Browsing articles in "wine festivals"
Oct 2, 2014
Terri Judson

Pulse: La Viña Fall Wine Fest offers quick weekend getaway – Las Cruces Sun

Pour yourself some fun and savor scenic views along the way as you head to New Mexico’s oldest wine festival.

La Viña Fall Wine Festival has thrived in the borderland for over 20 years and is still going strong. The festival will return Saturday and Sunday, bringing with it an array of wine tastes to satisfy every pallet.

“(The winery) was designed for festivals,” said Ken Stark, owner of La Viña. “And with years of experience and two festivals a year, you get a pretty good idea of how to do it, so we feel like we have a good product.”

The festival begins at noon Saturday. Starting the music performances will be Salina and The Chuco Soul Project. At 2:15 p.m. Mosaic will hit the stage, with Slick Reynolds following them at 4:30 p.m. The festival will close at 7 p.m.

Sunday will bring with it the same level of excitement. Frank Zona and Urban Edge will perform at noon and Twisted Hams will perform at 2:15 p.m. The festival will end on a high note with Dusty Low performing at 4:30 p.m. until close at 7 p.m.

“We really enjoy playing at this event,” said Frank Zona.

Frank Zona and Urban Edge is a five-piece smooth, contemporary jazz band. Zona is the saxophone player and said the group has been playing at the La Viña wine festivals for about eight consecutive years, and they are looking forward to performing at this one as well.

“They must like us because they keep calling us back,” he said.

Along with the music, there will also be 70 vendors selling clothing, ceramics, jewelry, food and other treasures.

La Viña Winery consists of a 44-acre farm; 25 of those acres are vineyard. The vineyard boasts 23 different varieties, which are types of grapes.

Stark said everything they sell at the winery was made at the winery. He also said 99 percent of what they make is sold on location, they do not distribute much of their wine to be sold elsewhere.

“We concentrate on direct sales, which means we try to do as many things as we can here,” he said. “We could probably buy grapes in California for same price we as grow them, but then we wouldn’t be able to say that everything was produced here.”

The fermintation room at La Via Winery, which consists of a 44-acre farm, is one step in the production of the vineyards more than 20 wines.

There will be more than 20 wines available for tasting at the event. Adult admission is $20 and includes a souvenir glass and a choice of nine wine tastings or one glass of wine.

Tickets will also be sold for $10 for those 12-20 years old, and children under 12 will be admitted for free.

Stark said the festival always has something that is fun for the children.

The varieties of wine choices will range from dry reds to sweet, sparkling whites. Every wine at the festival will be available to purchase.

“Every bottle of wine we sell, the person has tasted the wine first,” Stark said. “That’s just how we do it.”

Krista Gonzales has attended La Viña wine festivals multiple times. She said she enjoys them better than a lot of other festivals in town.

“I really like the environment,” she said. “It’s more relaxed, it’s a pretty venue and the time of year is perfect because it’s not too hot.”

Stark said although he has pulled away from some of the strenuous aspects of wine making because of his age, he still tries to remain as involved in the process as possible. Because of that, he said in the future he wants to keep the festivals the way they are now.

“I think it’s enjoyable to produce a product naturally,” he said. “It’s a really good part of agriculture that we can share with the public and to show them that the wine festival is a continuation of what we do every day in the tastings room.”

Bethany Blundell is a freelance writer and may be reached at bethanyn@nmsu.edu.

IF YOU GO

What: La Viña Fall Wine Festival

When: Noon to 7 p.m. Saturday and Sunday

Where: 4201 S. Highway 28, in La Union, New Mexico

Cost: $20 for adults, $10 for ages 12-20, free for children under 12

Info: www.lavinawinery.com

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Sep 30, 2014
Terri Judson

Garden State Wine Growers to host Grand Harvest Wine Fest, Oct. 4-5 in …

The Garden State Wine Growers Association will hold the annual Grand Harvest Wine Festival on Oct. 4-5 at the historic Fosterfields Living Historical Farm in Morristown.

The festival will be open noon-5 p.m. each day, featuring 19 New Jersey wineries, food trucks, arts and crafts and live music each day. This will be the fourth of five annual statewide wine festivals produced by the GSWGA this fall. The events give both in and out of state wine enthusiasts the opportunity to enjoy the rising quality of New Jersey wine, as well as the rapidly increasing number of local wineries.

As a special new feature, the Association chose Grand Harvest to be the venue that would feature a slate of food wine talks and presentations from speakers affiliated with edible Jersey magazine. Talk topics over the weekend will include wine and cheese pairing, wine-derived cocktails, and a history of spirits and winemaking in New Jersey. “We have long applauded the GSWGA’s annual array of festivals, which provide an outstanding venue to introduce consumers to the quality and range of brands statewide,” said edible publisher Nancy Painter. “We are delighted to team up with the Association to offer a day of educational seminars that explore the wonderful relationship between wine, food and other aspects of the epicurean experience.”

Fosterfields Living Historical Farm is preserved as it was at the turn of the 19th century, and still operates as such. The venue offers a dramatic backdrop in rustic Morris County during the peak of fall foliage. It will also be the end of the wine grape harvest season. As things gradually slow at the winery properties around the state, more wineries will come to the county park to pour samples and show off their latest vintages than at any other festival this year. Governor’s Cup winners Sharrott Winery, Heritage Vineyards, and Tomasello Winery will all be pouring their trophy winning wines. The park allows consumption on the property, so attendees can purchase a bottle to enjoy on the lawn in front of the band.

Bands will play from start to finish each day. The Dirty Blondes will play classic rock lead with driving female vocals and guitar on Saturday, while the B Boyz will entertain Sunday with RB and soul. The B Boyz are a seven piece band with a horn section, so be prepared to dance! Foodies will feel at home with food trucks offering delectable bites including flatbread wood-fired pizzas, gourmet tacos, and empanadas from the Empanada Guy. Artisan food and craft vendors will have their wares available, guests can snack on gourmet pretzels and chocolates, or take home specialty sauces, seasonings and spices. The event is family friendly, with a crafts activity tent for kids to enjoy as well.

The festival is presented in part by Audi Mendham and the brand new Audi Bridgewater, who will have an armada of luxury vehicles on the festival grounds to show off. “We are excited to help bring this wonderful celebration to the community,” said Christopher J. Adams, General Manager of the Audi Stores. “Like a fine wine, the luxury of Audi has only improved with age. With a new showroom in Bridgewater, we have two first-rate locations to care for our growing customer base.”

Tickets are $25 for adults; while those under 21 are free. Tickets can be purchased online in advance at a $5 discount, which is available through Saturday the 4th. Designated drivers receive entry for $5 at the gate. Admission includes a souvenir wine glass that can be used to sample the wines.

Ticket information, a festival guide, and the full list of winery participants can be found by visiting www.newjerseywines.com.

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Sep 30, 2014
Terri Judson

BC Wine Information Society Sensory Centre to be new home for judging …

B.C. Wine Information Society Sensory Centre to be new home for judging Okanagan Wine Festivals’ B.C. Wine Awards

Okanagan College Media Release

Wine FestivalAs Okanagan College and friends were celebrating the opening of the new B.C. Wine Information Society Sensory Centre at the Penticton campus, a new agreement was being finalized that speaks to the value of the Centre for the wine and tourism industry.

Jonathan Rouse, Okanagan College’s Director of Food, Wine and Tourism, announced Wednesday that the Centre will be host to the Okanagan Wine Festivals Society’s professional judging for the 2015 B.C. Wine Awards.

“Each year, the Fall Wine Festival brings some of the continent’s best palates to the south Okanagan to judge the entries for the Fall Wine Fest,” explains Martin Lewis, the chair of judging for the Okanagan Wine Festivals Society. “We have used various venues for those intensive judging sessions, but we are very excited about being able to utilize the new Sensory Centre at Okanagan College next year.”

This year, the nine judges will consider a record 540 entries in the B.C. Wine Awards. The Festivals Society staff expects more will be entered next year.

“This is a welcome endorsement for the Centre,” says Okanagan College President Jim Hamilton. “Our goal was to create a facility with the amenities that would provide an excellent educational experience for students in credential and shorter-term programs. It was also to develop something that industry would want to use for purposes such as this.”

“Connections with industry are vital to delivering the viticulture and oenology programs that our students – and their employers – want and expect,” explains Rouse. “The Sensory Centre is, among other things, intended to be an incubator for those relations.”

Key to developing the facility was a $300,000 donation from the B.C. Wine Information Society, for which the Centre is named.

“Our Board understood the College’s goals for this facility from the beginning,” explains Society President Keith Bevington. “Learning that the judging for next year’s Fall Okanagan Wine Festival will be done in the Centre is proof of how valuable the facility will be to industry.”

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Photo courtesy of Kiernan Frey

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Sep 28, 2014
Terri Judson

College toasts opening of Wine Sensory Centre

Food and wine was the order of the day for the grand opening of the new Sensory Centre at Okanagan College.

Local wineries were popping corks while chefs and students were filling the hall at the Centre of Excellence with the scents of tasty treats they were preparing for 150 guests, including wine and food industry people, college members and B.C. Wine Information Society members.

There was a lot to celebrate. Besides officially opening the $650,000, 120-square-metre facility, which was built with a grant from the Wine Information Society and a matching $300,000 grant from The Jim Pattison Foundation, a major deal speaking to the value of the new Sensory Centre to the wine and tourism industry was added to the agenda.

Jonathan Rouse, Okanagan College’s director of food, wine and tourism, told the crowd that besides its educational functions, the new Sensory Centre will be host to the Okanagan Wine Festivals Society’s professional judging for the 2015 B.C. Wine Awards.

In 2014, nine judges will consider a record 540 entries in the B.C. Wine Awards. The festivals society staff expects more will be entered next year. Martin Lewis, chair of judging for the Okanagan Wine Festivals Society, said they are excited about being able to utilize the new Sensory Centre for their intensive judging sessions.

Jim Hamilton, president of the college, said that is an ideal use for the centre, and the kind of role it was intended to fill from the start of planning, when the college started working with local industry to develop the lab two years ago.

The facility has been designed and built to optimize wine and food sensory experiences, and includes equipment for proper wine storage, a demonstration kitchen with multi-media capacity and a fully-equipped caterer’s kitchen.

“We are doing all the bits and pieces, so we decided a couple of years ago it was time to put it all together,” said Hamilton. With the rising level of sophistication in the wine, food, tourism and related industries, he continued, the college needed to up the bar as well.

“We have always had really good culinary arts and wine programming. What we need to do now is produce programming that is going to be of international calibre,” said Hamilton. “We are well on our way with this facility, it will be a tremendous asset for us.”

“There is no better first impression than putting your senses to the test here,” said Drysdale, as he poured out glasses of a mystery wine for the groups to taste. The new Sensory Centre, he said, is an important part of keeping the Okanagan on the world stage.

“It is the same as travelling to Tuscany or France. This is going to be our wine destination. It is about being able to share with people what we do here, what we do very well,” said Drysdale. “This is a place for us to be able to share what we know with people that are as passionate as we are for these products.”

The new Sensory Centre, he said, will help enhance and elevate the industry as well as helping educate locals.

“I think  it’s great. I think it is going to be huge in the future with more access to food and wine education,” he said.

Gavin Miller, winemaker at the Upper Bench Estate Winery and Creamery, agrees.

“Wine is all about sensory evaluation, so the better that is taught, the better it is explained to the public and also the better we make our wine,” said Miller.

More than 150 students have already made use of the Sensory Centre since it started operating, and Hamilton said it wouldn’t have been such a success without the support of community relationships and partners like the B.C. Wine Information Society, for which it is named.

“This will be a tremendous asset for the wine industry and the region,” said Keith Bevington, president of BCWIS.

“We are proud to have our name on this facility and to have it located in Penticton. Our customers at the Wine Information Centre should know that the purchases they make through our store have helped make this possible. Okanagan College is helping to educate and train the individuals the wine and tourism industries need.”

 

 

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Sep 28, 2014
Terri Judson

Thunderbird Artists, Producers of Fine Art & Wine Festivals in Arizona, has an …

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Best Event Poster Award -“An Unconditional Love” by artist Esther Rogoway

Fountain Hills, AZ (PRWEB) September 27, 2014

Each year, the Fountain Hills Award Program identifies companies that they believe have achieved exceptional marketing success in their local community and business category. These are local companies that enhance the positive image of small business through service to their customers and community. These exceptional companies help make the Fountain Hills area a great place to live, work and play.

Various sources of information were gathered and analyzed to select the winners in each category. The 2014 Fountain Hills Award Program focuses on quality, not quantity. Winners are determined based on the information gathered both internally by the Fountain Hills Award Program and data provided by third parties.

The AzTEC Awards began in 1994 and is a critical component of successful events and their abilities to distinguish themselves in the most attractive and innovative ways possible. The 20th Annual 2014 AzTEC Awards is sponsored by APS and is endorsed by the International Festivals and Events Association, IFEA.

Thunderbird Artists received three AzTEC Awards for 2014 in the following categories;

Best VIP Gift Award -“Thunderbird Artists’ Collector Bag”

Best Shirt Design Award -“Party Time” by artist Wei Tai

Best Event Poster Award -“An Unconditional Love” by artist Esther Rogoway.

Thunderbird Artists’ events provide an outstanding variety of mediums, subject matters, sizes and price ranges that satisfy the desires of each and every patron attending. Judi Combs states, “I believe the arts are an integral part of each community. I want Thunderbird Artists to be seen as ambassadors of the arts; connecting, inspiring, educating and enhancing the experience and appreciation of fine art. My hope is that our patrons find something that appeals to their liking and leave our festivals with special memories of a first class event.”

In addition to fine art, Thunderbird Artists’ festivals are recognized throughout the Southwest region for producing Arizona’s largest and finest wine tasting events with their “special ambiance experience”. Patrons enjoy sipping fine wines while strolling amongst the premium gathering of art and listening to live musical entertainment. Their audience loves stopping periodically throughout the show to try more samples featuring wines from all parts of our world, such as Germany, France, Italy, Chile, Australia and of course, the local wines of Arizona’s top winegrowers and wineries throughout the United States.

Thunderbird Artists proudly share their longest running partnership with the Carefree/Cave Creek Chamber of Commerce, Patty Villeneuve, Executive Director, their great members and special volunteers that began 23 years ago. Thunderbird Artists’ recent charities consist of Scottsdale Kiwanis, Sunset Kiwanis of Fountain Hills, Surprise Sundancers and the veteran charity, American Healing Arts Foundation, which was founded by Combs. Past charities involved were Phoenix Children’s Hospital, Fountain Hills Business Association, Terpsicore Dance Company, the Humane Society, the Scottsdale Chamber of Commerce and the American Diabetes Association.

Their other long running partner, the Town of Carefree, has recognized Thunderbird Artists three Carefree Fine Art Wine Festivals as their “Signature Events” to represent their community. Festival dates this season are as follows:

21st Annual Carefree Fine Art Wine Festival

Carefree * October 31st, November 1st 2nd, 2014

101 Easy Street, Carefree AZ, 85377

3rd Annual Waterfront Fine Art Wine Festival

Scottsdale * December 5th, 6th 7th, 2014

7135 E. Camelback Road, Scottsdale AZ, 85251

22nd Annual Carefree Fine Art Wine Festival

Carefree * January 16th, 17th 18th, 2015

101 Easy Street, Carefree AZ, 85377

11th Annual Arizona Fine Art EXPO

Scottsdale * January 16th-March 29th, 2015

Hours 10am – 6pm

26540 N Scottsdale Rd, Scottsdale AZ, 85255

3rd Annual Surprise Fine Art Wine Festival

Surprise * February 6th, 7th 8th, 2015

15960 N Bullard Avenue, Surprise AZ, 85374

4th Annual Waterfront Fine Art Wine Festival

Scottsdale * February 13th, 14th 15th, 2015

7135 E. Camelback Road, Scottsdale AZ, 85251

20th Annual Carefree Fine Art Wine Festival

Carefree * February 27th, 28th March 1st, 2015

101 Easy Street, Carefree AZ, 85377

11th Annual Fountain Hills Fine Art Wine Affaire

Fountain Hills * March 13th, 14th 15th, 2015

16810 Avenue of the Fountains, Fountain Hills AZ, 85268

Festival Hours 10am-5pm Admission $3.00

For more information about the festivals, please visit the website ThunderbirdArtists.com or call Judi Combs on 480-837-5637.

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Sep 26, 2014
Terri Judson

Check out this weekend’s food and wine festivals

From Gloucester to Virginia Beach and in between, several great food and wine events call you outdoors. Here’s the  lineup:

Guinea Jubilee

When: 3 to 10 p.m. Friday and 7:30 a.m. to 9:15 p.m. Saturday

Where: Abingdon Ruritan Club Festival Grounds, 8784 Guinea Road, Hayes.

Admission: Free. 804-642-2572. Guineajubilee.com.

Celebrate the history of the neighborhood’s working watermen with arts and crafts, entertainment, parade, good food and fireworks. Music by The Janitors (7 p.m. Friday) and Crazy X Band (6 p.m. Saturday).

Bacon, Bourbon Beach Music Fest

When: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday

Where: Windsor Castle Park, Smithfield.

Admission: $50 includes bourbon tasting, $35 non-tasting. 757-357-5182. Smithfieldvabaconfest.com.

This festival kicks off two weeks of Genuine Smithfield Bacon Days. Featuring bourbon tasting, bacon condiment bar, wine and craft beers, entertainment.

Virginia Bacon Festival

When: Begins at noon Saturday (11 a.m. for VIP ticket-holders)

Where: Scope Plaza, Norfolk.

Admission: $40 VIP, $25 adults, $10 kids. virginiabaconfestival.com.

This second annual event features top chefs creating bacon-themed dishes. Music by The Fighting Jamesons, The Killroos and The Fuzz Band. Cooking demonstrations and competitions, bacon-inspired beverage and spirit samplings, kids area, bacon-eating contest.

Gordon Biersch’s Arts Drafts Craft Beer Event

When: 1 to 6 p.m. Saturday

Where: Sandler Center for the Performing Arts interior and outside plaza. Town Center, 201 Market St., Virginia Beach.

Admission: $25 in advance, $30 at the gate. 757-385-2787. sandlercenter.org.

Sponsored by Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurant, the event features art displays, entertainment and brews.

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Sep 25, 2014
Terri Judson

Okanagan Wine Festivals’ BC Wine Awards Finds New Judging Home

The 2015 B.C. Wine Awards will be judged at the new B.C. Wine Information Society Sensory Centre at the Penticton campus of Okanagan College.

“Each year, the Fall Wine Festival brings some of the continent’s best palates to the south Okanagan to judge the entries for the Fall Wine Fest,” explains Martin Lewis, the chair of judging for the Okanagan Wine Festivals Society. “We have used various venues for those intensive judging sessions, but we are very excited about being able to utilize the new Sensory Centre at Okanagan College next year.”

Photo Credit: Kiernan Frey. Left to Right – B.C. Wine Information Society President Keith Bevington, Okanagan College’s Director of Food, Wine and Tourism Jonathan Rouse, Okanagan College’s alumna Sara Hacker, Okanagan College Manager of Culinary Arts Chef Bernard Casavant, and Okanagan College President Jim Hamilton toast to the opening of the Sensory Centre.

This year, there is a record 540 entries vying for an award and that number is expected to increase in 2015.

“Connections with industry are vital to delivering the viticulture and oenology programs that our students – and their employers – want and expect,” explains Jonathan Rouse, Okanagan College’s Director of Food, Wine and Tourism. “The Sensory Centre is, among other things, intended to be an incubator for those relations.”

The 2014 Okanagan Fall Wine Festival begins October 1st with the Wine Awards and Reception at the Laurel Packinghouse in Kelowna and the WestJet Wine Tastings starting October 3rd. A list of signature events can be found here.

A record 540 wines are being judged as part of the B.C. Wine Awards at the Okanagan Fall Wine Festival which gets underway October 1st.

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Sep 25, 2014
Terri Judson

Wine, chocolate festival set Saturday

Hennessey wine/chocolate

Hennessey wine/chocolate



Posted: Tuesday, September 23, 2014 10:42 pm

Wine, chocolate festival set Saturday

HENNESSEY — A handful of local winemakers have taken part in getting the annual Hennessey Wine Chocolate Festival to where it is today, according to festival organizers.

When former Hennessey mayor Wes Hardin attended a wine festival elsewhere, he decided his community needed to have a similar event.

“We had a group of amateur winemakers that lived in town and we got them together and we came up with this little festival,” he said. “They’ve been a blessing to us because, without them, we would have never gotten this going.”

Over the past few years, he has noticed wine festivals have become increasingly popular.

“I really feel like we have started this,” he said. “It’s kind of a deal that’s taken off.

“It’s a great, great social event.”

The fourth annual festival — to be hosted by Hennessey United Association 5-7:30 p.m. Saturday at Memorial Park in Hennessey — will feature wine, chocolate and cheese.

Hardin said there nearly were 1,500 people in attendance last year, up from approximately 500 the first year.

There will be a combination of professional wineries from around the state and some unlicensed winemakers, he said.

Festival attendees — age 21 and older — may taste wine by purchasing a glass for $10. The glass purchase covers the attendee tasting the available wines and chocolates.

Those wishing to only taste chocolate may purchase 10 tasting tickets for $5.

There is no admission for infants or children in strollers.

Nine chocolatiers and one cheesemaker are signed up for the event, said Teresa Oliver, who is heading up the chocolate portion of the festival.

Some of the unique items for tasting include chocolate licorice, chocolate bread pudding, chocolate popcorn, chocolate jam and fudge, she said.

“It’s a blast. Every year it gets bigger and bigger,” she said, referring to the festival.

There will be awards given to some vintners, Hardin said.

Prior to opening the festival gates, vendors will participate in a private tasting. They will choose a Vintner’s Choice Award recipient. Festival attendees will receive a wine cork, with the purchase of a glass, allowing them to vote for the People’s Choice Award, he said.

The winemaker with the most corks will receive the award.

Both award recipients will receive plaques and a bottle of their wine will be auctioned off during the festival, Hardin said.

Currently, there will be 13 vintner booths.

“It’s grown to be, to my knowledge, northwest Oklahoma’s biggest wine festival,” Hardin said. “It’s really a great social event.”

Hennessey Fire Department will be selling ribeye-steak sandwiches during the festival.

Hardin said lines into the festival get long. Advance tickets may be purchased at the Hennessey town hall or by calling Hardin.

Advance ticket holders will go through a separate, shorter line.

Vendors may sign up until the event, he said.

There are no booth fees, and tables and awnings are provided.

Vintners wishing to have a booth may call Wes Hardin at (405) 853-0115 or Zach Hardin at (405) 853-1277. Chocolate or cheese vendors may call Oliver at (405) 368-8741.


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Sep 25, 2014
Terri Judson

What worked and what didn’t at inaugural Cincinnati Food + Wine Classic

The inaugural Cincinnati Food + Wine Classic wrapped up late into the night September 13. It seems the city’s food community is still basking in the afterglow. 

In an audacious move, Donna Covrett and Courtney Tsitouris sparked the gathering of more than 90 local and national chefs, writers, winemakers, brewers, cocktail experts and television celebrities. Food and wine were front and center, but just as importantly, quality programming led by top culinary talent gave the event depth and distinction. 

Covrett and Tsitouris, the founders of Cincinnati Food + Wine Classic, were determined to shine a light on the area’s culinary community. They wanted to show off Cincinnati to the rest of the country as a city of culinary consequence. 

Now that the food has been served, the wine poured, and the competition winners crowned, I caught up with Covrett and Tsitouris at Cheapside Café to see how things went.

State of being

On her way to the café, Covrett said her car battery sputtered and gave out. A metaphor perhaps, of the toll this event took on the two of them.

“How are you feeling?” I asked. “Tired. Bone tired,” came Covrett’s answer. “We’ve really just been sleeping the last couple of days.”

“I’m overwhelmed with gratitude for the community, and the people who came out to support us. We took this risk that was pretty terrifying on a lot of levels, and there were a lot of dark moments,” Tsitouris added.

Donna Covrett (L) and Courtney Tsitouris (R), the organizers of the Cincinnati Food + Wine Classic (Photo by Grace Yek)

Their model

Neither Covrett nor Tsitouris had organized an event of this size before. I asked them how they even put their arms around something as ambitious as this. 

They said they traveled around the country and took notes. 

“We looked at other cities of similar size that have food and wine festivals, and cherry picked the ideas. We looked at Charleston, Austin, Portland, Atlanta and even South Beach,” Covrett said. 

They followed Atlanta’s lead in its emphasis on daytime programming, like demonstrations, seminars and competitions. According to Covrett, South Beach had a burger bash, which they redesigned into Pork Chopped, a chef competition for the best pork inspired dish.

Talent

For having no track record, the pair had to start from scratch to get the food celebrities to sign up.

“There was no shortage of cold calls and passionate emails, but it was never a difficult sell,” Tsitouris said.

She remembers her email exchange with Francis Lam, a New York food writer and Top Chef Masters judge. 

“When I emailed him, I never expected him to answer.” Not only did Lam answer, he gave her his number and told her to call him.

Chefs from the area who were on the executive committee also helped to recruit national talent. According to Tsitouris, Michael Paley brought in Andrew Knowlton, and Paul Sturkey landed Pat LaFrieda. 

Covrett added, “We also reached out to chefs who have roots here, like Nate Appleman, Tony Ferrari and Anita Hirsch, who have gone on to do other things.”

Become a WCPO Insider to find out what the pair has in store for next year, and to read more about how the event went.

Subscribe below.

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Sep 24, 2014
Terri Judson

Food and wine festivals and fundraisers coming this fall

Food and wine events are a welcome addition to the fall season. The cool weather offers the perfect occasion to gather up friends and head outdoors.

The lineup ranges from large outdoor festivals to more intimate fundraisers that often feature our best chefs competing against each other. Wine classes, tastings and music add to the fun.

Here’s a look at many of these upcoming outings:

September

Shag at the Foodbank Sept. 25

When: 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday

Where: Foodbank of the Virginia Peninsula. Copeland Industrial Park, 2401 Aluminum Ave., Hampton.

Admission: $35 in advance, $45 at the gate. 757-596-7188; shagatthefoodbank.com.

This “dine, dance and donate” fundraiser presented by the Kiwanis takes place in the Foodbank’s warehouse. All-you-can-eat seafood includes steamed shrimp, crab bites, fried oysters and fish, oysters on the half shell plus pork barbecue, baked beans, cole slaw, hush puppies and sweet potato fries. Wine, beer and music by The Deloreans. Bring jars of peanut butter and jelly for the collection bins.

ShinDIG at Jamestown Sept. 25

When: 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday

Where: Jamestown Island. 1368 Colonial Parkway, Jamestown

Admission: $30, purchased in advance online. 757-229-4997. historicjamestowne.org.

Bluegrass music, barbecue and beautiful views of the James River are the draw for this fundraiser. The Who Ever Shows Up Band will perform at the island’s Dale House Café. Barbecue dinner is provided by Carrot Tree Kitchens. Beer and wine available for purchase. Proceeds benefit the archaeological research, educational programs and operations of the Jamestown Rediscovery Project at Historic Jamestowne.

Guinea Jubilee Sept. 26-27

When: 3 to 10 p.m. Friday and 7:30 a.m. to 9:15 p.m. Saturday

Where: Abingdon Ruritan Club Festival Grounds, 8784 Guinea Road, Hayes.

Admission: Free. 804-642-2572. Guineajubilee.com.

Celebrate the history of the neighborhood’s working watermen with arts and crafts, entertainment, parade, good food and fireworks. Music by The Janitors (7 p.m. Friday) and Crazy X Band (6 p.m. Saturday).

Art D’Vine Sept. 26

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