One of the most well-attended wine and food festivals in the country returns to Northeast Ohio for the 19th consecutive year.
Annually, more than 30,000 wine and food lovers travel to Lake Metroparks Farmpark in Kirtland to sample regional wines and fine cuisine, shop from a variety of exhibitors and enjoy some of the area’s best musical talent. The Vintage Ohio Wine Festival, sponsored by the Ohio Wine Producers Association, takes place Aug. 2-3, from 1 to 10 p.m. each day.
This year, 19 wineries will offer tastes of fun-to-drink sweet wines made from fresh grapes, strawberries, peaches and raspberries. Sophisticated wines like Pinot gris, chardonnay, cabernet franc and riesling will be poured in the Meet the Wine Makers Experience Pavilion. Participating wineries include Auburn Twin Oaks Winery of Chagrin Falls; Barrel Run Crossing Winery of Rootstown; Breitenbach Wine Cellars of Dover; Buckeye Winery of Newark; Candlelight Winery of Garrettsville; Debonne Vineyards of Madison; Deer’s Leap Winery of Geneva; Ferrante Winery of Geneva; Grand River Cellars of Madison; Grape and Granary from Akron; It’s Your Winery from Akron; Klingshirn Winery from Avon Lake; Maize Valley Winery of Hartville; Meniru Meadery of Canton; Old Firehouse Winery from Geneva-on-the-Lake; Old Mill Winery of Geneva; The Winery at Spring Hill from Geneva; Valley Vineyards of Morrow; and Vinoklet Winery from Cincinnati.
Vintage Ohio Wine Festival goers looking for a unique experience can meet some of Ohio’s most respected wine makers, enjoy light appetizers and 10 premium wine samples. There is an additional cost of $15 to enter the Meet the Wine Makers Experience Pavilion from 1 to 6:30 p.m. The pavilion opens to all festival attendees at 7:30, so that everyone can enjoy the live musical entertainment by the Dave Sterner Quartet. Wine education classes focus on chardonnay at 2 and 5 p.m., Cabernet Sauvignon at 3 and 6 p.m., and Vidal blanc at 4 p.m.
Festival goers who attend the daily cooking demonstrations will get a free recipe booklet and a taste of each recipe item prepared. Chef Amy Ryan prepares summer squash Napoleons at 2:30 p.m. on Friday, followed by chef Kim Brulee cooking grilled chicken souvlaki with tzatziki sauce at 3:30 p.m. Chef Christine Martello makes tortellini salad with baby spinach and artichoke hearts at 4:30 p.m. Chef Eric Wells cooks pad Thai at 5:30 p.m. and chef Christine Martello makes watermelon-cucumber salad with feta cheese and herbs at 6:30 p.m.
Saturday cooking classes begin with chef Adam Wilson demonstrating corn and pancetta salad. Chef Kim Brulee again prepares grilled chicken souvlaki, followed by Adam Wilson cooking roasted Yukon Gold potato salad and barbecued chicken. Eric Wells is making tempura vegetables with soy dipping sauce, and Amy Ryan is grilling pork tenderloin with peach salsa.
Tickets to the festival are $30 at the gate and $25 in advance for an adult sampler. That includes a souvenir glass and 25 sample tickets. Additional wine sample tickets are available at ticket booths for 75 cents each. A designated driver ticket is $12, and admission for youngsters 4 to 17 years of age is $3. Advance tickets can be purchased at select Giant Eagle stores in Northeast Ohio; by calling 800-227-6972; or by going online to www.visitvintageohio.com.