There’s no better time to get acquainted with the wineries of the Texas town of Grapevine than during the holidays — when the Grapevine Christmas Trains chug along over three consecutive Thursdays.
Grapevine is a great place for a wine lover to visit any time of the year. Within the downtown area, there are several tasting rooms within easy walking distance of one another, ranging from basic tasting bars to full-blown visitor centers with gift shops.
But in December, visitors can give their feet a rest and enjoy the gift of the grape while riding in vintage coach cars.
Each wine train excursion begins with a 7 p.m. reception at the Grapevine Cotton Belt Railroad District on Main Street, where local musicians will be on hand to entertain.
Each guest will receive a complimentary beverage in a commemorative Christmas wine glass. Boarding of the coaches will begin at 7:30, and once on board, guests will be treated to dessert and Christmas carols.
A representative of a featured winery will be on hand to serve its wares and educate guests about its selected wines. The relaxing excursion will include more holiday music favorites, caroling and a visit from Santa. The train will return to the downtown depot at around 9:30.
The cost? $36 per person.
The fun this year began on December 8. Here’s a look at the remaining winery and entertainment schedule:
- December 15 — Rocky Gribble will provide the music, and Su Vino Winery will provide the adult beverages, including Almond Sparkling Wine (made in the traditional Champagne method with just a hint of pure almond added for a creamy, nutty, almost sweet flavor); Island Paradise (a lightly sweet wine with exotic kiwi and lush pear flavors); Chardonnay (made in an “un-oaked” style to preserve and accentuate the fruit flavors of the grapes); Malbec (the signature variety of Argentina); and Quintetto (a non-vintage blend of Zinfandel, Syrah and Barbera that’s aged in Hungarian and American oak).
- December 22 — Andrew Boyer will provide the music, while Cross Timbers Winery serves up the wine. Among the bottlings to be featured are “My Favorite”
Muscat Canelli (a summertime sipping wine that also matches beautifully with cheeses, spicy foods, fresh fruit pastries and creamy desserts); Viv Mi Amor Blush (a non-vintage blend of Riesling, Chenin Blanc and Ruby Cabernet which is crafted to appeal to lovers of both white and red wine); Grapevine Red (a non-vintage blend of Sangiovese and Shiraz made in a sweet style); Sangiovese (a 100% Texas High Plains wine made from grapes grown in the Lone Star State’s oldest Sangiovese vineyard; and Hot Mulled Wine (with its alluring winter notes of ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg).
Grapevine is home to numerous restaurants, ranging from hubs of old-time comfort food to upscale culinary destinations. It’s also a shopping mecca, home to eclectic gift and jewelry shops, clothing stores, home décor and furniture consignment stores, art galleries and more.
And during the holiday season, Grapevine transforms into “The Christmas Capital of Texas,” blanketed with millions of glistening lights, enormous decorations and animated characters.
If your feet are up to the task, it’s easy to make a full day of it in Grapevine, beginning with breakfast, followed by shopping and winery tasting room visits, followed by dinner, and topped off with an excursion on the Christmas Wine Train.
While Grapevine is a family-friendly destination, keep in mind that the Christmas Wine Trains are open only to those 21 and over. The trains will run rain or shine, and further information is available by visiting: https://www.grapevinetexasusa.com/christmas/NPX/WineTrains.html