Things have changed since Ashley Ryals, owner and chief creator of Homegrown Huntsville, launched the event six years ago. What was once a one-day wine-lovers’ bash in Big Spring Park has evolved into a five-day-long celebration of whiskey, wine, bourbon, wild game, and culinary talent.
This year, the food and wine culture in the Rocket City will shine like never before. The festival will host thousands of people throughout the five days at various events around the city that will feature different cuisines and spirits.
Recently, the Crush Wine & Food Festival was named one of the Top 20 events in the Southeast by the Southeast Tourism Society. To qualify, an event must be at least 3 years old and have an attendance of at least 1,000 people—a number that is easily met and surpassed by the festival.
Tickets are going fast, which is expected for an event that has successfully sold out every year. Be sure to purchase tickets soon and use the code “Crunkleton” to get a $10 discount!
(Pro-tip: While some of the individual VIP tickets at certain events are sold out, you can still get VIP access through purchasing a VIP PACKAGE.)
Here are some events you can choose from at the 2019 Crush Wine & Food Festival:
Champagne Kick-Off Party – Wednesday Night
All of the fun begins on September 25th at the Champagne Kick-Off Party at Bridge Street Town Centre’s Westin hotel.
An evening of mixing and mingling with industry celebrated chefs, winemakers, chocolatiers, and CEO’s will be topped with heavy appetizers prepared by The Westin’s Executive Chef Bill Stellwagen, Mumm’s Champagne, and Tito’s Vodka.
This is your chance to talk one-on-one with the people who make the festival happen from the planning and sponsoring to the creation of its masterful dishes and drinks.
Wine & Whiskey Dinner Pairings – Thursday Night
Huntsville has helped develop the talents of many people in the visual arts, science, music, business, and culinary fields. One of the city’s own, Chef Johnny Dolan, will return to the Rocket City for the festival.
Now serving as the executive chef at Lion’s Sharein San Diego, Dolan will be partnering with local Chef Rene Boyzo of Purveyorto deliver an incredible menu. The duo will serve their collaborative dishes to guests as winemakers and distillers artfully pair their selections with them.
Both chefs have built a reputation for excellence and garnered praise from major media outlets. It’s time to enjoy the best of the best!
Whiskey & Wild Game – Friday Night
A brand-new event to the festival, the Whiskey & Wild Game night has already sold out all of its individual VIP tickets. (But you can still get VIP access through VIP Packages.)
On Friday evening, guests will have the opportunity to sample 20 spirits that include scotch, bourbon, and whiskey. There will also be samples of savory, tender wild game prepared by Johnny Dolan and Rene Boyzo.
But if you’re partial to wine and still want to attend this event, don’t worry! Duckhorn Vineyards will be on-site to serve the guests who are partial to classic reds and whites.
You will also hear jams from Early James & The Latest, a band that has roots in rock, blues, and tongue-in-cheek classic country.
Crush Wine & Food Festival – Saturday Night
Saturday is when over 2,000 wine-loving foodies gather in Big Spring Park to enjoy an unforgettable evening of wine tasting, grape stomping, live music, exclusive wine-inspired menus, and much more!
Every year, Crunkleton has had the pleasure of sponsoring the Beer & Wine Sales Tent where guests can come to purchase bottles of their favorite samplings.
We will be there again on September 28th with our full “tailgate” setup that was introduced last year. Hang out with us to play yard games, watch football, and see the latest developments that are taking place in Huntsville and Madison. We’ve got a lot of updates to share!
Live entertainment is always one of the best parts of the festival, and this year Them Damn Dogswill play during the 4-5:30 p.m. VIP hour before Lamont Landers Bandtakes over for the remainder of the evening.
But the fun doesn’t stop there! Throughout the night, wine-lovers can head over to a grape stomping section sponsored by Heritage Kitchen + Bath. It’s free to stomp grapes but everyone is welcome to donate to the major charity the event is supporting this year.
The festival has partnered with the Huntsville Hospital Foundationto create the Crush Parkinson’s Fund. Many of the festival’s offerings will send proceeds directly to the cause. For instance:
Donating at the Grape Stomping area—100% of the proceeds go directly to Crush Parkinson’s.
All proceeds from whole-bottle wine purchases using the WHT LBL appon mobile are donated.
Drinks purchased at the beverage tent will help benefit the fund.
Green Pea Presswill have a special “Crush Parkinson’s” design at their t-shirt station with proceeds that go directly to the cause.
Kendra Scott Jewelrywill donate a portion of earnings at their jewelry bar on Saturday and have another donation opportunity planned for Sunday’s Champagne Brunch (read more about it below).
Christina Green of The Cardinal Collectivewill be doing a live painting of the festival on-site! Onlookers can donate to the cause while watching her demonstration and even enter to win a prize!
And don’t forget the incredible food at the event. Several of Huntsville’s favorite food trucks will be there serving exclusive wine-inspired menus. You can check out one or all of them!
Finally, everyone can drop by for goodies from DaySpring Dairyand FredBread! Needless to say, there’s a lot more going on during Saturday’s festivities than simple wine tastings. But with more than 150 wines to sample that’s plenty of reason to go!
Champagne Brunch – Sunday Afternoon
What’s the best way to end five days’ worth of constant fun and activities? You can wind down with a casual Sunday brunch surrounded by friends.
Sunday is reserved for the annual Champagne Brunch, catered this year by the culinary crew of the new AC Hotelin downtown. There will be live music from Huntsville’s Alan Little, sparkling wine tastings, and a Tito’s Bloody Mary Bar.
Kendra Scott will also be there for what they are calling a Jewelry Pool. Twenty boxes will be filled with a mystery piece of jewelry that ranges in price anywhere from $60 to $200!
Anyone interested in purchasing a mystery box will pay $60—money that goes directly into the Crush Parkinson’s Fund. Organizers say that the majority of boxes have jewelry inside that is well over $100, which means you are likely to get a great return on your investment.
Excellent food, delicious drinks, music, and relaxation? We can’t imagine a better way to spend a Sunday.
If you want more information about the festival or haven’t purchased your tickets yet, CLICK HERE! Use the code “Crunkleton” to receive a discount! We can’t wait to see you there on September 28th at the Beer & Wine Sales Tent!
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