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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Summer & fall at Messina Hof

Photo courtesy of Messina Hof

Whether you desire a new date night idea, a fun family activity or something to do with your friends, Messina Hof has you covered.

Editor’s Note: This article has been updated to correct date and name errors.

Founded in 1977, Messina Hof Winery has made it a mission to share premium Texas wines on the cornerstones of family, traditions and romance. This summer and fall, the Bryan location will host day and nighttime harvests and even a Murder Mystery Dinner on Saturday, June 24.

One of the first events to become a tradition is the monthly harvests that take place in the Estate’s vineyard. Messina Hof Marketing Director Gina Graves said this is an event all community members look forward to during its harvest season. Attendees pick and stomp grapes that go into the winery’s award-winning ports and earn a “Harvest Crew” t-shirt that they can sign with their purple-stained feet.

“Harvest season can range from around a month to two and a half months because it all depends on the weather, how hot it gets, how much water the grapes are getting and how quickly they’ll be ready to harvest,” Graves said. “Around mid-July, grapes will come in and we can hopefully continue until September.”

The winery offers a Moonlit Harvest and a Daytime Harvest, which usually draws in two different crowds, Graves said.

“The Moonlit Harvest is on a Friday night which really ends up being a great date night atmosphere,” Graves said. “Our Daytime Harvests definitely have a lot of families coming through. People have brought their actual babies and dipped their feet in the stomped grapes to make their shirts for them. There is also food, wine and sparkling grape juice available … Daytime Harvests are very family friendly.”

On June 24, the winery will host one of its many popular Murder Mystery Dinners. Sixty guests will attend the upcoming event and enjoy a fun mystery while tasting food and wine pairings. Graves said attendees have received their character assignments for the upcoming event well in advance.

“We get character assignments out to guests as early as two weeks in advance so they can prepare because a lot of guests like to come in costume in accordance with the theme or their character assignment,” Graves said.

On August 5, another anticipated attraction will take place: the Wine Cellar Tour & Dinner. The special event sold out within three weeks of its announcement. Graves said the environment and unique hosts make for an event unlike any other.
“Compared to a lot of our other events, this is one of the few hosted in our cellar room, where all the wine barrels are and it creates more of a unique ambiance and atmosphere compared to our tasting room and restaurant,” Graves said. “It’s more of an intimate event as well because our owners, Karen and Paul [M.] Bonarrigo, will lead the event. Not often do people get to have one-on-one interactions with people who work and make the wine here. Paul directly gives the tour and provides the history of who we are and where we came from.”

In addition to the traditional events that Messina Hof offers, the business plans to host new events for the community to enjoy, such as the Outdoor Luau taking place on August 19, Graves said.

“Every harvest season, we usually host an outdoor barbecue, but this will be the first time we have a Luau-inspired event,” Graves said. “We’ll have a suckling pig and it’ll be very Hawaiian-inspired. While we do have an outdoor barbecue every year, [this] will be a different variation of this.”

Those who participated in the 2020 harvests will have the opportunity to taste the port wines that they stomped grapes for on Aug. 6. Graves said she hopes people become excited for the winery’s first-ever port party in the hope of creating a new annual tradition.

“This year, we’re doing a launch party for the 2020 port, and those who stomped the grapes three years ago we’ll get to try it for the first time,” Graves said. “Hopefully, building off of this event, it’ll become an annual tradition with the 2021 port, and so on and so forth.”
To learn more and buy tickets for Messina Hof’s upcoming events in Bryan, visit their website.

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