My French manicure may still have a purple hue, but a return to the salon is completely worth the trade for my incredible evening trek to Messina Hof for the Moonlight Harvest kickoff 2014 on Friday, Aug. 1.
While I have enjoyed sipping wine in Napa Valley, Tuscany, and recently around Grapevine, I had never been to Messina Hof. Unfortunately I also had never had the privilege of stomping grapes, part of the evening’s agenda, as well as several other surprises in store for the media and special guests from Austin, Houston and DFW that met at the Bryan winery.
I was in for more than a memorable evening, but actually history in the making for the winery that released its first vintage in 1983.
The Harvest Festival celebrated its 37th year with its traditional picking, blessing and stomping of the grapes, but this year with a very big announcement made by the family and Grapevine Mayor William D. Tate (seen below): Messina Hof is set to open its third location with an urban winery at the Wallis Hotel in historic Grapevine, Texas.
The idea of unity flowed throughout the evening just like the relationship between the award-winning winery and a community dedicated to the future of Texas wines. With the rich wine heritage of Winemaker Paul Bonarrigo (see the adorable gentlemen with the undeniable style below) dating back six generations to Messina, Sicily and Merrill Bonarrigo’s family originating from Hof, Germany, together the couple has pioneered the Texas wine industry in creating premium wines of distinction and a landmark wine country destination.
Enjoying a wine tasting on the way to the winery, upon arrival, we learned a little about the history of the vineyard and how to properly eye the “Big Kahuna” and select the right grapes for cutting from the vine. Then all the guests took their turn stomping the cold, juicy fruit between their toes before being “breaking bread” for a delicious feast featuring wine, cheese, and some of the best mushroom soup rich with Messina Hof wine.
While we all have to wait for Messina Hof to come to town, you still have the rest of August to experience the Annual Harvest Festival at the Bryan winery each weekend in August and followed by the 2nd Annual Harvest Festival at the Fredericksburg winery the last weekend of August.
The annual event celebrates the bounty of the vineyard, in a public harvest setting similar to European harvesting practices of centuries past. Patrons, friends and family near and far congregate in the pursuit of grape picking, stomping and wine tasting/dining. Eight specialty dinners punctuate these four weeks on the grounds of the winery and the only Four-Diamond resort in the Brazos Valley, the Villa Bed and Breakfast.
Get your tickets now for the Harvest Festival at Messina Hof and view the schedule here.