Friday, August 5, 2011

Sandusky’s Toast of Ohio Wine Heritage Festival Returns August 13

Aerial view of Sandusky, Ohio, USA. The view i...Image via WikipediaThe always popular Toast of Ohio Wine Heritage Festival, held annually on Sandusky ’s waterfront, is back! To celebrate the area’s heritage as the largest wine-producing region in the nation prior to Prohibition, the one-day event includes wine tasting, gourmet food eating and art show shopping fun!

Now in its eighth year, the festivities kick into high gear on Saturday, August 13, at the waterfront Sandusky Bay Pavilion (605 East Water Street , Sandusky). This fantastic event features thirteen Ohio wineries, gourmet food, live musical entertainment and an artist’s showcase. The festival grounds will be open Saturday from noon– 8:00 PM.

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

Gourmet food will be available from J. Bistro, Great Wolf Lodge, Sandusky Yacht Club and Sandusky Lions Club.

Admission is just $5 per person and includes a souvenir Toast of Ohio wine glass and two complimentary wine tastings. Admission fees benefit the sponsoring museums, the Maritime Museum of Sandusky and Merry-Go-Round Museum .

Tickets will be available for 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 during the festival. Entertainment throughout the day will be provided by The Chefs of Dixie, Brad Walk Trio, and Summer of ‘65. There will also be book signings by authors Claudia Taller (Ohio’s Lake Erie Wineries) and Will and Pat O’Connell (Ohio Lighthouses). The Maritime Museum of Sand usky and the Merry-Go-Round Museum , co-sponsors of the festival, will host tours and activities.

You may also extend your wine weekend with a two hour sunset wine tasting cruise on the Goodtime I, offered on Sunday, August 14 departing at 7 pm at the Jackson Street Pier in Sandusky . Tickets are $25 per person and include appetizers catered by Creative Cuisine, wine, and entertainment.

The Lake Erie Shores & Islands area 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.  Special lodging packages are available at if you wish to make a weeked of it and tour the area’s wineries.

Other event sponsors include Ohio Grape Industries Committee, Lake Erie Shores & Islands, and Buckeye Cablesystem.
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