November 21 - 23, 2013
Features & Attractions
Step into the Vineyard where over one hundred wineries from around the world provide samples of as many as 1,200 assorted wines, including some hard to find, top shelf vintages! More than a half-dozen distilleries are also expected.
To view the wines available for sampling at the Festival check out the Wines, Beers, Ciders & Spirits List
There’s more than just wine to be sampled at the Festival! The Festival’s popular beer area has been expanded and moved this year to the 3rd floor of DeVos Place! Step into the NEW Brewer’s Loft and sample from dozens of these full flavored brews. An American craft brewer is small, independent and traditional. Meet the brew masters whose products generate such passion and excitement. Sponsored by the Michigan Brewer’s Guild.
To view the beers available for sampling check out the Wines, Beers, Ciders & Spirits List
Be sure to pick up a complimentary Brewer’s Loft beer glass for sampling, courtesy of Action Water Sports!
Michigan BLUE Cider House
Tap into the NEW Michigan BLUE Cider House at the Festival, featuring more than a dozen cider producers from Michigan and nationally-known brands. Hard cider is among the fastest growing craft beverages, on a national scale. It is fermented to produce a range of flavors – from dry to sweet to sparkling. Hard cider has always been included at the Festival, but this year we are excited to introduce attendees to this new feature area!
To view the ciders available for sampling check out the Wines, Beers, Ciders & Spirits List
Grand Rapids’ Finest Restaurants
The ultimate dining experience! Grand Rapids’ finest restaurants have been invited to provide “small plate” samples of their prize cuisine. The selected restaurants will be located throughout the Festival and designated by a knife and fork insignia. Use your tasting tickets to enjoy their special presentations. A perfect opportunity for an unparalleled dining experience. You will not leave the Festival hungry!
Cygnus 27 - Globally influenced American cuisine
B.O.B.’s Brewery – Beer-centric with some BBZ influence
Intermission - Fine dining restaurant at the Van Andel Arena
FireRock Grille - Fine dining restaurant at StoneWater Country Club
San Chez - Blend of authentic European and Mediterranean cuisine
six.one.six. - The JW’s signature restaurant, offering highly inspired cuisine
Reserve - Modern American cuisine
JU Sushi & Lounge - Premier sushi lounge in Grand Rapids
Terra GR - Inspired, handcrafted foods
New Holland Brewing- American pub fare, seasonally inspired by local agriculture
Twisted Rooster - Classic American fare with dynamic twists
We have invited the area’s finest restaurants and partnered them with distinguished wineries as they prepare, present and serve gourmet multi-course meals. These casual settings offer chances to communicate with the chefs and winemakers about their choices and decisions. Enjoy special exclusive multi-course pairings by the chefs and sommeliers of Bar Divani, Tre Cugini, San Chez, Reds on the River and Spinnaker. Pairings are $30 – $45 per person will be sold online in advance or on-site at the Festival at the Pairings Ticket booth.
Champagne and Sparkling Wine Flights
Add a little extra class to your glass with an intimate tasting with Mike Laing from M. Lawrence Vineyards or Bradford Hammerschmidt from Imperial Beverage on the balcony overlooking the Festival. Each of the flights will be paired with four servings of regional cheeses served with house made crostini from Terra GR. Flights offered Friday and Saturday only.
CLICK HERE for the complete menu and to purchase Champagne or Sparkling Wine Flight tickets!
New Holland Brewing Beer Flight
NEW this year – New Holland Brewing will present a Beer Flight in the Brewer’s Loft for $7.50! Enjoy specially-set menu paired with three New Holland Beers.
Ceviche Taco, Monkey King Saison brined white fish, with onions, tomatoes, jalapenos, fresh cilantro and lime, over a crispy cabbage slaw, served in a flour tortilla
Pork Kielbasa, marinated tomato and Yukon Gold potato bite, skewered and finished with a beer gravy reduction
Beer Barrel Truffle, hand rolled chocolate and cocoa, infused with Beer Barrel Bourbon, and finished with a white chocolate drizzle
Special Appearance Winemaker by Ben Flajnik from The Bachelor – Season 16
Meet Ben Flajnik, who previously starred on The Bachelor, at the Festival on Thursday evening from 6-9pm at the Siegel Jewelers booth. He will have wine from his own Envolve Winery available for sampling – Sonoma Mountain Rosé, Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir.
Just in time for the holidays! Shop the Riverfront Market for gourmet food, specialty items and high-end accessories including chocolates, granola, cheeses, peirogies, oils, coffee, and more! Cash and carry or order for easy delivery.
To see the vendors that will be at the Riverfront Market visit the Exhibitor List
These quick demonstrations feature chefs and food specialists presenting on topics such as sushi, balsamic vinegar, easy holiday recipes, and more!
CLICK HERE for the complete Food Workshops schedule
Grand Gallery Music Stage
Need to recharge? Take a break at the seating area located in the Grand Gallery while enjoying music from talented musicians.
Grand Gallery Music Stage Schedule
Thursday: Sam & Danielle ~ 6:30pm – 9:30pm
Friday: Matt Foresman ~ 6:30pm – 9:30pm
Saturday: Sam & Danielle ~ 1pm – 4pm
Sunday: Mark Sala ~ 5pm – 9pm
Steve Talaga in the Vineyard
Pianist, composer, arranger, West Michigan Jazz Society’s “2008 Jazz Musician of the Year,” Steve Talaga will entertain Festival attendees at the Valentine Vodka Cocktail Lounge throughout the Festival.
Steve’s Performance Schedule
Thursday: 6pm – 9pm
Friday: 5:30pm – 9:30pm
Saturday: 2pm – 5pm & 7pm – 10pm
Really Keely Acoustic Trio at the Brewer’s Loft Music Stage
Great beer. Great music. Relax with friends at the Brewer’s Loft Music Stage! Enjoy a selection of fantastic beer while listening to the acoustic blues, classic pop and rock, and original songs of the Really Keely Acoustic Trio. The Keely group has been a part of the Festival since its inception. Pub music that is a perfect complement to the full flavored artisan brews in the Brewer’s Loft.
Really Keely Performance Schedule
Thursday: 6:30pm – 9:30pm
Friday: 7pm – 10pm
Saturday: 2pm – 5pm & 6pm – 9pm
Michigan BLUE Cider House Music Stage
Cordials & Desserts
Start your Festival experience, or make it a nightcap, with unique pairings of brandy, dessert wines and indulgent sweets, including Cask and Cream, dessert wines and brandy from Black Star Farms, chocolates from Lindt Chocolate and baked brie from YoChef’s Catering. Available for the duration of the Festival in the Grand Gallery.
Gold Medal Winning Wines
Gold Medal winners from the 2013 Tasters Guild International Wine Judging will be featured at the Festival, along with the winners from the Michigan Grape & Wine Industry Council! The Michigan Grape & Wine Industry Council is an 11-member Council that supports the growth of the wine and wine grape industries in Michigan. New wineries are starting up in Michigan every year, wine grape acreage continues to grow, sales of Michigan wines are increasing, and the reputation of Michigan as a world-class wine region is gaining more national and international attention.
The winning wines that will be available for tasting at the Festival are marked in the complete Wine, Beer & Spirits list. Look for the Gold Medal bottles at the wine displays to taste a winning wine!
Impacting Hospitality Celebration
Experience Grand Rapids and the Kent County Lodging Association have teamed up to present the Impacting the Hospitality Celebration at the Festival on Thursday at 4pm. This Celebration is a ceremony to distinguish the WAVE Award winners, recognizing excellence in hospitality in Grand Rapids and Kent County, and the Hometown Champs who help to bring national conventions to Grand Rapids. Every day, service providers create a positive experience for guests and residents, and it is the goal of the WAVE Awards that the hard work and dedication of those individuals is truly noticed.
For more info visit: www.waveaward.com
Grand Rapids Sister Cities
Welcome our sister cities at the Festival and sample some of their products!
Omihachiman, Japan: Our first Sister City signing took place in 1986 in Japan. Located near the center of the Japan Islands on the shores of Lake Biwa, the largest freshwater lake in Japan. Rice and beef are important agricultural products while tourism and history are a main focus. The area produces fresh water pearls, bamboo products and the most prayer beads of any other district in Japan. Omihachiman will have Saki and Two Sisters White and Red Wines available for sampling at the Festival.
Bielsko-Biala, Poland: Adopted by Grand Rapids in 1991. Located in the southern mountain region of Poland, it has a climate and population similar to Grand Rapids. The major share in domestic production belongs to the electro-equipment, textile and chemical industries, food processing, and forestry. Bielsko-Baila will have Tyskie – Polish Beer, and Pretzels available for sampling at the Festival.
Perugia, Italy: A large volunteer network support this Sister City relationship, established in 1993. Located in Umbria, a hilly region in the heartland of Italy, admired for its wineries and historic architecture. Perugia is home to an important art school and two impressive universities. Perugia will have Goretti Sagrantino di Montegalco, Ruffino Orvieto Classico and Baci Chocolates available for sampling at the Festival.
Ga District, Ghana: They became a Sister City to Grand Rapids in 1994. Part of what was once called the Gold Coast in the southern part of Ghana and includes a stretch of sandy beach along the Atlantic Ocean. The district includes rural and urban areas adjacent to Ghana’s capital, Accra. Pineapples, other fruits, textiles, and wood products are the principle exports. Ga District will have Guinness Stout available for sampling at the Festival.
Zapopan, Mexico: Our newest Sister City relationship that was welcomed in 2008. Zapopan, a suburb of Guadalajara, is located in central Mexico. Zapopan boasts thirteen college and university campuses and is known for its growing biological sciences and technology industries. Zapopan will have Jose Cuervo Tradicional and Monte Alban Tequila available for sampling at the Festival.