LISA CAPITELLI ¦ Assistant Editor
(Sept. 28, 2012) Vineyards and wineries from Maryland, Delaware, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia will offer an assortment of wines to sample this weekend in Ocean City during the 17th annual Wine Festival on the Beach.
The two-day event, set for today, Friday, and Saturday, at the inlet parking lot, attracts both wine connoisseurs and occasional indulgers annually.
Several thousand attend the festival each year for the opportunity to learn about and taste various regional wines. Some people spend a full day at the festival, sipping wine and listening to the live music, as vendors will present a wide selection of dry, semi-dry, sweet and semisweet, red, white, blush and fruityblended wines.
Sampling of wines will take place onsite. Adults will receive a complimentary wine-tasting glass and sample coupons upon entering the festival grounds. Wines may be purchased, packaged and saved for later, as well.
Maryland wineries scheduled to be part of the 2012 festival are Boordy Vineyards, Dove Valley, Far Eastern Shore Winery, Frederick Cellars, Knob Hall Winery, Layton’s Chance Vineyard and Winery, Legends Vineyard, Linganore Winecellars, Solomons Island Winery and St. Michaels Winery.
According to Jessica Garcia, marketing director for Linganore Winecellars/Berrywine
Plantations in Mt. Airy, the business has participated in the festival since its inception 17 years ago. Garcia said Linganore representatives enjoy educating festival attendees about the winery and its wines.
“It’s a great feeling when they tell us about how much they enjoy our wines and their experiences at our winery. We couldn’t be who we are without their support,” Garcia said. “We make over 30 wines so we have several that are popular. Among those, we have a dry white, White Raven; a dry red blend, Black Raven; a sweet white, Skipjack (2012 Governor’s Cup Silver winner); and a 100-percent Raspberry wine.”
Guests can taste those as well as several other Linganore wines at the festival.
St. Michaels Winery has been a Wine Fest vendor for the past five years, according to Marketing and Events Director Lindsay Greenwood.
“It is a wonderful location and the perfect time of year to enjoy wine, food and music by the ocean,” Greenwood said.
Some of St. Michaels’ best selling and most popular wines are the sweet Gollywobbler Red, Pink and White, as well as the Chocolate Zinfandel. They will be featured at the festival along with a handful of others.
Fenwick Wine Cellars, located off Route 54 in Fenwick Island, Del., will also attend. The winery made its debut at the festival in 2010.
“It’s a great location, great atmosphere and a nice selection of wines and vendors,” said owner Adrian Mobilia.
Some of the blends Fenwick Wine Cellars will offer include Niagara, Catawba, Concord, Cabernet, Pinot Grigio and Chardonnay.
“We typically lean more toward the sweet wines because that is what the crowd seems to prefer, but we always have some of the more traditional dry wines on hand,” he said.
Brotherhood and Hazlitt Vineyards of New York, Chaddsford Winery of Pennsylvania, Horton Vineyards of Virginia and Forks of Cheat Winery and West- Whitehill Winery Ltd. of West Virginia will also present some of their wines.
Marketing Director Neil Glaser said what Horton Vineyards representatives like most about the event are the beach atmosphere and the attendees.
“Everyone is ready to have fun and there is no room for wine snobs,” he joked. Horton Vineyards had been a festival participant since its inception.
“Horton will be bringing over 20 wines to sample and buy. These will include Chardonnay, Rkatsiteli (a varietal from the Georgian Republic), six-plus different fruit wines including strawberry, cranberry and mango,” he said. “We’ll also have our chocolate wines and some other sweet goodies.”
Chaddsford Winery is also a longtime wine festival vendor, participating for approximately 10 years, according to General Manager Bob Brock. Chaddsford will display its Niagara, Sangria, Sunset Blush and Spiced Apple wines, among others.
“It’s always nice to see people who come to our booth every year. Each year we have had people come to the winery in Chadds Ford because they saw and tasted at the Wine Fest,” Brock said. “The wines we are bringing this year are, for the most part, on the sweet side and are available throughout Maryland at retailers.”
Though wine will be the main attraction of the event, brewing companies such as Fat Tire and St. Michaels Ale will be at the festival to introduce visitors to specialty beers, which will be available for purchase.
Other vendors will offer a variety of wine- and non-wine-related merchandise. Food will be available, as well. Bird Dog and the Road Kings, Three Penny Opera and Blue Deville are scheduled to provide the musical entertainment during the two-day event. Visitors are encouraged to take a blanket or chairs to enjoy the music.
General admission costs $25 for adults, ages 21 and older. A $2-off admission coupon is available at www.winefest.com. For those who do not drink, admission includes commemorative wine glass and unlimited soft drinks from the designated driver area.
Admission costs $5 for guests ages 20 and younger, who must be accompanied by an adult. There is no admission charge for children ages 7 and younger.
The festival will be open today and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. For information, call 410-280-3306 or visit www.winefest.com.