Browsing articles in "wine festivals"
Oct 24, 2014
Terri Judson

Autumn Wine Festival Returns to Salisbury

Shyheim White who goes by the name Shockavelli says he did not write the lyrics or rap this song, but he says this was not a threat, just a “diss.”

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Oct 15, 2014
Terri Judson

N.J. wines to shine at annual Washington Township wine tasting event – Gloucester County Times

Friday night will mark the eighth time the Washington Township Chamber of Commerce has brought out the bottles at its annual wine tasting event, which raises scholarship funds for local grads. And over those 8 years, organizers have not only raised more than 55,000 to offset college costs, they’ve seen a significant draw toward wines produced right here in the the Garden State.

“Wines locally have just exploded,” said Joe Matusiak, owner of Saline Wine and Liquors and an organizer of the Chamber’s annual wine tasting.

There will be more than 200 wines featured at the event, including vintages from Heritage Vineyards in Harrison Township, Coda Rossa Winery in Franklinville and Valenzano Winery in Shamong Township.

“New Jersey wines are kicking like they were back in the 1800s, and everyone likes that,” said Matusiak.

Many are trying to dispel Jersey wines’ reputation as sickly sweet, a trend that’s falling out of favor as vineyards’ grape vines age and produce the kind of grapes that create higher-quality, dry and complex wines.

“[Wineries are trying to get away from that and expand,” he said, adding he sees the interest first-hand in his Egg Harbor Road store, especially after big local wine festivals. Washington Township hosts one of the newest festivals in the state, the “Sip into Summer” blow out held in Washington Lake Park for the second year in a row this past June.

“Most of the wineries will say ‘Oh this is available at Salina,’ and some of our websites share our link to say where their wines are available so people will be able to search it out,” he said.

While Friday’s tasting event will give wine lovers a chance at checking out some of those wines, the most important point is the thousands they raise each year for local graduates heading off to college, said Matusiak.

“It’s a good event,” he said. “We raise at least $7,000 to $8,000 to give to the students.”

The Washington Township Chamber of Commerce’s Wine Tasting event will be held at the Wedgwood Country Club on Hurffville Road. The event runs from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.

For more information, contact the Chamber at 856-227-1776, email or visit the event’s website to register.

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Oct 15, 2014
Terri Judson

Food, Wine, Fairs, Festivals Fill Up A Connecticut Weekend

The weekend is coming and it looks like it’s going to be a great one. Autumn weather and a plethora of choices when it comes to getting out.

 On Thursday, the Hartford Symphony Orchestra opens its 2014-2015 season with a program featuring  “Porgy and Bess: A Concert of Songs” with Carolyn Kuan conducting. The Hartford Chorale will also perform. For more information go here.

 You can also kick-start your weekend by heading over to Real Art Ways for its  monthly Creative Cocktail Hour Thursday, Oct. 16.  Dancing with The Dance Cartel will be featured at this month’s party. For more information go here.  

 It’s apple harvest time Connecticut and Glastonbury celebrates that fruit with its annual Apple Harvest festival Friday through Sunday, Oct. 17 to 19. There are fireworks planned for Saturday night, music acts, food concessions, vendors, rides, a Harvest pub, a 5k race and more. For more information go here.

 Take advantage of predicted good weather in a variety of ways over the weekend.  Mystic Aquarium will host its annual Fall-o-ween fun beginning Oct. 18. There will be special seasonal activities, costume contests, pumpkin sculpting , and shows with the special festival continuing through Nov. 1. For more information go here.

Also on Saturday head to the West Hartford town Hall Auditorium for the 2nd annual WeHa Whiskey Festival. The event offers more than 150 bourbon, scotch and whiskey tastings with proceeds benefiting the Town Cares Fund and Camp Courant. For more information go here.

 Garden party anybody? On Saturday, Woodland Gardens in Manchester will celebrate its 75th anniversary with a free family fall festival. From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Families can enjoy a bounce house, petting zoo, face painting, balloon artists and more, as well as free ice cream and cider. For more information go here.

Did we mention it’s CT Restaurant and Beer Week through Oct. 19. Restaurants across the state are offering specials to celebrate so dining out is fun and affordable. For more information go here.

 The grape harvest is done but the celebrating is not. Hopkins Vineyard in New Preston will host its annual Cheese and Wine Festival beginning Saturday, Oct. 18. from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Located at 25 Hopkins Road, the festival features handcrafted, artisan-made food and wine from local Connecticut merchants, farms and vineyards, including Hopkins Vineyard, Jones Winery, Walker Road Vineyard, Cato Corner Farm, Beltane Farm and Artisan Made-Northeast. For more information go here.

 On Sunday, Hill-Stead Museum will celebrate another kind of harvest, the hay harvest with its Hay Day Sunday from 1 to 4 p.m. food, family activities and hay rides will be featured. For more information go here.

 Don’t forget Hamlet at Hartford Stage and Annapurna at Theaterworks if stage is your style when it comes to the weekend.

And if you like the weekend to spill over a bit, Mark Twain House Museum has a treat for you.

It’s the annual “Mark My Words: A WICKED Cool Evening” authors event Tuesday, Oct. 21 at 8 p.m.  Panelists include Gregory Maguire, author of Wicked, The Novel, and Stephen Schwartz, composer and lyricist of Wicked-the Musical, which by the way, returns to the Bushnell in November. The discussion will be moderated by Hartford Courant’s Frank Rizzo. For more information go here.

Copyright © 2014, Hartford Courant

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Oct 7, 2014
Terri Judson

Get here without leaving the Shore

When it comes to wine, Leslie Sbrocco believes people seek something richer and heartier for the cooler months.

“You put away your light linens, summery dresses, and that’s your light Sauvignon blanc,” says Sbrocco, an award-winning author, wine consultant and television host. “I’m looking for things like a little earthier, heartier reds, (such as) Italian Zinfandel from California, Cabernet from Washington state — all of them fulfill that sort of richer transition. It’s a seasonal sipping transition.”

There is not much that compares to a nice glass of wine paired with delectable cheeses. In the world of wineries, cheese shops and wine festivals, there are an array of flavors and new experiences to indulge in.

“Overall, we’re getting to be a really wine-savvy nation,” Sbrocco says. “We are now (the country that) consumes the most wines in the world. People are really starting to enjoy wine. You don’t have to make it a great production — you can spend $10 to $100. I think people are (recognizing that).”

What’s new for fall

Sbrocco, the host of the PBS/KQED series “Check, Please! Bay Area,” was recently voted as one of the top 100 most influential people in the American wine business. In addition, she has two books: “Wine for Women: A Guide to Buying, Pairing and Sharing Wine,” and “The Simple Savvy Wine Guide.”

Most recently, she curated the DO AC Boardwalk Wine Promenade Sept. 27 and 28 on the Atlantic City boardwalk.

The Wine Promenade featured a majority of wines perfect for fall — from velvety Spanish reds of Rioja, Spain, to supple whites from California and Washington. People were able to stroll along the historic boardwalk while sampling more than 100 wines, including new, rare and expensive wines and Champagnes.

“I selected 150 individual wines and about seven bourbons,” Sbrocco said prior to the event, touting international products from Sicily and South Africa, and plenty from the wine region of Rioja, Spain.

As a wine educator, it’s tough for Sbrocco to pick an absolute favorite among the 150.

“They’re like children,” she says.

But eventually, she nails down two wines — that also serve as fall varieties — Villa Sandi’s il Fresco Prosecco, an Italian wine, and Brunello di Montalcino, a Castello Banfi wine from Tuscany.

The weekend event featured plenty of other fall wines under the “Bourbons and Big Reds” tent — such as Renwood Winery’s Old Vine Zinfandel from Amador County, California, and Cabernet varieties, such as the Emblem wine from Napa Valley, California.

“Pinot Noir is a gorgeous red ideal for fall,” Sbrocco says, also mentioning Ferrari-Carano’s Pinot Noir blend and Chateaux St. Michelle’s Cold Creek Merlot.

“It’s a lighter style of red, but it’s perfect for transition for fall.”

According to an article in FSR Magazine, more fall wines include Alsatian Riesling, Burgundy Pinot Noir, Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Piedmont Nebbiolo and Spanish Tempranillo.

White wines aren’t solely a summer treat, Sbrocco adds.

“I still love whites in the fall and in the winter,” Sbrocco says. “Chardonnay — rhône style whites. They’re a little bit further bodied.”

The Wine Cellar, 23 Monmouth St., Red Bank, has some fall specialties.

“For fall, our popular Harvest Sale will return (running through Oct 13) — bringing over 100 Cellar Select wines to under $8.50 a bottle when you mix and match a case (a perfect time to discover a new bottle),” says Celine Hymoff, store manager. “You can also look forward to a complimentary Halloween sampling and rock-bottom prices for Black Friday.”

Hymoff adds her customers are becoming more adventurous.

“We’ve been receiving several requests for wines from lesser known places in the wine world, such as Croatia, Latvia, China, and Hungary to name a few,” Hymoff says. “It’s exciting to see this sense of discovery in our customers.”

The store’s Cellar Select collection is becoming increasingly diverse, she adds. Besides carrying wines such as the San Stephan Cabernet Sauvignon from Bulgaria and the Campanula Pinot Grigio from Hungary, customers will also see a larger selection of less common grapes, such as Cortese, Dolcetto, Barbera, and Garnacha blanca, Hymoff says.


WINES ANYWHERE (also trading as Lenape BuyRite Liquors): 567 Mantoloking Road, Brick; 732-477-4249 or

LAURITA WINERY: 85 Archertown Road, New Egypt; 609-752-0200 or

THE WINE CELLAR: 23 Monmouth St., Red Bank; 732-219-9935 or

WINE OUTLET: 526 Arnold Ave., Point Pleasant Beach; 732-528-7777 or

BOTTLE SHOP OF SPRING LAKE: 1400 Third Ave., Spring Lake; 732-449-5525 or


Oktoberfest, autumn, mark exciting time for beers

SAM ADAMS: The Harvest Collection, available through October, has Harvest Saison, alongside some classics such as Boston Lager, Harvest Pumpkin and OctoberFest.

THREE FLOYDS BROODOO: A toasty, nutty malt backbone that piles on rich, palate-coating hops that throw off big hits of tropical fruit and pine sap.

AYINGER OKTOBER FEST-MÄRZEN: This Bavarian-brewed Oktoberfest has a trademark bready caramel foundation that is complemented by subtle toffee and toast that finishes dry and slightly crisp.

GREAT LAKES NOSFERATU: Marries bold roasty, caramel malts with grassy Cascade hops and fruity, floral Simcoes.

DOGFISH HEAD PUMPKIN: Backed up by a brown ale base, which the brewers then balance with brown sugar, allspice, cinnamon, nutmeg, and real pumpkin.



Create your own wine and cheese pairings party

To simplify the strategy, divide cheese into four major categories: bloomy (creamy, decadent cheeses, with a soft rind), hard (stiff cheeses, which are often sharp and/or salty), blue (pungent, often salty cheeses, with a blue tinge), and fresh (soft, often spreadable cheeses that can be tangy or mild).

If you have a specific cheese in mind, first contemplate the category it belongs to.

Just as with any food pairing, it helps to think of either complementary or contrasting flavors. A lush wine works well with a triple-cream cheese, while an acidic wine will cut the cheese’s sweetness. As you begin to experiment, taste the cheese first by itself, to get a sense of its character, and then put another bite into your mouth with some wine to see how they mingle. Many experts say that white tends to pair better with cheese, but a light-bodied red and cheese pairing is still possible.

Wine and cheese pairing examples: Camembert and Champagne, Brie and Chardonnay, Gouda and Merlot, Cheddar and Cabernet Sauvignon, Parmesan and Chianti, Gorgonzola and Port, Blue and Riesling, Ricotta and Pinot Grigio, and Mozzarella and Sauvignon Blanc.

Purchase a few different cheeses from a cheese shop or gourmet store with a well-equipped storage facility. Discuss your plans with the cheesemonger and ask for recommendations. You can get creative with cheese place cards or purchase a nifty slate cheese tray, which allow you to etch cheese names in chalk. Lastly, be sure to serve the wine and cheese at their proper temperatures, so their flavors can emerge. Serve white wine at 45 degrees Fahrenheit, red wine at 60 degrees Fahrenheit and remove the cheese from the refrigerator 30 to 60 minutes prior to serving.

A great wine and cheese party offers pairing selections with varied flavor profiles. Display the options in a circle and have your guests start with lighter wines and fresher cheeses and move clockwise toward the ones that have sharpness and depth. To simplify, you could also choose a flexible wine that pairs with a wide range of cheeses. A lean red, such as Gamay or Pinot Noir, could serve as a perfect starting point.


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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


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


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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

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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 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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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