Henderson’s St. Patrick’s Day parade is a tradition for local winemakers from the Grape Expectations School of Winemaking. The school’s staff and students have been showing up for 8 years, says proprietor Patty Peters, who bills herself as the school’s Chief Wine Wench.
“We have between 100 and 200 winemakers who participate in the St. Paddy’s Day parade with us,” Peters told GBN.
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The Grape Expectations float was this year’s winner, and has taken the award in each of the last four years, according to the school’s website.
“Our float’s main theme, every year, is the “Train Wreck Marching Band” and our winemakers are instructed to bring an instrument they don’t know how to play.” At designated times during the parade, the Train Wreck band plays for the crowd, led by the school’s K.J. Howe, also known to students as the Professor of Yeastology. Peters swears it’s a crowd pleaser.
Grape Expectations has trained several thousand winemakers over the course of a decade, many of whom return each year to work on a new vintage. The school’s management has recently opened a separate entity with a commercial tasting room. The Vegas Valley Winery is located next door to the school, operated by the school’s management and on-staff winemakers. It does not offer student-made wine, and it operates with a separate bonded area.