Inlet to be one-stop weekend wine source | Ocean City Today

Try lots of Maryland wines today until 7pm Saturday, October 1st. Sorry I didn’t get it posted sooner.

Inlet to be one-stop weekend wine source

LISA CAPITELLI
Staff Writer

(Oct. 1, 2010) More than a dozen vineyards and wineries from Maryland, Delaware, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia are scheduled to set up shop at the Ocean City inlet parking lot, today (Friday) and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., for the 15th annual Wine Festival on the Beach.

The popular event attracts both wine connoisseurs and occasional indulgers. Last year, about 6,000 people attended the twoday event, according promoter Chris Nokes.

What people enjoy most about the festival, Nokes said, is having the opportunity to taste different wines and to learn about them. Some people spend a full day at the festival, sampling wine and listening to the live music, as vendors offer an array of dry, semi-dry, sweet and semi-sweet, red, white, blush and fruity-blended wines.

Sampling of wines will take place onsite. Adults will receive a complimentary wine-tasting glass and sample coupons upon entering the festival grounds. Wines may be purchased, packaged and saved for later, as well.

Maryland wineries scheduled to be part of the 2010 festival include Linganore Winecellars, Frederick Cellars, St. Michaels Winery, Boordy Vineyards, Terrapin Station Winery, Dove Valley Winery, Solomons Island Winery and Fiore Winery. Coming from other eastern states are Fenwick Wine Cellars of Delaware, Brotherhood Vineyards and Hazlitt Vineyards of New York, Chaddsford Winery of Pennsylvania, Horton Vineyards of Virginia and Forks of Cheat Winery and West-Whitehill Winery Ltd. of West Virginia.

Fenwick Wine Cellars will be making its debut at the festival. Owner Adrian Mobilia has a background in horticulture, agriculture and wine making, so after moving to the area full time in 2008, his wife, Shannon Reilly-Mobilia, suggested they open a winery. The couple opened Fenwick Wine Cellars, off Route 54 in Delaware, on Jan. 7.

“We are very excited about this year’s OC Wine Festival. It is our first time participating in the event and we are hopeful for good weather, a good turnout and lots of fun,” he said. “We can’t bring all of our wines due to space limitations, but we are bringing a good mix of red and white, sweet and dry. We should have something for everyone, including our unique Ambrosia and Reflections of Fenwick.”

Reflections of Fenwick is a blend of 93 percent Seyval and 7 percent Chardonnay. Ambrosia, a semi-dry red with hints of dark fruit and berries, is one of Fenwick Wine Cellars’ top sellers, Mobilia said, along with Niagara (sweet white), the award-winning Fredonia (sweet and fruity red) and Chambourcin (medium bodied, dry red similar to a merlot and spicy with flavors reminiscent of black cherry and raspberry with a firm oak backbone).

“We will have three of the four on site, but we are very low on Chambourcin due to its huge success this past year,” Mobilia said. “We are anxiously awaiting the new crop to replenish many of our varietals.”

Fenwick Wine Cellars will also offer its award-winning Pinot Grigio, Vignoles (white with nuances of apricot and peach) and Chardonnay, as well as Steuben (sweet blush similar to Zinfandel) and Cabernet Sauvignon.

This is the second year Terrapin Station Winery will bring its wines to the event. Morris and Janet Zwick are the proprietors of the winery, located in Elkton, Md. They have been selling their blends since May 2008 and donate a portion of sales to the Terrapin Institute to help save the Diamondback Terrapin, a native of the Chesapeake Bay and Maryland’s state reptile.

All of their wines come in 1.5-liter boxes, the equivalent of two bottles of wine, he said. In addition to being ecofriendly, they are perfect for the beach (no glass), Zwick said.

The list of wines Terrapin Station representatives will bring to the festival was still being finalized as of earlier this week because some of its popular wines are almost sold out. Zwick said blends he hopes to offer include 2009 Vidal Blanc, a dry white alternative to Pinot Grigio; 2008 Cabernet Franc, a bold, structured red; 2008 Cayuga White, a little sweet and light summer wine; and 2009 Traminette, one of its signature wines.

“Traminette is a hybrid of the Gewurztraminer and has interesting, spicy notes,” Zwick said.

Also on the list is the 2009 Five Rivers Rosé, which Zwick said is unique because it is made from the St. Vincent grape grown at the winery. Tart cranberries, rather than red berries, make it different than other rosé wines, Zwick said.

“Better Red Than Dead” is the winery’s port-style wine introduced this year and co-branded with the band Pyrates Royale, Zwick said.

“We call it our ‘party in a box,’” he said.

Hazlitt 1852 Vineyards, located in upstate New York, has participated in the festival since its inception. Brad Phillips, Hazlitt 1852 Vineyards’ director of marketing, said the most popular wine is Red Cat, the “original hot tub wine,” a fruity, semi-sweet sangria-style blend. White Cat, a sweet Niagara wine, is the second favorite. Phillips said plenty of both will be available, to buy individually or in a variety of package options, including the new single serving four-pack minis, called “Kittens.”

Festival attendees should also look for the 2007 Cabernet Franc, a premier dry red in the Finger Lakes regions that has won numerous awards and medals; Hazlitt’s Cabin Fever, a soft Catawba blush; Bramble Berry, a Concord blend infused with blackberry and raspberry; White Stag, a blend of Ravat and Cayuga; Schooner Red, a soft blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc; and The Hazlitt Riesling, a multiple Gold Medal winning Finger Lakes Riesling.

“It’s very fruit forward with a crisp acidic structure,” Phillips said.

Wine may be the main attraction of the event, but brewing companies such as Old Dominion and Goose Island will be at the festival to introduce visitors to specialty beers, which will be available for purchase.

Other vendors will offer a variety of wine- and non-wine-related merchandise. Food will be available as well. Bird Dog and the Road Kings, Pat O’Brennan Trio, Three Penny Opera and Bumpin Uglies will provide the musical entertainment during the two-day event.

General admission costs $24 for adults, ages 21 and older. A $3-off admission coupon is available at www.winefest.com. For those who don’t drink wine, admission price includes the commemorative wine glass and unlimited soft drinks.

Admission costs $5 for guests 20 and younger, who must be accompanied by an adult. There is no admission fee for children 7 and younger. For information, call 410-280-3306 or visit www.winefest.com.

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