(Sept. 27, 2013) The annual Wine Fest Wine on the Beach festival takes place today, Friday, and Saturday, bringing 16 East Coast wineries to the Ocean City inlet.
With good weather projected for the weekend, the 18th annual event is expected to draw a big crowd.
“It’s just a really good time. It’s a great venue,” said Neil Glaser, marketing director for Horton Vineyards in Gordonsville, Va., one of the wineries coming to Wine Fest this year. “It looks like it’s going to be a perfect weekend.”
Horton has been with Wine Fest since its beginnings and will bring around 18 wines for tasting to this year’s event. Those include a new 2012 vintage and its Blanco Xoco, a white wine with a chocolate twist and a favorite among patrons, Glaser said.
“The festival committee puts together a very nice group of very diverse wineries, so there are lots of wines to taste and try,” said Susan Deal, co-owner of Forks of Cheat Winery in Morgantown, W.Va., a staple at Wine Fest for more than a decade.
“It’s a good time. It’s a good location. And, assuming the weather… is nice, it’s a good crowd,” Deal said.
Forks of Cheat will bring 11 wines to the festival this weekend, with its best-selling Bad Cat Catawba in the mix.
Wine on the Beach evolved as “something that draws people to the beach in September,” Deal said, and has grown over the years.
Last year, around 6,500 attended the event, organizer Christina Nokes said.
Wine on the Beach will also serve up micro-brewed beers by Fat Tire, 3rd Wave Chunkin Punkin and Devil’s Backbone Vienna Lager. There will be Chesapeake Cusisine such as crab cakes as well as pizza, French fries and roast beef for sale.
More than a dozen vendors selling wares including wine holders, handmade cutting boards, wine holders and rhinestone T-shirts will be available at Wine on the Beach.
The Pat O’Brennan Trio will play from 12:30-3:30 p.m. Friday, followed by Bird Dog and The Road Kings from 4-7 p.m. On Saturday, the 3 Penny Opera will play from 12:30-3:30 p.m. and Bird Dog and the Road Kings will take the stage from 4-7 p.m.
This weekend, “the weather’s supposed to really beautiful,” Nokes said. “It’s going to be fun.”
Wine on the Beach is open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. both days, today and Saturday. Tickets cost $30 at the gate and include one-day admission to the festival, a commemorative wine glass and 10 coupons for wine samples.
Tickets for those ages 13-20 cost $20 and children under 12 get in free. An adult must accompany anyone under age 21. Bring a valid photo ID.
Designated driver tickets come with a special wristband, unlimited soft drinks and a commemorative wine glass.
Wines will be on sale at the event. No pets, picnic baskets, coolers or outside drinks are allowed at the festival.
Visit www.winefest.com for a complete list of wineries at Wine on the Beach and for more information.