Messina Hof Grapevine Winery is located in Grapevine and is the third location for Messina Hof based in Bryan. During the start of the 2014 Moonlit Harvest in August, Paul M. Bonarrigo announced the upcoming winery in Grapevine. Unbeknownst at the time, three-quarters of the future Texas Wine Lover team were present including Gloria and me in addition to Rebecca Marmaduke. When Messina Hof Grapevine Winery had their media preview on December 10, Rebecca was there again this time representing Texas Wine Lover and wrote a wonderful post about the event.
While going through Grapevine recently, it was time for Gloria and me to visit Messina Hof Grapevine Winery which is on Main Street and located in the old Wallis Hotel. The official opening was on December 12, 2014.
On the front porch of the winery is a statue called The Sidewalk Judge which has often been present at the historic Wallis Hotel. The story goes that if you sit on the bench with the judge, it will brighten your day. He’s also a good listener.
When you first walk into the Messina Hof Grapevine Winery on the first floor, to the left is the tasting room and to the right is the gift shop.
We went to the tasting room and learned how the tastings happened at the Grapevine location. There is a tasting fee for five tasting tokens which is then used per taste. Tastings are done while standing at the tasting bar or there are tables where you can stand in the same room. The tastings are poured from the uncorked bottles and there are crackers on the tasting bar to help cleanse your palate.
We started a tasting and then met Mark Rettig who is the tasting room manager. Soon Nathan DeWitt, general manager, arrived and we had an enjoyable time talking to both of them. Mark volunteered to take us on a tour of the winery and we could then come back and finish our tasting.
Heading to the rear of the winery is one of the wine bars with a possible of nine wines on tap, a seating lounge, and in the very rear of the winery is the production area. That’s right, this is not going to be just a tasting room, as Messina Hof will actually be making wine at the location with a maximum capacity of 2,000 gallons.
Upstairs is the second wine bar with another possible nine wines on tap, and a large event room called appropriately enough the Messina Hof room. The room can be split in half with Messina on one side and Hof on the other. When open, it provides enough space for 100 people for a sit down event. On the other side of the building is the Wallis room which provides more event space. Walking to the front of the building is a little room with historical artifacts from the Wallis Hotel and Grapevine. After the room is the front porch balcony with a wonderful view overlooking the Grapevine Main Street. The only other building which has a balcony right now in the area is City Hall.
Events planned at the winery are live music and wine dinners, and they are hoping to hold two events a week. If you follow Messina Hof in Bryan, there are always events happening at the winery so it was not surprising to hear this. Of course coming up is a New Year’s Eve event and in January a Riedel representative will be present. Also available around the winery is art for sale from local artists.
After the tour, we went back to our tasting. There is a subset of wines from Messina Hof available at the Grapevine location, but there are going to be some Grapevine Exclusive wines. The wines which will be exclusive at the moment are:
- Wallis White (unavailable when we were there)
- Steam Engine Red (Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Zinfandel)
- Grand Opening Port (available at the grand opening but probably will be limited)
- Sweet Justice (Cabernet Sauvignon, Muscat Canelli)
We learned that General Manager Nathan DeWitt came up with the name for Sweet Justice based on the judge’s statue out front. One other thing offered at the winery which I am sure will be a big hit is a one liter growler for purchase. The idea is to purchase the growler glass bottle and get it filled with one of the wines on tap. When you are done enjoying the wine at home, you can bring the growler back for a refill. What a great way to try a variety of wines.
Messina Hof VIP members and wine club members are welcome at the Grapevine location just as is true for any Messina Hof location. Having Messina Hof in Grapevine will definitely benefit the Messina Hof fans in the area and will also gain new fans.