November 19-21 2015
Features & Attractions
It’s all about the wines!
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!
NEW this year: The Elite Collection – A special Elite Collection of wines will be featured in the center of the Vineyard. Festival Management, our consulting sommeliers and importing specialists have all reviewed the finest of the wines submitted for tasting and have qualified the elite wines that all attendees can taste.
The wines chosen meet these criteria:
- Require a 10-ticket tasting fee due to their cost
- Have at least a 90 point value in a recognized wine rating system
- Considered by the trade industry and consumers alike as one of the elite wines of the world
Many attendees have expressed an interest to experience the “best of the best.” This is your opportunity.
CLICK HERE to view the list of wines available for sampling
Beer City Station
NEW this year – The Festival’s popular beer area will now be located on the Main Floor of DeVos Place – no more lines! Step into the world of creative craft beers, imported and domestic brews, hard ciders and food that pairs with both. An American craft brewer is small, independent and traditional. Meet the brew masters whose products generate such passion and excitement. Over 250 new products and traditional favorites are offered for sampling.
CLICK HERE to see the list of beers available for sampling
NEW this year – Cider Row will be featured in the Beer City Station! Tap into the Cider Row 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.
CLICK HERE to view the list of ciders available for sampling
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!
Anna’s House – Great tasting and creative breakfast and lunch restaurant
Curry Kitchen – Authentic Indian restaurant
Cygnus 27 – Latin influenced cuisine
FireRock Grille – Fine dining restaurant at StoneWater Country Club
Ganders – American cuisine with a modern twist
Gilly’s at the B.O.B. – Featuring Grand Rapids best selection of small plates, tapas, oysters, and more
Gravity – European tradition with Southern upbringing and the exotic flavors of the Orient
Intermission – Fine dining restaurant at the Van Andel Arena
JU Sushi & Lounge – Premier sushi lounge in Grand Rapids
New Holland Brewing – American pub fare, seasonally inspired by local agriculture
Reserve Wine & Food – Modern American cuisine
Sandy Point Beach House – Focused fusion cuisine that the lakeshore knows and loves
Supermercado Mexico – Quality, authentic Mexican cuisine
TerraGR – Inspired, handcrafted foods
CLICK HERE to view the Restaurant Menus available for sampling
We have invited the area’s finest restaurants and partnered them with distinguished wineries and breweries as they prepare, present and serve gourmet multi-course meals. These casual settings offer chances to communicate with the chefs about their choices and decisions. Enjoy special exclusive multi-course pairings by the chefs and sommeliers of Vintage Prime & Seafood, San Chez, Wolfgang Puck’s The Kitchen, Ganders and six.one.six. Pairing tickets will be sold online in advance or on-site at the Festival at the Pairings Ticket booth.
CLICK HERE to view the Pairing Menus and purchase tickets
Grower’s Champagne Flights
Add a little extra class to your glass with an intimate tasting with Bradford Hammerschmidt from Imperial Beverage. These special flights offer champagnes you will not find anywhere else in the Festival. Each of the champagnes will be paired with specially selected cheese and crudités from Terra GR. Flights offered Friday and Saturday at 7pm only.
Bradford Hammerschmidt is a 20 year veteran of the wine business and one of the founding partners of Imperial Beverage’s State Wide Distributor. Having lived and worked in Europe he developed a love for “Old World” wines and certainly is a proponent of estate bottled grower champagnes from the small family producers of Champagne, France.
CLICK HERE to view the Champagne Flight Menu and purchase tickets
Just in time for the holidays! Shop the Riverfront Market for gourmet food, specialty items, wine accessories and holiday gifts! Cash and carry or order for easy delivery.
Riverfront Market Exhibitors include:
Ann’s Raspberry Farm
Chocolates by Grimaldi
Cosmic Candy Company
Good Life Granola
Ice Box Brand Ice Cream Bars
Lush Gourmet Foods
Old World Olive Press
Meijer Holiday Entertaining
Meijer Wine Essentials
Nectar of the Vine
Sleep Doctor Mattress
Under the Vines
Williams Kitchen & Bath
These quick demonstrations feature chefs, wine makers, brewers and distillers who share their experience and knowledge with you during engaging hands-on sessions. Prep for the holidays and enjoy what you create with talented experts. Workshops are on a first-come, first-served basis. No pre-registration required.
CLICK HERE to view the Food Workshops Schedule
RendezBREW Coffee, Cordials and Dessert Cafe
Start your Festival experience, or make it a nightcap, with unique pairings of coffee and lattes brewed for your enjoyment with a variety of cordials, indulgent sweets and other treats. Available for the duration of the Festival in the Grand Gallery.
Meet Vito Racanelli Jr.
Vito will be in the Stella Artios booth throughout the Festival. Stop by to meet this Executive Chef!
A native of New York, Vito is a graduate of Johnson and Wales University in Rhode Island and has been cooking for more than 25 years. Vito Racanelli is presently the Executive Chef of the prestigious “High End” division and Corporate Commercial Chef of Anheuser-Busch, giving him the opportunity to work alongside some of the best chefs in the United States. He has a passion for education and a love of food and beer that gets utilized by developing programing for the independent restaurateur, national chains, retail food establishments and high volume stadiums. Vito is also the executive chef of the Budweiser Taste of St. Louis, managing the culinary stage and the Stella Artios Chef Battle Royale culinary battles. He also spends time collaborating with culinary schools, where he teaches the fundamentals of beer and beer pairings and also teaches Italian and pasta-making classes.
Beer City Round Panel presented by Experience Beer
Hosts Ben Darcie of Experience Beer and Brewery Vivant, and Pat Evans of the Grand Rapids Business Journal will host a live Q&A Session at the Festival on Thursday evening at 7pm. Participating breweries include Railtown Brewing, Schmohz Brewing, Jaden James Brewing, Gravel Bottom Craft Brewery, Harmony Brewing, Brewery Vivant, Elk Brewing, B.O.B.’s Brewery, GRBC/Hopcat, Founders Brewing, Mitten Brewing, Hideout Brewing, Perrin Brewing, Cellar Brewing, White Flame Brewing, Pike 51, Osgood Brewing and Rockford Brewing.
Steve Talaga Trio 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 Vineyard Music Stage throughout the Festival.
Steve’s Performance Schedule
Thursday: 5:30pm – 9:30pm
Friday: 5:30pm – 9:30pm
Saturday: 1pm – 4pm & 5pm – 9:30pm
Grand Gallery Music Stage
Need to recharge? Take a break at the RendezBREW seating area located in the Grand Gallery while enjoying music from talented musicians.
Grand Gallery Music Stage Schedule
Thursday: Mark Sala ~ 6pm – 9:30pm
Friday: Cross Tide ~ 6pm – 9:30pm
Saturday: Sam Corbin ~ 1pm – 4pm
Saturday: Matt Foresman ~ 5pm – 9:30pm
Really Keely at the Beer City Station Music Stage
Great beer. Great music. Relax with friends at the Beer City Station Music Stage! Enjoy a selection of fantastic beer while listening to an eclectic mix of bluesy classic rock and pop, and original songs of the Really Keely Group. Pub music that is a perfect complement to the full flavored artisan brews.
Really Keely Performance Schedule
Thursday: 6:30pm – 9:30pm
Friday: 7pm – 10pm
Saturday: 2pm – 5pm & 6pm – 9pm
Gold Medal Winning Wines
Gold Medal winners from the 2015 Tasters Guild International Wine Judging will be featured at the Festival, along with the winners from the Michigan Grape & Wine Industry Council! The Council is an 11-member group 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 3:30pm. This celebration is a ceremony with three components – 1) distinguish the WAVE Award winners, recognizing excellence in hospitality in Grand Rapids and Kent County, 2) celebrate Hometown Champions who help bring national conventions to Grand Rapids and 3) recognize the Certified Tourism Ambassador Star of the Year, who demonstrated exceptional customer service to Grand Rapids visitors.
For more informotion about WAVE Awards visit: www.waveaward.com
For more information about Hometown Champions visit: www.bringittogr.com
For more information about the CTA Program visit: www.experiencegr.com/experience-grand-rapids/cta/