Saturday, August 7, 2010

Toast of Ohio Wine Heritage Festival Scheduled Aug. 12-14

Aerial view of Sandusky, Ohio, USA. The view i...Image via Wikipedia
SANDUSKY — Just like the miles of vineyards in the Lake Erie shores and islands region, the always-popular Toast of Ohio Wine Heritage Festival is growing. To celebrate the area’s heritage as the largest wine-producing region in the nation prior to Prohibition, the traditionally one-day event on the shores of Lake Erie is expanding to three days of wine tasting, gourmet food eating and art show shopping.

The wine festivities begin Thursday, Aug. 12, with a wine-tasting cruise aboard the Goodtime I, where passengers will enjoy a leisurely sight-seeing cruise on Sandusky Bay and Lake Erie and witness a spectacular sunset. The cruise departs the Jackson Street Pier at 7 p.m. and returns to port at 9 p.m. The cruise is sponsored by Specialty Wines, and will feature Italian imports. Wine selections are included in the cost; tickets for cruise are just $25 per person and can be purchased at the Lake Erie Shores and Islands Welcome Center. Hors d’ouvres will be provided by Creative Cuisine.

The festivities kick into high gear on Friday, Aug. 13, and Saturday, Aug. 14, at the waterfront Sandusky Bay Pavilion (605 E. Water St., Sandusky) with the official Toast of Ohio Wine Heritage Festival, now in its seventh year. This event features 12 Ohio wineries, gourmet food, live musical entertainment and an artist’s showcase. The festival grounds will be open from 4 to 9 p.m. Friday and noon to 8 p.m. Saturday.

Admission is $5 per person and includes a souvenir Toast of Ohio wine glass and two complimentary wine tastings. Patrons who visit the festival Friday can bring their 2010 glass back to the event on Saturday for free admission. Admission fees benefit the sponsoring museums: the Maritime Museum of Sandusky and Merry-Go-Round Museum.

Tickets will be available to purchase for exchange of wine tastings and food purchases. Wine tasting tickets are four for $3 and glass pours will vary by vendor. Food offerings will range from $1 to $5. Ticket packages — including a combination of food tickets and wine tickets — also will be available for purchase ranging from $5 to $20. The $20 package includes admission, glass, 10 food tickets and 10 wine tastings. Wine related merchandise and souvenirs will be sold separately.

A variety of musical entertainment and family fun activities will occur throughout the festival. The Maritime Museum of Sandusky and the Merry-Go-Round Museum will host tours and activities.

The Lake Erie shores and islands once featured huge vineyards that spread from east of Sandusky to the western region near the bay because of the lakeshore climate. The Toast of Ohio event was developed to celebrate the area’s winemaking heritage. Today, dozens of wineries still operate in the region.

Participating wineries include: Ferrante Winery, Firelands Winery, Hermes Vineyards, Maize Valley Winery, Matus Winery, Meier's Wine Cellars, Mon Ami Historic Winery, Myrddin Winery, Quarry Hill Winery, St. Joseph Vineyard, Stoney Ridge Winery, and Viking Winery.

Other event sponsors include Ohio Grape Industries, Ohio Magazine, Lake Erie Shores & Islands-East Welcome Center and the City of Sandusky.
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