GRAPEVINE, Texas -- Paul Bonarrigo is one of the pioneers of Texas wine.
"In '77 we started Messina Hof and there we're three wineries in Texas, and now there are over 400," Bonarrigo said.
He's been a part of the industries growth, and he's watched GrapeFest, the yearly tribute to Texas wine, grow right along with it. "We're finding that grapes do beautifully in Texas. The wines are world class, and the public obviously supports it. You look at GrapeFest, and it is such an amazing festival that obviously the public is supporting Texas wine," Bonarrigo said.
Friday was just a taste of the crowds expected this weekend at the annual event that celebrates Texas wine. Saturday is traditionally the biggest day of the festival that brings more than a quarter of a million people to a town of just 50,000, over the course of the event.
"A few years ago, we had a hurricane and even that year, we broke attendance records, so people come regardless," Bonarrigo said.
This year rain is in the forecast again -- a chance of rain that doesn't to dampen anyones spirits. "You know GrapeFest goes on rain or shine and should there be a severe weather situation, our patrons' safety is of our upmost concern," said Leigh Lyons of the Grapevine Convention & Visitors Bureau.
Organizers say they've never had to cancel the festival entirely due to weather, and don't plan to do so this year. There are plenty of ways to hide from the weather as you sip on the best homegrown wine Texas has to offer.