawling Dallas-Fort Worth airport, is an unexpected throwback to a time of main streets and steam trains. Although these days, that main street is lined with cute shops, restaurants, and wineries, and the train is the Jazz Wine Train on the historic Grapevine Railroad. This combination of wine, food and shopping makes a great destination for a girlfriend getaway. I recently visited with a few gal pals and fellow writers for the Travel Media Showcase conference and had a chance to sip my way through Grapevine and have some recommendations for wine tasting in Grapevine.
Where to Stay in Grapevine
The first question is…where to stay? In Grapevine, that answer is easy. The Gaylord Texan Resort has absolutely everything you will need from bars, clubs, restaurants, shops, pools, a fitness room and even a spa. Since it is also a convention hotel, the Gaylord offers over 1,500 rooms, but keeps its resort feel. From the minute you step inside and smell the aroma of the wood burning fireplaces, you feel like you are in Texas. The hotel rooms are circled around two large atriums that make you feel like you are outdoors, but keep out the heat of that brutal Texas sun.
If you do want to get outside, there is a two-mile walking trail, outdoor pools with fire pits, and even the Paradise Springs 10-acre resort pool and lazy river complex. You can take a shuttle from the hotel to their Glass Cactus Nightclub, which features well-known headliners and a 2,000 square foot dance floor. To me, the main attraction is the back deck, where you can catch fabulous sunsets over the lake.
Wine Tasting in Grapevine
It surprised me to learn that Texas is the fifth-largest wine-producing state in the United States — it isn’t just cattle and oil down there! And, while some of the wines we tried were on too far on the sweet side for me…like Homestead’s Chocolate Rose…I still found a few gems. Grapevine is home to the premier Urban Wine Trail in Texas and the nice part is, with so many wineries or tasting rooms within walking distance, you don’t even need to worry about driving.
We started our wine trail at Homestead Winery, which is just a block off of Grapevine’s historic Main Street. Located in a 100-year old Victorian home, the rustic setting is half of its charm. Those in our group that love sweet wine really enjoyed the Chocolate Rose, and I enjoyed the subtle spice of the hatch chili flavor that underlies their Ivanhoe Knights, which was a blend of Malbec & Ruby Cabernet. While you are there, be sure to leave your mark by signing their wall.
Messina Hof Winery
As a sponsor of our conference, we had plenty of opportunity to sample many of Messina Hof‘s 50 wines from 28 different varietals. Their tasting room is located within a replica of the Wallis Hotel, with a grand wide staircase drawing you upstairs to the tasting bar. While enjoying your tasting, you can also step outside onto the veranda to sip in the sun. My favorite was the Private Reserve Cab Franc — no surprise for those who have been wine tasting with me!
Cross Timbers Winery
One of my favorite stops was, not surprisingly, our last one — could it be the wine I’d already consumed I wonder? I did love the setting of the Cross Timber Winery, which is located in the historic Dorris/Brock home, one of the oldest structures in Grapevine. Our tasting was held in the barn-like tasting room, which would also be a perfect setting for a small wedding or special event. We were able to sit down for a private tasting and just relax, chat and enjoy our wine. Here I enjoyed their Sangiovese and Tempranillo, as well as their Chenin Blanc.
Jazz Wine Train
If you are in Grapevine in March, grab a bunch of friends and jump on board the Jazz Wine Train. It leaves at sunset, treating you to those spectacular Texan skies, and heads out through the darkness where the main attraction is what is happening on the train. Jazz musicians join each open air train car and liven things up, while the free flowing wine tastings make it a party.
Where to Eat in Grapevine
Not that you need to leave the Gaylord, with the many restaurant options they have on site, but if you do venture downtown for a meal, I’d recommend Mac’s on Main. I’ve also heard that Hard Eight BBQ, Mi Dia From Scratch, Meat U Anywhere, and Winewood Grill and are quite good.
Mac’s on Main
We had lunch at Mac’s on Main and I heard nothing but praise up and down the table. The true stand out were the Grilled Sea Scallops with avocado-corn relish on blue corn tortillas. I’m not usually a fan of the texture of scallops but these were terrific. For my main course I tried the grilled shrimp with smoked chile butter, white rice & jicama salsa, which was delicious, but I also heard high praise for the chicken-fried steak and prime rib.
Dr. Sue’s Chocolate
While I’m talking about food, you must stop in at Dr. Sue’s chocolate to sample some of their handmade offerings. Dr. Sue is a practicing physician who seeks to fight obesity-related disease through all-natural dark chocolate. I like her thinking! Her chocolate is primarily “bark” style with mixed in fruits, nuts, and even chilis. They have samples throughout this store and the only thing that prevented me from bringing some home was 12 days of travel ahead of me and a very full suitcase.
When to Visit Grapevine
If you want to visit go wine tasting in Grapevine, I’d recommend visiting during September or October. In mid-September, GrapeFest, the largest wine festival in the Southwest United States, takes place in Grapevine, featuring the best of Texas wines, California varietals and Australian offerings. Plus, you get to stomp grapes!! In October, you can take part in the Hall0-Wine Trail, which includes visits to eight wineries in Grapevine and a thrilling Murder Mystery.
Of course there are festivals happening all year long, from the ChocolateFest in mid-April to the family-friendly SummerBlast in May. But what Grapevine is most famous for is its spectacular Christmas season. As the Christmas Capital of Texas, Grapevine features more than 1,400 events in 40-plus days with millions of magical lights and jaw-dropping decorations. At the heart of this is the ICE! and Lone Star Christmas at the Gaylord Texan. The Gaylord transforms into a winter wonderland with lavish holiday displays including more than 2 million twinkling lights and larger-than-life decorations. After seeing the theming around an Alice in Wonderland event that was happening at the Gaylord when I was visiting, I can only imagine how spectacular they do it up at Christmas. After all, everything is bigger in Texas…right?
Altogether it was a fun time hanging out with this gal (my friend and lovely Vacation Mavens podcast co-host, Kimberly Tate from Stuffed Suitcase) and I think Grapevine makes a perfect girlfriend getaway destination.
PIN THIS FOR LATER
Note: As an attendee of the Travel Media Showcase conference, I received complimentary accommodations at the Gaylord Texan and participated in FAM trips arranged by the Grapevine Convention and Visitors Bureau.
2 thoughts on “Sipping Wine in Grapevine, Texas”
Fun! I know nothing about Texas wines but would love to visit this area someday.
You captured it oh, so well! We love your thoughts on our lovely wineries in Grapevine and hope you’ll come back soon!
Comments are closed.