Daily Progress, Jacksonville, TX

October 17, 2013

Harvest Festival Saturday in Bullard

Ben Tinsley
Jacksonville Daily Progress

BULLARD —  Every time a foot touches a grape anywhere — A-N-Y-WHERE — it brings to mind that wacky episode of "I Love Lucy." Always.

Kiepersol's Harvest Festival & Grape Stomp is one such local reminder. Taking place this Saturday, the  event  brings to mind the classic,  "Lucy's Italian Movie."

This April 16, 1956, episode follows our favorite redhead as she visits a local Italian winery. Somehow, Lucy gets mixed in with the grape stompers there and winds up in a gigantic vat squishing grapes beneath her feet.

This year's Kiepersol's event, incidentally, celebrates Texas Wine Month every October with a family event at the heart of a classic East Texas vineyard, according to website literature.

"Please note that our festival has moved location from being right next to the tasting room to being at our vineyards off Dorsey Road," according to a note on the site. "Follow the signs off FM 344 or get the map here (online)."

An ATM will be available on site and anyone with questions can access the web site at http://kiepersol.com/festival or call (903) 894-3300.

Taking place between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. this Saturday, the event includes grape stomping, painting stomping shirts with feet, live music, the KE Corkscrew 5K Fun Run, guided winery trolley tours, cork art activity for kids, and festival grub from Ted Camel Foods. All proceeds from the run will be donated to Mane Mission, a charity for the care of developmentally and mentally challenged adults.

A scholars tent is a place to stop by for the latest wine info on how to taste like a pro, hands on wine training, as well as a visit from wine blogger Russ Kane (vintagetexas.com) who will share his "Secrets of the Wine Trail" and tasting presentation "Real Cowboys Drink Syrah".

Visitors are urged to bring their own lawn chairs and blankets, as this event will take place whether it rains, tornadoes or shines. Live music by Two Jacks & a Jill, Nashville Studio Singer of the Year Melissa Duvall, Curtis Wright and Michael Curtis, and The Yutes will entertain guests all day long.

No food or drink can be brought on the premises and visitors must be at least 21 to drink alcohol.  Adults can enjoy fresh Sangria and wine by the glass and festival food will be available all day.

For the person looking to learn more about wine, guided trolley tours up to the wine facility and a sneak peek tasting of Dirk's Vodka (not yet released) are scheduled throughout the day and are $10 per ticket.

The Winery’s tasting room is normally open for tours and tastings from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday with guided tours at 2 and 4 p.m. on Saturdays. Tours can be made by appointment at any other time.

Again, information on the event is available at www.kiepersol.com.