Grapevine Escape – The Wine Vault [Review]

A Harmonious Blend with a Smooth Finish

Location:  Grapevine, TX

Date Played: July 19, 2021

Team Size: 4-10; we recommend 2-6

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: $29.99 per player

Ticketing: Private

Accessibility Consideration: some interactions require height, though the room includes a step stool

Emergency Exit Rating: [A+] No Lock

Physical Restraints: [A+] No Physical Restraints

REA Reaction

Grapevine Escape’s The Wine Vault was a solid escape room with a classy set designed to honor the surrounding locale, the northern Texas wine country. The environment and props paid due diligence to this context, particularly with the interactive casks, wine bottle-based puzzles, and a display of local wine selections. I found myself wishing I’d paired the room with a local wine tour; it mimicked that aesthetic well.

Gated and padlocked divider in a wine cellar.

The puzzling leaned more into the “vault” aspect of the title rather than wine, so expect to be opening locks more than stomping grapes. The puzzles often used wine paraphernalia, but they didn’t require reasoning about wine and could have been adapted to other themes. Several puzzles involved pleasant variations of familiar mechanics, with the best examples resulting in satisfying interactions with set pieces. All were fairly clued.

One of the more distinctive aspects of The Wine Vault was an expansive back story that we uncovered throughout the course of the experience. This narrative progressed in parallel to the puzzle flow, with each new clue contributing either to that story or to a different puzzle. Ultimately, the back story added flair to the experience, but had no effect on our success or failure. I wished that some part of the puzzle-solving had forced me to think more deeply about the back story. As is, it felt more like a distraction to wade through than a critical part of the room. However, it did provide an interesting payoff for players who invested in processing it.

Overall, if you’re interested in savoring everything Grapevine, TX, has to offer, add The Wine Vault to your list!

Who is this for?

  • Story seekers
  • Puzzle lovers
  • Wine enthusiasts
  • Best for players with at least some experience

Story

While on a VIP tour of the Main Street Winery, we’d wandered into the winemaker’s vault of highest quality vintages. Unfortunately, having faced recent attempted thefts, the winemaker believed us to be the thieves and locked us in, calling the police. We had to find evidence within the vault to prove our innocence before the police arrived.

As we searched for an alibi, we also learned about various dramas running beneath the surface of the winemaker’s rivalries. Players who enjoy imagining a world behind their escapes may find this subplot to be of interest.

Setting

This experience occurred in the vault of the Main Street Winery, a nod to the actual address of Grapevine Escape. This vault contained an assortment of standard winery trimmings, from glasses and bottles to grapevines and faux stucco. Every part of this space was important and well used.

Entry of a wine cellar.

Gameplay

Grapevine Escape’s The Wine Vault was a standard escape room with a moderate level of difficulty.

Core gameplay revolved around searching, observing, making connections, and puzzling.

Analysis

➕ I’ve never encountered a real wine vault myself, but a Google image search taught me that this room captured the essence well.

➕ An intricate story unfolded as we progressed through the clues. It was not essential to follow this story, but for anyone who does, there was a strong conclusion.

A wine cellar with a drop ceiling.

➖ It was difficult to determine which discoveries contributed to puzzles and which added flavor to the narrative. This cluttered the puzzling a fair amount.

➕ Multiple puzzles required fun interactions with props.

➕ One particular common puzzle mechanic had just enough novelty in its execution to surprise us. I honestly didn’t believe it would work and was therefore delighted to find otherwise.

➖ One puzzle gave misleading feedback when we inadvertently let it time out. It took us a while to recover from our resulting misinterpretation.

➕ The proof of our alibi included a clever and unexpected detail that was a highlight of the experience.

Tips For Visiting

  • If you’re a wine aficionado, check out all of the tasting rooms and other wine-related attractions that Grapevine has to offer.
  • If you don’t have time for a wine tour, you can purchase a commemorative Grapevine Escape cup-and-beverage to enjoy while you play.
  • Parking: There is plenty of on-site parking.
  • Food: The owners can recommend many local dining options. We enjoyed Weinberger’s Deli, which had the longest sandwich menu we had ever seen.

Book your hour with Grapevine Escape’s The Wine Vault, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.

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