Last year’s inaugural Big Spring Crush Wine Festival – the first of its kind in Huntsville – was a sold-out affair. This year it’s becoming an annual Huntsville tradition, said Ashley Ryals, owner and chief creator Homegrown LLC, the organizer behind Big Spring Crush. It’ll be scheduled for the last Saturday in September each year.
This year, that’s Sept. 26, 4-9 p.m. Festival goers can sample wine from more than 250 wine labels, listen to live entertainment, and dine on wine-inspired dishes from local food trucks. There’s even a grape-stomping area.
“We recommend printing out the wine list ahead of time so you’ll know which tents you want to visit,” said Ryals.
Big Spring Crush will be held on the east side of Big Spring Park, recently reopened after an overhaul by the city.
“This is one of the most beautiful settings in the southeast,” said Chad Emerson, president and CEO of Downtown Huntsville Inc., of the grotto area of the park. He believes Big Spring Crush could become one of the region’s premiere wine festivals.
“We’re thrilled to be a part of the community and to be bringing unique wines to Huntsville,” said Tamyra Yarbrough-Gwin, store manager at Church Street Wine Shoppe. “We’re honored to be a part.”
This year will be the inaugural year for the Alabama Commercial Wine Competition, an event that grew from an idea birthed by a member the Big Spring Crush committee last year.
BSC partnered with the Alabama Agriculture and Industries Department, the Alabama Wineries and Grape Growers Association, and the American Wine Society to bring the competition to Huntsville.
The competition will take place in August and awards will be announced at the BSC VIP wine reception the Friday evening before the Saturday festival.
Festival goers can sample the award winning wines in a special tent reserved for Alabama-made wines.
Wine sale proceeds at the festival will benefit a local charity, which will be announced at a later date.
The first 300 general admission tickets are $45; the price rises to $55 for all remaining tickets. General admission grants access to the festival and unlimited wine tastings, as well as a commemorative tasting glass.
A VIP day pass is available for $75 that will grant access to a VIP tent where Church Street Wine Shoppe will host high-end wine tastings.
A VIP weekend pass, available to 150 guests, will include the VIP day pass and a private wine and food pairing the Friday before. No tickets will be sold at the gate. Private tents will also be available in “The Grove” and include tip VIP weekend passes, a 10×10 tent, table and chairs and the option to have the tent catered by an on-site food vendor. Gate, stage and other sponsorships are available.
Tickets are available now at www.HomegrownHuntsville.com.