Browsing articles tagged with " Wine Festival"
Aug 15, 2013
Terri Judson

Kirby Scudder: Art, wine and the Santa Cruz Mountains

Click photo to enlarge

In the mid-1800s, Pacific Mills was a mountain community named after a sawmill operation in the Santa Cruz Mountains.

Because of the extensive forests of coast redwoods, this area was an early center for the logging and lumber industry in Santa Cruz County.

In 1851, a Scot by the name of John Burns settled on the west side of the ridge. In 1854, Burns named the mountain Ben Lomond, meaning “beacon peak” in Gaelic, after a similar mountain in Scotland.

During that time Burns became one of the first vintners in the Santa Cruz Mountains. In 1887 the community applied to the U.S. Post Office and voted to adopt the name of the mountain. The community became Ben Lomond.

Every year as the first bottles of wines were ready to drink, Burns hosted gatherings called “mods,” Scottish for gatherings or festivals. These all-day events included drink, music, food and usually some exaggerated folk tales. On hot summer days, some young men who had too much to drink would ride the log flume as long as they could stay atop the recently cut redwoods. Eventually, these gatherings became something of a tradition under the redwoods in the mountains of Ben Lomond.

That tradition continues this week, Italian style, with an art and wine festival held on Saturday and Sunday at Ben Lomond’s newest restaurant, Casa Nostra. Casa Nostra, under the ownership of longtime friends and business partners Pasquale Bianco, Mario Ibarra and Raffaele Cristallo, over the past 6 months has transformed the once popular Ciao Bella restaurant into a welcome home for locals and newcomers.

The Casa Nostra Art Wine Festival was the brainchild of artist Crystal Liebold. Crystal, who grew up in Ben Lomond learning to make jewelry and leather goods, wanted to celebrate the local talent of artists, artisans and musicians in a weekendlong celebration under the redwoods. So this Saturday and Sunday from noon until 6 p.m., you can enjoy an afternoon of great wine and culture in the heart of Ben Lomond.

I caught up with Crystal outside her studio to talk about the upcoming festival.

Kirby Scudder: Why a festival in the middle of August in Ben Lomond?

Crystal Liepold: It’s so beautiful here this time of year. It is located in the heart of Ben Lomond right under some incredible redwood groves and it is such a great time of year in the mountains. The owners are Italian and are accustomed to the great art and wine festivals in the summers in Italy and thought it would be a good community event. I am an artist, I work with jewelry and leather. Growing up in the area I know a lot of artists who don’t have many opportunities to show their work in public. So I have invited 15 artists that range in work from paintings to wood sculpture to jewelry along with many musicians playing each day throughout the weekend. And of course there will be wine tasting throughout the weekend. Even though Casa Nostra is a restaurant, it has the feeling of being the community’s living room. It’s just a great place to host an event like this and we are hoping that this is the first of many.

KS: Where did you learn to work with leather?

CL: My father. Since I was a child, I was always interested in jewelry. I didn’t really wear jewelry, but I found it intriguing. Later I learned how to make jewelry partly by teaching myself along with taking a few classes. When I was about 6, I asked my father for a pair of moccasins that I really liked. He said if you want the moccasins you should make them. So he bought me some leather and a sewing kit and helped teach me how to work with leather. So probably since I was 8, I have been working with leather seriously, making hand bags, wallets and a whole range of things. It is a tough material so it takes a while to sew, but the end result is always really satisfying. My father wasn’t an artist, but he was incredibly handy with making things. I am grateful that he didn’t let me buy those moccasins.

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Aug 15, 2013
Terri Judson

Outdoor Recreation offers fall hiking, tubing, wine festival trips

As the temperature cools and fall approaches, it’s a great time for Fort Belvoir community members to hit the trails, tube down a scenic river or enjoy seasonal wine festivals, according to Fort Belvoir Outdoor Recreation Director Brianna Kipper.


“We try and do at least two hikes per month,” Kipper said. “It shows people what is outside of Northern Virginia—what’s right outside of the city area. Nobody knows Shenandoah’s out there until they go out there, and then they want to continue to go back.”

Outdoor Recreation has a variety of these trips scheduled for every Saturday this fall, making it easy for community members to take in the local area, without having to worry about trip planning or transportation, she added.

“They don’t have to deal with the headache of traffic. They kind of can relax and take a nap on the way, especially with kids,” Kipper said. “We take care of everything for you.”

Upcoming hiking trips include the Great Falls Hike and Barbecue Aug. 24, Lands Run Falls Hike Sept. 14 and Pyrite Mine Loop Hike Sept. 28. Typically, all hiking trips leave Outdoor Recreation in time to arrive at the trail by 8 a.m. All of these trips cost $10 for transportation.

The Great Falls Hike is only about 45 minutes away, and offers options for both experienced and novice hikers, followed by a barbecue dinner.

“We do split up, because one of the trails is only for the extremely fit and able-bodied, and that’s Billy Goat Trail A. You actually do a little bit of rock climbing and jumping,” Kipper said.

The other trails include three loops connected to a six-mile towpath.

“If you add in all of the loops you can do up to 14 miles that day,” Kipper said.

Lands Run Falls is an eight-mile loop in Shenandoah National Park that descends to a waterfall.

The Pyrite Mine Loop is in Prince William Forest Park, and was named for the pyrite, or “fool’s gold,” in its streams.

Upcoming tubing trips include Watermelon Park Tubing (in Maryland) Saturday and Fredericksburg Tubing Aug. 31. Tubing trips cost $20. As of press time, there were four more open slots for the Watermelon Park Tubing trip.

“Basically, you get a tube and a life jacket and you just get to float casually as long as you like, up and down the river. Once you get to the end, you can shuttle back and then do it again,” Kipper said.

Outdoor Recreation also has some wine festivals scheduled: the Great Grapes Wine Festival Sept. 7, which costs $37; the Lake Anna Wine Festival Sept. 21, which costs $30; and the Taste of Culpeper Oct. 13, which costs $30. All of the festivals feature several food vendors and wine tasting events.

“We just bring you there, you hang out all day and then we leave in the evening,” Kipper said. Wine festivals are a great way to select wines for Thanksgiving or Christmas, she added.

All trips must have at least eight people signed up by the Tuesday prior, or they will be cancelled.

If there is another trip community members would like to go on, they should call and ask Outdoor Recreation to try to set up a trip, Kipper added.

“Last fall, we did pumpkin picking,” Kipper said. “What customers want, we want to do know. If we don’t offer something they want, we can definitely try to fit it into our schedule.”

To sign up for a trip, visit Outdoor Recreation in Building 778 on Swift Road, off of Warren Road by Tompkins Basin. For more information, call (703) 805-3081.

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Aug 12, 2013
Tina George

Best food festivals in Australia and overseas

The infinity pool at Orpheus Island Resort in the Great Barrier Reef. Picture: Supplied

The infinity pool at Orpheus Island Resort in the Great Barrier Reef. Picture: Supplied
Source: Supplied


 Maggie Beer will host A Weekend with Maggie on Orpheus Island next month. Picture: Supplied

Maggie Beer will host A Weekend with Maggie on Orpheus Island next month. Picture: Supplied
Source: Supplied





FIRESIDE FESTIVAL, ACT



Until August 31

Canberra is a chilly place in winter, but the Fireside Festival, staged throughout this month in the out-of-town tourism trail known as the Poacher’s Way, will warm you up in no time as Australia’s capital celebrates turning 100 this year. The festival is held at more than 20 venues with a seemingly endless supply of winter cuisine and plenty of live entertainment. The annual event treats its guests to wine tastings, fireside epicurean brekkies, degustation dinners, lantern cinema, horse rides and live music. Chocolate-lovers won’t be able to resist chocolate making demonstrations at scrumptious Robyn Rowe Chocolates in Murrumbateman.


MAGGIE ON ORPHEUS, QLD

September 5-8

How does the idea of a few days relaxing in an intimate resort set on the Great Barrier Reef with one of Australia’s favourite cooks, Maggie Beer, sound? Twelve couples get to enjoy three nights in beachfront accommodation on Orpheus Island as the celebrity cook and TV star hosts A Weekend With Maggie next month. During the day guests get to enjoy snorkelling, cruising and fishing in Orpheus’s pristine waters while the evening brings exquisite menus created from Beer’s favourite seasonal recipes. It’s a great chance for a relaxing holiday with great food and you also get to take away with you some of Beer’s invaluable cooking tips.


HAWAII FOOD WINE FESTIVAL

September 1-9

Slip into the spirit of aloha on the beautiful island of Oahu, which has been labelled “the premier epicurean destination event in the Pacific”, for this four-day festival. More than 50 of the world’s celebrated master chefs will descend upon the tropical paradise offering a range of local produce, seafood, beef and poultry dishes as well as wine tastings and cooking demonstrations. Big names include Ray Yamaguchi and Alan Wong. Enjoy events on the beach at sunset, rooftop gardens and a dinner gala at the Hyatt Regency Maui Resort and Spa to open the festival.


WORLD FOOD FESTIVAL

September 18-October 27

Loosen your belts and do as the Dutch do for five weeks in Rotterdam, a foodies’ haven that is set to bring flavours from all over the world right to your plate. Whether you’re a connoisseur, professional or roaming food-lover, the World Food Festival is the place to take part in sampling and sharing ideas on the culinary world’s latest developments.

The port city, known for its cultural and food diversity, will treat guests to markets, tastings, workshops and exhibitions while also educating people about world food issues. The festival is held at venues throughout the city from September 18.

BALI FOOD FESTIVAL

October

There’s something for everyone at the Kuta Karnival when food-lovers flock to Indonesia for the Bali Food Festival. This event attracts more than 50,000 people to the popular island where you can enjoy other peoples’ culinary delights but you can also show off your own, with opportunities to cook up a storm during interactive events. It’s an enticing offering for the whole family with loads of food stalls, DJs, live performances from international and local bands, movie screenings and stacks of fun beach activities.

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Aug 11, 2013
Terri Judson

Wine festival uncorks success

By JIMMY McCARTHY

OBSERVER Correspondent

Wine of all sorts filled the glasses of the many people who attended the 2013 America’s Grape Country Wine Festival Saturday afternoon. Wineries from around the state came to the Chautauqua County fairgrounds to showcase a variety of wines.

Article Photos

OBSERVER Photo by Jimmy McCarthy
Twenty-nine wineries poured samples for wine lovers Saturday afternoon at America’s Grape Country Wine Festival.

Chef Paul Mach’s dishes included cheeses and berries to compliment the wine.

Two Winey Sisters of Syracuse put on a nice display of wine crafts and goods.

As many as 29 wineries attended the festival. According to Event and Marketing Director Mike Ferguson, that is the best the festival has seen to date.

Merritt Estate Winery, 21 Brix Winery, Liberty Vineyards and Winery were some of the local wineries displaying products. Wineries from outside Chautauqua County included Three Brothers Winery and Thousand Island Winery, amongst numerous others. People went from one table to another, tasting wines and foods. The Grape Discovery Center and the Seneca Lake wine trail and other vendors besides wineries were in attendance, displaying cheeses, sauces and spice rubs, chocolates and crafts.

“There are 84 vendors all together, between wineries and vendors. We have New York state wines coming from just the tip of New York near Montreal, all the way down to New York City, the Finger Lakes, the Seneca Lake wine trail and Allegheny. We have got a lot of folks in town this weekend and it’s going to be a great time,” Ferguson explained.

“The wine industry, as big as it is, there are 300 wineries in New York state alone, they all know where the good wine festivals are. This has been the sixth year of this festival, and this is the first year that the number has doubled. They want to go where they want to sell wine. Not only can people sample wine, but they can also buy it and take it home as well,” he added.

The wine festival began in 2007 with Bill Merritt, of Merritt Estate Winery, when he was president of the Chautauqua Lake Erie Wine trail. He suggested having a wine festival in the region. From there, the first wine festival was held in 2008 and it took off.

Guests also had the opportunity to make culinary pairings to go with the wine they samples and purchased.

Chef Paul Mach of the Pennsylvania College of Technology attended for a second straight year, putting on seminars throughout the day. Chef Mach has put on demonstrations at the Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Watkins Glen wine festivals. He also has his own TV show on public television called ‘You’re the Chef.’

“The television show, “You’re The Chef” is the show I did for 10 years. Two years we were live on cable access and seven years we were on public television. The theme of the show was practical recipes made with readily available ingredients,” Mach explained.

Dishes he prepared for participants included pastrami, cured salmon and hush puppies with local corn, herbs and Yancey’s Fancy cheese.

Mach’s demonstrations engaged the crowd by having them come up and make the dishes themselves.

“I never do these demos myself,” Mach said. “I always get the people from the audience to come up and help.”

Chef Mach went on to say that he did the very first set of cooking demonstrations last year, which was so well received, that they brought him back this year.

“I like to go out and do these things,” Mach said. “I do what I teach because I love it. I am at different festivals and different events, putting on cooking classes all year.”

Events at the wine festival continued throughout the day with demonstrations by Chef Mach and Ed Draves of the Premier Group.

“This is my first time at this event, and there is a nice selection of wineries here,” Draves said. “Taking a walk around, I am very impressed. Of course any place where you find Chef Paul is great.”

Live music was performed by Sean Patrick McGraw followed by Emerson Drive Saturday evening.

The festival continues today with more wine tasting and music by US and The Untouchables.

Comments on this article can be made to editorial@observertoday.com.

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Aug 10, 2013
Freddie Kitson

Food, Wine, and Beer Festivals, Guest Chef Events, and More Abound This …

WINTER PARK — On Saturday, August 10 from 12 to 5 p.m., the Winter Park Beer Festival will bring guests unlimited samples from 25 breweries at the Hideaway Park. Enjoy live music, the scenery, and more during the event and don’t miss the fest after party at the The Winter Park Pub beginning at 6 p.m. Tickets cost $25 for general admission and $65 for VIP status.

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Today through Sunday, August 11, the Steamboat Springs Wine Festival will feature popular chefs, sommeliers, brew masters and more offering locals and visitors an opportunity to sample a wide variety of food, wine, and beer. Events on Saturday include tastings and seminars like Off the Beaten Path: South American Wine, Kentucky Bourbon Tennessee Whiskey: What’s All the Fuss?, and Toast of Steamboat Springs. On Sunday, attendees can wake up to It’s a Mimosa Morning. For event details or to purchase tickets, visit the Steamboat Wine Festival website, www.steamboatwinefestival.com. Ticket prices range from $55 to $165.

BOULDER — On Sunday, August 11from 5:30 to 10 p.m., the Kitchen [Upstairs] will host chef Hosea Rosenberg of Blackbelly Catering and winner of Bravo’s Top Chef Season Five, as part of the guest chef dinner series. A seasonal menu will be prepared and available for guests a la carte. Walk-ins and reservations are welcome. Call 303.544.5973 for additional details.

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Aug 7, 2013
Terri Judson

‘Epicurience’ Festival Debuts Aug. 31: Event Aims To Take Local Wines, Food To …

If patrons of “Epicurience Virginia” don’t go home fully sated and satisfied Aug. 31 it won’t be for a lack of trying. The one-day festival at Morven Park is the heart of a three-day food and wine bash that is designed to draw up to 5,000 visitors to Loudoun.


The county’s tourism organization, Visit Loudoun, has enthusiastically thrown itself into the enterprise—the brainchild of President and CEO Patrick Kaler—which aims to emulate the success of national signature food and wine festivals held in Aspen, CO, and Charleston, SC.

Over the past decade, Loudoun has seen an explosion of interest in the county’s increasing number of wineries, currently more than 35, a growing brewing industry, a distillery and the fusion of its agricultural bounty with its wines. Restaurants and wineries have hosted multiple dinners and a healthy agri-tourism sector has made Loudoun, “DC’s Wine Country,” the focus of interest throughout the Washington, DC, metropolitan area.

And now Kaler is stepping up to the next level—and beyond.

Kaler thinks big. Partnering with Saveur magazine, Epicurience—“an epic experience”—is the result. The three-day immersion in the best food and wines available, paired with the culinary talents of top regional and local chefs in demonstrations and educational sessions is the seed from which Kaler hopes to establish Loudoun as the home of the East Coast’s major food and wine festival, the “Napa Valley of the East Coast.”

The 11 a.m.-6 p.m. event will seek to thrill not only visitors’ palates, but their visual and aural senses as well and the grounds of Morven Park are well suited to provide the setting. Food and wine and live music are natural partners, and the festival will feature a lively mix of bluegrass, blues, Indie folk, rockabilly, Americana, honky-tonk and country bands and performers. Spread out in a wide semi-circle on the lawn below the mansion will be various large tents—for market place products, wine tastings from local exhibitors and vendors, education and chefs’ demonstrations, along with a number of food trucks supplied with some substantial food items. Picnic tables will be set up nearby.

Focal points of the festival are likely to be the two grand tasting tents and the demonstration tent, sponsored by Whole Foods and featuring a kitchen equipment display sponsored by Viking. Along with the wine samplings, there will be between six and eight chefs rotating throughout the day doing cooking demonstrations, a mix of local and Washington, DC, culinary experts, including Salamander and Equinox Restaurant Executive Chef Todd Grey and Restaurant at Patomack Farm Chef Chris Edwards, who served as advisors for the event. Top DC chefs Kazuhiro Okachi of KAZ Sushi Bistro and Roberto Donna of Al Dente Ristorante also will be on hand. In the education tent, sponsored by the Virginia Wine Marketing Association and Virginia Tourism, a local panel of wine makers and sommeliers will give seminars on wine along with wine tastings to prove their point. The marketplace tent will feature wine bottles, glasses and other wine-related items for sale and festival merchandise, along with book signings.

While Kaler and his team, including public relations staffer Jackie Brown Saunders, are bringing in top regional and national culinary stars to join local chefs and vintners, they also are highlighting local rural entrepreneurs. Including the one-day festival itself, there will be some 20 events planned at area wineries, distilleries, inns and restaurants throughout the Aug. 30-Sept. 1 weekend.

For the festival’s inaugural year, Visit Loudoun is aiming to draw between 3,000 and 5,000 visitors, with the hope to grow that visitation to 10,000 in subsequent years. “We’re looking for longevity,” he said. He noted the Aspen festival, now 30 years old, gets about 21,000 visitors, while the 10-year-old Charleston festival caps its visitation at 5,000.

General admission for the daylong Loudoun festival is $95 or $175 for a VIP ticket package, Kaler said.

The Aspen and Charleston events have built their success through partnership with sponsors, and Visit Loudoun aims to follow that model. Beyond the partnership with major sponsor Saveur, the Epicurience sponsors include: Fortessa Tableware Solutions, which is providing all the glassware for the thousands of tastings that will occur Aug. 31, Salamander Resort Spa, Virginia Grown, Northern Virginia magazine, Whole Foods Market, Viking Cookware, Reston Limousine, Virginia is for Lovers, Loudoun Virginia Economic Development, Virginia Wine and the Town of Leesburg. Morven Park also has been a generous partner, giving a discount in the rental fee, according to Kaler and Saunders.

From the beginning, both Kaler’s plan and the advice of others, including state tourism and wine industry representatives, was to host a large-scale event. To achieve that level of participation, Visit Loudoun hired events management company Linder Associates of Washington, DC. “They produce big-scale events and are experienced in transportation,” Kaler said in a recent interview. That management has been backed up by 10 committees, all tasked with different organizational components.

The county Board of Supervisors has bought into the concept—conceptually and financially, having agreed to support the enterprise over a three-year period to the tune of $200,000 per year. “They recognize the potential for the event, and they’re relying on us to bring it off,” Kaler said. He estimates revenue of about $200,000 plus ticket sales this year. Costs for the first year would be about $500,000—including production, promotion, rental equipment and property costs, entertainment, transportation and police traffic control costs, he said. But, the fourth year of the event, Kaler estimates the festival will be self-sustaining. Promotion has been extensive, especially through Saveur, which has helped underwrite advertising and public relations costs. “We’ve had five million impressions through all their print and online outlets; that’s a great audience,” Kaler said.

Loudoun exhibitors will pay a discounted fee of $500, while the rate is $750 for others. In addition to wine exhibitors there will be a variety of food vendors presenting the best of Loudoun horticultural, meat and dairy products. Visitors will be directed to five satellite parking areas and volunteer docents will be on each shuttle bus to give an introduction to Loudoun and the festival. There will be approximately 150 Epicurience volunteers, Saunders said. They also will help with visitor registration and in the grand tasting tent.

All the event information is included on the Epicvirginia.com website, including ticket purchases, volunteer opportunities, festival layout and events, as well as details of the almost 20 local events over the weekend. “It’s one stop shopping,” Saunder said, noting visitors can buy their tickets there, get information on other events and they can book hotels at special rates, also. The website will expand in future years as the event’s reputation grows, Kaler said. “We just sold our first ticket in the Boston area,” he added.

Hosts of the local events have shown some creativity in what they will do to celebrate Loudoun wines, beers, whiskey and food. With seven events planned for Aug. 30, nine Aug. 31 and five Sept. 1, there is truly something for everyone. Prices range from $18 for a hearty buckwheat or cornmeal pancake breakfast with local maple syrup, sausage and bacon at the Aldie Mill to $300 per person for Salamander’s opening reception Aug. 30, the day after the luxury destination resort opens.

A number of wineries are planning special events, including four-course dinners paired with local wines. To pick just a few, they include 8 Chains North, which offers a Vineyard Dinner and Twilight Tour for $120—a meal on the patio followed by a tour given by winemaker Ben Renshaw. For $60 per person, Tarara Winery offers a fun and casual evening of “fall off the bone ribs” and music by Slippery When Wet, a Bon Jovi cover band, with an event they’re calling “Flesh Bone The Rock n Rolls BBQ Bubbles Epicurience.”

Other events include dinner theater at North Gate Vineyard by Run Rabbit Run Theatre Company with food by Joan Wolford of Savoir Fare Ltd. for $130. Catoctin Creek Distillery inaugurates its new premises in Purcellville with a Cocktail Magic demonstration of how to make cocktail syrups for simple drinks, using herbs such as lavender, basil and rosemary, also for $130. There’s a Champagne Tea for $65 at Hunter’s Head Tavern, featuring organic loose teas, champagne, canapés, petit fours and scones.

Historic sites also get into the act. The Marshall House in Leesburg will host a $125 Victory Garden Dinner, featuring food and wine from Loudoun and swing dancing with dance expert Adam King. Not to be outdone, Oatlands Historic House and Gardens pitches in with a 1920s-themed dinner and dance in the spirit of The Great Gatsby. The $300 per person event features a swanky soirée on the front lawn with signature cocktails and local wine, along with plenty of jazz music.

For $100, Pamela and Malcolm Baldwin offer a Celtic-themed Highland Fling at Weatherlea Farm. The $100 event includes cocktails in the garden, Celtic music by Jug of Punch, a farm-to-table dinner in the farm barn prepared by Chef Jason Lage of Market Table Bistro and stargazing through a high-powered telescope.

Pamela Baldwin says the festival offers “a chance for lots of people to get involved, and take wine tourism to the next level.” It also gives exposure to tourism and wedding reception sites such as Weatherlea Farm, Baldwin said.

Winemaker Doug Fabbioli agreed the festival would take the local wine industry to a new level and “show what Loudoun and Northern Virginia can do for the high-end market.” As a member of one of the Epicurience committees, Fabbioli says he knows there likely will be a few glitches in the first year. “It’s a learning curve, but you’ve got to try something, and start somewhere,” he said, noting he sees the festival as a good model for the future.

Mary Ellen Taylor, president of the Rural Economic Development Council and owner of Endless Summer Harvest, is very impressed with what Kaler and his team are trying to achieve, calling it a stellar effort. “It’s so farm-centric, they’re going out of their way to put as much as possible on the table,” she said. And the satellite events she says, “just blow me away—they’re so creative.”

In describing the Epicurience event, Baldwin summed it up well. “It’s a bold experiment,” she said.

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Aug 5, 2013
Terri Judson

Culinary Culture: Steamboat Wine Festival

Wine-Festival

What: Steamboat Wine Festival

When: August 7-11, 2013

Where: Steamboat Springs, CO

Still looking for something to do this weekend? Head to the hills for the 10th annual Steamboat Wine Festival. The Yampa Valley is a gorgeous setting for a festival of spirits, cuisine, entertainment, and all things wine. Like most wine festivals, Steamboat offers enticing pairing classes like Friday’s Wine Chocolate event, which pairs Quady Winery with Steamboat’s own Yepello Chocolates Confections (2:00 pm, $55.00 per person). But what sets the Steamboat Wine Festival apart is the addition of outdoor activities. Festival attendees can sign up for guided hiking and biking trips that culminate in lunch and wine tasting. If you prefer something a little less active, there is also a Corks Canvas class (Saturday, 10:00 am, $65.00 per person) that promises to awaken your inner artist with step-by-step instructions for painting a vineyard landscape.

119491835Whether you opt for bikes or paintbrushes, you won’t want to miss the most popular events of the weekend. On Friday, the Stroll of Steamboat takes wine lovers on a tour down Main Street and along the Yampa River to sample wine, craft beer, and local food. The $80.00 ticket includes three hours of culinary fun beginning at 4:00 pm. The festival’s grand finale is on Saturday afternoon at Gondola Square. With over 500 different wines and more than 20 participating restaurants, the Toast of Steamboat is sure to impress (Saturday, 3:00 pm, $90.00 per person).

Tickets are still available for the Stroll of Steamboat, the grand tasting, and many other events. Please note that the festival is an adult-only, over 21 event, and pets are not allowed. To see a complete schedule and to buy tickets please visit steamboatwinefestival.com.

 

 

Megan is a food obsessed world traveler who has put down roots in her hometown of Denver. She loves happy hour, mountain biking, and finding fresh powder on her snowboard. Know of a great happy hour? Write to Megan@303magazine.com Follow me on Twitter

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Aug 1, 2013
Tina George

Fabulous Food Festivals In Hastings And Rye – SYS

Wednesday 31 July, 2013
Making the most of the local produce to be found here in East Sussex, Hastings 1066 Country has a growing number of food festivals on its annual events calendar.

With the Bexhill Sea Angling Festival and the Hastings Seafood Wine Festival neatly juxtaposed on consecutive weekends in September, Rye and Hastings continue the foodie theme well into November.

Wild Boar Week, Rye – Saturday 26 October – Sunday 3 November 2013

Wild boar is a regular feature of the woods around the beautiful medieval town of Rye, and each October Rye goes ‘wild’ about boar, celebrating this local delicacy of the field, from 26 October – 3 November 2013.

Hundreds of years ago wild boar freely roamed Britain but they were the arch enemy of farmers and were hunted to near extinction in the 17th Century. Some were still bred on farms in Kent and Sussex, but over 20 years ago a few escaped and their numbers have risen dramatically in the past few years. The debate continues as to whether they are pesty pigs or essential to our environment.

Al Ball is a forester by trade but hunts boar in his spare time, with a licence to cull these animals. He hunts in the areas of Udimore / Peasmarsh, just outside Rye, and supplies to local hotels. The BBC Radio 4 Food Programme recently featured the wild boar to be found here in Sussex in all its free range, hairy glory. Here’s also a fascinating piece of footage about the wild boar in woods outside Rye http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00qy2fs

This year’s Wild Boar Week will feature about 20 venues in and around Rye who will be showcasing wild boar and other medieval dishes on their menu. New for 2013 is a Wild Boar Food Safari – not a shotgun in sight – and a children’s trail around the town. Truly medieval food for a medieval town.
http://wildboar.org.uk/

Hastings Herring Fair, Hastings 9 – 10 November 2013

Fish is big news in Hastings. The largest beach launched fishing fleet in Europe has Marine Stewardship Council accreditation for the methods it uses to catch herring, mackerel and Dover sole. The inshore fleet is composed of boats all under 10 metres in length and Paul Joy, head of the Hastings fleet, is no stranger to Brussels and Downing Street in these days of controversial topics such as quota regulations, discard and bi-catch.

The second annual Hastings Herring Fair, run by the Fisheries Local Action Group (FLAG), aims to build on the success of last year’s event. Stalls over the two days will showcase herring cookery and smoking skills. Talks, films and exhibitions in the Stade Hall and Fishermen’s Museum will tell the history of herring fishery. Billingsgate Fish Cookery School, Greenpeace and the Marine Stewardship Council will be in attendance.

This is the ideal chance to discover the picturesque and quirky Hastings Old Town, the Stade fishing and cultural quarter with the iconic black Hastings net shops, and learn about the importance of the Hastings fishing fleet, as it battles for survival in the face of harsh quota restrictions.

Download here the leaflet about Hastings Stade (Saxon word for ‘landing place’) http://www.visit1066country.com/explore-1066-country/hastings/the-stade

Please contact Jane Ellis for further details of the above or if you would like to visit and find out more first hand. We welcome press trips for commissioned articles and are happy to discuss other options.

Jane Ellis: jmellis@hastings.gov.uk 01424 451113

Distributed by http://www.pressat.co.uk/

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Aug 1, 2013
Terri Judson

Epicurience: An Epic Wine Experience In Loudoun County

Vineyard Lost Creek Images courtesy of Lost Creek

Virginia is one of the nation’s top wine producing states, and consequently is home to a number of popular, weekend wine festivals. This month we look to the Epicurience festival in Loudoun county.  The organizers of Epicurience Virginia – a three-day wine and food spectacular to be held Aug. 30 to Sept. 2, across Loudoun County – are looking to set their experience apart, starting with putting equal emphasis on the region’s growing wine and food bounty.

The event got a big boost when it picked up a national sponsor in foodie-favorite Saveur Magazine. The centerpiece of Epicurience will be Saturday’s Grand Tasting, which will be broken up into morning and afternoon sessions to help keep the atmosphere intimate. Jackie Saunders of Visit Loudoun said she expects three to four thousand guests per tasting at historic Morven Park in Leesburg.

What makes this event different from other wine festivals is, the wineries had to apply to even be considered to take part in Epicurience. Not only that, they are being encouraged to only bring their top-flight bottles for attendees.   

“Saturday is about the whole day experience. It extends beyond the wine, from food and beer to classes and music,” said Saunders. 

Inside the education tent there will be demonstrations and seminars, with programming developed by chefs from the region’s top restaurants, including Christopher Edwards from The Restaurant at Patowmack Farm in Lovettsville and Todd Gray from Equinox Restaurant in DC and Salamander Resort, which is set to open this month in Middleburg.   There will also be a marketplace for guests to buy bottles and enjoy wines by the glass while listening to live music.

If you have been to an outdoor wine festival and suffered in the rain or heat, you won’t have to worry about the weather at Epicurience. The tasting pavilions will be fully tented, complete with floors for maximum comfort.

The perks for deluxe VIP ticket holders are pretty sweet too. VIP patrons get to enjoy an additional hour of tastings, a special tent featuring older vintages and on-site parking (instead of taking shuttles from further lots).

Elevated Tasting Images courtesy of 868 Vineyards

Another unique feature of this wine county event is that it’s spread out across a variety of locations during the long weekend. Wineries, distillers, inns and restaurants across the county will host a variety of events from a pancake breakfast in the historic Aldie Mill to a gourmet farm tour at the Goodstone Inn Restaurant in Middleburg, complete with a picnic and fresh eggs to bring home.

Aimee Henkle, co-owner of Lost Creek Winery, will be hosting a gourmet barbeque in their Harvest House venue, a newly remodeled plantation-style home that’s normally used for the winery’s Wine Club tastings.  Henkle, who purchased the winery last year with her husband Todd, said the pair are focused on getting news out about the renewed brand.

Tasting Room Lost Creek Images courtesy of Lost Creek

“We felt [Epicurience] was a great way to bring in visitors from outside of Virginia, showcase the best wines and put the state’s winemaking on the map,” Henkle said. “There’s a big push to make this region the Napa of the East, and Loudoun County wants to be at the forefront of that.” 

Why barbeque?  “There’s a lot of great barbeque places in the Virginia countryside. This kind of event allows us to stay close to the culture of the county and offer wines to complement it,” Henkle said.

With six weeks left before the festival, she is still considering which wines to bring to the Grand Tasting and leaning toward refined reds such as Lost Creek’s Cabernet Franc and Genesis blend.

Leesburg’s Tarara Winery will spotlight some of its new releases during its off-site events, including winemaker Jordan Harris’s debut sparkling, Bad to the Bone Bubbles, a fruit-driven bubbly made from 100% Chardonnay grapes.  It will be released just before Epicurience weekend, and Tarara will host a barbeque and sparkling dinner on Saturday night with music by Slippery When Wet, a Bon Jovi cover band. 

Tarara will also be part of a group-release with Hiddencroft Vineyard and 8 Chains North Winery, for Three2OneTranquility 2010, just coming out of nearly 30 months in barrel. The Sunday event will include a three-course lunch in Purcellville’s Tranquility Vineyard, where winemakers from all three vineyards tended the grapes that make up the blend. 

“A signature event like Epicurience gives [Virginia] an opportunity to be on the same level as food and wine events in places like South Beach [Miami] and Charleston. We want to be on that upper echelon,” added Harris, who plans to bring some of Tarara’s single-vineyard bottles to Saturday’s Grand Tasting sessions. 

Nancy Deliso, co-owner of 868 Estate Vineyards and its sister restaurant Grandale Farm, is in a unique position to address both sides of the Epicurience weekend.  The Neersville, VA restaurant will serve a four-course meal celebrating the late summer harvest and pair each course with wines from 868. Then after dinner, guests will enjoy a three-course dessert and Moscato tasting under the stars.

868, one of the area’s newest vineyards, opened in 2012 and makes the most of its culinary connection in the tasting room.  The winery has several flight options, including one with chocolate and wine pairings and an elevated tasting that includes four savory and two sweet bites with wine tastes.  The menu changes every six weeks, so guests can expect something new with every visit.  The tasting room also offers food beyond the typical cheese and cured meat selection, offering gourmet flatbreads and soup during the day.

And what will Deliso bring to the Grand Tasting? Probably the winery’s award-winning Cabernet Franc and Chardonnay.

“[Virginia] has a lot to brag about,” said Deliso.

With numerous top-tier wineries, local food, events and live music, Epicurience is the perfect stage for some first class strutting.

Epicurience will take place Aug. 30 – Sept. 2. Tickets range from $95-$175 for Grand Tasting.  Locations vary, check www.epicvirginia.com for details.

Morven Park – Leesburg: 17263 Southern Planter Ln. Leesburg, VA; 703-777-6034; www.morvenpark.com

868 Estate Vineyards Grandale Farm: 14001 Harpers Ferry Rd. Purcellville, VA; 540-668-7008; www.868estatevineyards.com

Equinox Restaurant: 818 Connecticut Ave. NW, DC; 202-331-8118; www.equinoxrestaurant.com

Goodstone Inn Restaurant: 36205 Snake Hill Rd. Middleburg, VA; 540-687-3333; www.goodstone.com

Salamander Resort: 100 W Washington St. Middleburg, VA; 540-687-3600; www.salamanderresort.com

Tarara Winery: 13648 Tarara Ln. Leesburg, VA; 703-771-7100; www.tarara.com

 

The Restaurant at Patowmack Farm: 42461 Lovettsville Rd. Lovettsville, VA; 540-822-9017; www.patowmackfarm.com

 

The Vineyards Winery at Lost Creek: 43277 Spinks Ferry Rd. Leesburg, VA;  703-443-9836; www.lostcreekwinery.com

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Jul 31, 2013
Tina George

Fabulous Food Festivals In Hastings And Rye – SYS

Wednesday 31 July, 2013
Making the most of the local produce to be found here in East Sussex, Hastings 1066 Country has a growing number of food festivals on its annual events calendar.

With the Bexhill Sea Angling Festival and the Hastings Seafood Wine Festival neatly juxtaposed on consecutive weekends in September, Rye and Hastings continue the foodie theme well into November.

Wild Boar Week, Rye – Saturday 26 October – Sunday 3 November 2013

Wild boar is a regular feature of the woods around the beautiful medieval town of Rye, and each October Rye goes ‘wild’ about boar, celebrating this local delicacy of the field, from 26 October – 3 November 2013.

Hundreds of years ago wild boar freely roamed Britain but they were the arch enemy of farmers and were hunted to near extinction in the 17th Century. Some were still bred on farms in Kent and Sussex, but over 20 years ago a few escaped and their numbers have risen dramatically in the past few years. The debate continues as to whether they are pesty pigs or essential to our environment.

Al Ball is a forester by trade but hunts boar in his spare time, with a licence to cull these animals. He hunts in the areas of Udimore / Peasmarsh, just outside Rye, and supplies to local hotels. The BBC Radio 4 Food Programme recently featured the wild boar to be found here in Sussex in all its free range, hairy glory. Here’s also a fascinating piece of footage about the wild boar in woods outside Rye http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00qy2fs

This year’s Wild Boar Week will feature about 20 venues in and around Rye who will be showcasing wild boar and other medieval dishes on their menu. New for 2013 is a Wild Boar Food Safari – not a shotgun in sight – and a children’s trail around the town. Truly medieval food for a medieval town.
http://wildboar.org.uk/

Hastings Herring Fair, Hastings 9 – 10 November 2013

Fish is big news in Hastings. The largest beach launched fishing fleet in Europe has Marine Stewardship Council accreditation for the methods it uses to catch herring, mackerel and Dover sole. The inshore fleet is composed of boats all under 10 metres in length and Paul Joy, head of the Hastings fleet, is no stranger to Brussels and Downing Street in these days of controversial topics such as quota regulations, discard and bi-catch.

The second annual Hastings Herring Fair, run by the Fisheries Local Action Group (FLAG), aims to build on the success of last year’s event. Stalls over the two days will showcase herring cookery and smoking skills. Talks, films and exhibitions in the Stade Hall and Fishermen’s Museum will tell the history of herring fishery. Billingsgate Fish Cookery School, Greenpeace and the Marine Stewardship Council will be in attendance.

This is the ideal chance to discover the picturesque and quirky Hastings Old Town, the Stade fishing and cultural quarter with the iconic black Hastings net shops, and learn about the importance of the Hastings fishing fleet, as it battles for survival in the face of harsh quota restrictions.

Download here the leaflet about Hastings Stade (Saxon word for ‘landing place’) http://www.visit1066country.com/explore-1066-country/hastings/the-stade

Please contact Jane Ellis for further details of the above or if you would like to visit and find out more first hand. We welcome press trips for commissioned articles and are happy to discuss other options.

Jane Ellis: jmellis@hastings.gov.uk 01424 451113

Distributed by http://www.pressat.co.uk/

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