The upcoming oenophile’s dream of a street fair, the Naples Grape Escape, began humbly as a small wine-tasting event organized by The Rotary Club of Naples inside Wynn’s Market about nine years ago. The gathering morphed into the popular annual Grapes & Apes at the Naples Zoo, where over four years, it ballooned to the point where one night and one venue could not contain it.
“We wanted to have a true festival atmosphere this year, ” Rotary President Rich Ahrens says. For the first time, the wine, food and artisan beer fest will expand to four nights, November 13 through 16, with multiple events ranging from vintner dinners at some Fifth Avenue restaurants to Boost Your Wine IQ Education seminars, Beer Bashes, live bands and more parties.
For the main event November 15, Grape Escape will take over six blocks on Fifth Avenue South. Four ticket price levels from elite—which includes goodies like premium wine tastings, cuisine from dozens of local restaurants, and priority seating for live entertainment—to general admission are available for Saturday’s soiree. The festival, presented by The Rotary Club of Naples and Fifth Avenue South Business Improvement District, will benefit several charities, including Learn2Earn, a Rotary educational scholarship program for high school students, Meals of Hope, The Wheelchair Foundation, ShelterBox, Gift of Life International and Rotary International’s End Polio Now initiative. We’ll raise a glass to that.
- For the complete Naples Grape Escape schedule, tickets and more information, visit napleswine.org.