This weekend, New Braunfels will be all about just two things — wine and music.
Get ready to raise a glass and jam to tunes, the 33rd Annual Gruene Music & Wine Festival is here. Activities kicked off Thursday night and will go through Sunday. The four-day festival includes a spread of activities related to drinks, food and music.
Featuring more than 100 different Texas wines and more than 80 craft beers, the festival will feature famous musicians such as Tanya Tucker and the Casey Donahew Band.
“Every year the event evolves,” said Crystal Kinman, Gruene Music & Wine Fest marketing manager. “We do our best to listen to our customers and vendors and make tweaks year to year. This year, we’ve arranged the tasting tent to allow a little more walking space while offering even more wines. And we’ve added a few more art vendors and a little more variety to the market.”
Being put on by Gruene Hall in conjunction with KNBT 92.1 FM Radio New Braunfels, all proceeds from the event will go to benefit the United Way of Comal County. Last year’s fest raised over $153,000 for the UWCC.
“It’s just a fun time for a great cause,” Kinman said. “Wine, beer, music and all benefiting our local United Way.”
The fun started at 5:30 p.m. Thursday in the Grapevine Gardens, with a kick-off event featuring wine tastings from 10 Texas wineries, three craft breweries and live music.
“These (were) different wines and beers than will be offered the rest of the weekend,” Kinman said. “Prophets and Outlaws play(ed) on Thursday.”
The Bacon Brothers performed at Gruene Hall Thursday evening, with anyone who purchased VIP admission getting into the tasting area early at 5 p.m. and receiving a souvenir wine glass and five additional tasting tickets. General admission began at 5:30 p.m.
The Rockin’ with Texas Wine & Food event will be on Friday, Oct. 11. Attendees will enjoy a seated dinner catered by the Gristmill Restaurant along with wine from three Texas Wineries while listening to a private acoustic set from Tanya Tucker. Tucker will then perform at Gruene Hall at 9 p.m.
A silent auction and the Great Guitar Auction Friday night will include signed guitars for bid. Artists who signed guitars this year include George Strait, Loretta Lynn, Jerry Jeff Walker, Midland and Maren Morris and more.
“Sometimes we are lucky enough to have something new that pops up just before the event,” Kinman said. “This year, at the last minute, we are throwing in a Garth Brooks signed and personalized guitar into our Great Guitar Auction on Friday night. I have a feeling our guests are going to be pretty excited about that. We are also expecting really nice, cool weather, which should make the weekend even more enjoyable.”
Garth Brooks will be personalizing the guitar to the highest bidder, making it even more special, said Mary Jane Nalley, co-owner and operator of Gruene Hall.
Saturday, Oct. 12 is the big wine tasting day, Kinman said.
“We have 34 Texas wineries coming with over 100 different wines to taste. We’ll have food samplers and food trucks and live music all day.”
Sunday, Oct. 13, Gruene Hall will host eight full hours of Americana music. Across the street will be booths from 26 different Texas breweries coming with over 75 different craft beers for tastings.
“Every day is unique with something for everyone,” Kinman said.
Tickets for the weekend’s events can be purchased at GrueneMusicandwineFest.org until midnight the night before each event, Kinman said.
“Then you can get them at the door for a slight upcharge,” Kinman said. “The only day that is sold out is Friday.”