In its 8th year, the Traverse City Wine & Art Festival takes place Saturday, June 25, 2016 from 4:00 to 9:00 pm at the interesting, historic Village at Grand Traverse Commons. The annual event celebrates wine, food and culture of northern Michigan. This year, the planning committee is making several exciting changes including new winemaker experiences, delicious fare using local ingredients through chef and farmer partnerships and an enhanced art show.
“Attendees will enjoy a closer connection to the wine and food grown in the region.” shares Lorri Hathaway, Executive Director of the festival. “We’ve added fun opportunities to chat with local farmers and winemakers, the true rock stars of local agriculture.”
New Winemaker Experiences
The super-popular Wine Education Lounge and all-new onsite Varietal Tasting Tours are all being lead by local winemakers.
The Wine Education Lounge consists of four sessions, which are limited to 60 tasters:
Sparkling Wine Production and Tasting
Larry Mawby, L. Mawby Vineyards
Sideways: a Local Tasting of Pinot Noirs
Charlie Edson, Bel Lago Vineyard and Lee Lutes, Black Star Farms
Great Wine is Grown in the Vineyard, Great Wine in Your Glass
Robert Brengman, Brengman Brothers at Crain Hill
Not-So-Common Wine Varietals: Bianca, de Chaunac, Auxerrois, Blaufränkisch
Charlie Edson, Bel Lago Vineyard
For the onsite Varietal Tasting Tours, participants will taste several wines throughout the festival along with one of the region’s winemakers. These tours are limited to about 20 people and take place every 15 minutes throughout the day.
Not Your Grandma’s Rosé: a Tasting of Local Rosés
Paul Hamelin, Verterra Winery
Range of Rieslings: From Sweet to Dry
Dan Matthies, Chateau Fontaine
Sideways: a Tasting of Local Pinot Noirs
Tom Knighton, Blustone Vineyards
Getting Naked with Chardonnay: Oak vs Unoaked Chardonnays
Jay Briggs, Forty-Five North Vineyard & Winery
Red, Red Wine: a Tasting of Local Red Wines
David Albert, Boathouse Vineyards
There is a small $10 fee or these experiences, which basically goes toward the wine tastings. These are on a first-come, first-serve basis, and several spots have already been reserved. Interested tasters should act quickly to guarantee participation.
New Local Food Connection
Delicious fare is being prepared for guests by connecting the farmers who grow our food and the restaurant chefs who love to cook with it. For this, the festival has been honored as a “Certified Local Food Event” by Taste the Local Difference (TLD), who is also leading this initiative for the event.
“The Local Food Event Certification ensures local ingredient sourcing, sustainable food vending practices, zero-waste initiatives and more.” shares Tricia Phelps, Operations Director at TLD. “Guests can feel comfortable knowing that the organizers are making a sincere commitment to supporting the local community.”
These chefs and farmers will be partnering one-on-one to create delicious small plates using local ingredients grown on the farm. You can expect to see a selection of local value- added producers as well — cheese plates, hummus, chocolate — the list goes on.
Enhanced Art Show
Like the wine and food, the art has a closer connection to artists. Fine artists are being showcased, positioned throughout the event. Attendees can cast their votes for the Peoples Choice Award and see which artists win the several other awards added this year:
Best of Show Award $1,000
2nd Place $750
3rd Place $500
Peoples Choice Award $500 Honorable Mention Awards $250 Additional Purchase Awards
In addition, Stephanie Schlatter’s Project 24 is being featured at the event. Project 24 is a year-long partnership with the Leelanau Peninsula Wine Trail where Schlatter painted vineyards at each of the peninsula’s 24 wineries. Her paintings, which will be available for purchase at the event, are being paired with a wine which was grown in the vineyards captured in her work.
The fine art show is encouraging 2D, 3D and plein air artists to apply. To participate in the event, artists should submit their application by the recently extended date of April 1, 2016. The application can be completed online at traversecitywinefestival.com or by requesting an application by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
In addition, attendees can groove to live musical entertainment that includes The Roomsounds, Carsie Blanton, Phillip-Michael Scales (formerly Briar Rabbit) and Blake Elliott and the Robinson Affair. Or, they can relax and sip wine within a couple of onsite lounges and lots of shaded seating.
Tickets are $55 in advance ($65 at the gate) and include 8 tasting tickets, food voucher and souvenir glass. Get tickets at traversecitywinefestival.com.
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