November 21-23, 2019Buy Tickets
Features & Attractions
It’s all about the wines!
Sample from 1200+ wines from around the world, six continents to be exact, in the Vineyard. It’s the largest tasting room experience you’ll ever find, with every varietal under the sun. As you travel throughout the ballroom, you can sample sweet reds, dry whites, colorful rosés and bubbling sparkling wines and champagnes without ever leaving Grand Rapids.
The Elite Collection – Enhance your sampling experience and impress your family and friends with a stop at the Elite Collection, located in the center of the Vineyard. Savor the finest premium wines such as Opus 1 or Dom Perignon. Selections are made based on 90-point wine ratings, price point and sommelier recommendations. You can try these for a fraction of the full price of these bottles. Tasting fees begin at a minimum of 10 tickets for these distinctive world-class wines.
CLICK HERE to view the wines available for sampling!
Beer City Station
Everyone is getting on board with the craft beverage scene, especially here in Michigan and more specifically Grand Rapids. Located inside Exhibit Hall C off of the Grand Gallery entry lobby, Beer City Station is home to hundreds of beers and flavored malt beverages. Meet these talented craft artists!
Hard cider (or simply cider, as producers call it) dates back to the 17th and 18th century immigrants to America from the British Isles. Fermented apples (cider) was safer to drink than water at the time. Little did they know then that cider would become such a growing sector of the craft beverage market in the United States three centuries later. Michigan has a long-standing history in the apple industry and craft producers are serving up impressive award-winning ciders with vast flavor profiles. Sample from local, regional and national brands in Cider Row, located in Exhibit Hall C along with Beer City Station.
The Festival’s Cocktail Concourse
Internationally recognized author Ernest Hemingway’s love of Michigan and cocktails is legendary. Hemingway Hall pays tribute to his passion for craft – whether that was drinking, eating, writing or living life. Located outside of the Vineyard, along the Grand River concourse, craft producers and mixologists will showcase their finest spirits, mixers, garnishes and cocktails.
The Ultimate Dining Experience
Bring your appetite to the Festival, because we’ve got you covered no matter what you’re craving. Spread out throughout the Vineyard, Beer City Station, the RendezBREW Café and the Hemingway Hall Outdoor Patio, these local eateries offer up an unparalleled progressive dining experience meant to pair perfectly with the thousand-plus wines, beers, spirits, ciders and specialty beverages. Restaurants are designated throughout the Festival by a knife and fork insignia. Use your tasting tickets to enjoy their special presentations.
RendezBREW Coffee, Cordials and Dessert Cafe
This popular gathering spot can be enjoyed at the beginning, middle, or finale of your visit. Guests can indulge their sweet cravings and discover new pairings; named, the RendezBREW Coffee, Cordials & Dessert Café. Coffee, teas and lattes are brewed on-site. Sip on cordials, savor chocolates, surrender to decadent offerings, and relax with soft musical sounds in the Grand Gallery.
Sit down and take a break from the action during one of the intimate multi-course Pairing Dinners at the Festival. Area’s restaurants partner with distinguished wineries, breweries and distilleries, as chefs prepare, present and serve gourmet meals paired with wine. Pairing tickets will be sold online in advance or on-site at the Festival at the Pairings Ticket booth on a first-come, first-served basis.
CLICK HERE to see the Pairing menus and make reservations!
Music at the Festival
Live music will be played throughout the Festival from talented local musicians in the Vineyard, the Grand Gallery, and Beer City Station!
CLICK HERE to view the Music Stage Schedules
Traverse Wine Coast
Almost 40 unique wine destinations are closely located along the breathtaking shoreline of the Traverse Wine Coast. Two wine-friendly peninsulas, Leelanau and Old Mission, extend out into the waters of the Grand Traverse Bay and provide a fantastic backdrop of hills covered in vines. Sample from almost 20 of the Traverse Wine Coast Trail wineries while you’re at the Festival!
Participating wineries include: 45 North Vineyard & Winery | Aurora Cellars | Black Star Farms | Bonobo Winery | Bowers Harbor Vineyards | Brengman Brothers at Crain Hill | Chateau Chantal Winery & Inn | Chateau Grand Traverse | Good Harbor Vineyards | Leelanau Wine Cellars | Left Foot Charley | Mawby | Rove Estate | Shady Lane Cellars | Soul Squeeze Cellars | Verterra Winery
Meijer Food Stage
Take a seat along the Meijer Food Stage as culinary leaders show off their passion for cooking, while sharing the latest trends and techniques for all to see. The presentations are included with your paid admission ticket. Stop to watch and Taste the Season!
CLICK HERE to view the Meijer Food Stage schedule.
Beverage Tasting Sessions
What’s new in wine and beer? What are the latest trends? Professionals in the beverage industry offer a series of tutored tasting sessions throughout the Festival. The rooms are located just off of the Grand Gallery entry. Get there early, as there are only 60 seats for these educational tasting experiences.
CLICK HERE to view the Tasting Sessions schedule.
Craft Cocktail Workshops
Blending together award-winning spirits and mixers into craft artisan cocktails, New Holland Artisan Spirits’ noted mixologists and distillers will serve up hands-on workshops guaranteed to educate and entertain. These 15-minute workshops will amp up your bartending skills, just in time for holiday entertaining. Each workshop is limited to the first 12 people who step up to the bar and the scheduled times. Tasting tickets are required for sampling the cocktails.
CLICK HERE to view the Workshops schedule.
Experience Grand Rapids and the Kent County Hospitality Association have teamed up to present the WAVE Awards at the Festival on Thursday at 4pm. WAVE stands for Way Above Visitor Expectations. This celebration is a ceremony with two components – 1) distinguish the WAVE Award winners, recognizing excellence in hospitality in Grand Rapids and Kent County, and 2) recognize the Certified Tourism Ambassador Star of the Year, who demonstrated exceptional customer service to Grand Rapids visitors.
For more information about WAVE Awards visit: www.waveaward.com
For more information about the CTA Program visit: www.experiencegr.com/experience-grand-rapids/cta/
Better Drinking Culture
Started by a group of friends sharing their stories about alcohol, Better Drinking Culture has grown into a grassroots movement that is shifting our culture’s relationship with alcohol in a healthier and more positive direction – a lifestyle free from pain, harm, and regret. BDC is a call to action to drinkers and non-drinkers alike to challenge cultural norms and empower change. Drink better. Live healthier. #BecauseHangoversSuck. You can find additional information available just include the doors of Beer City Station at the Festival.