Wine festival set for Saturday

Published 9:05 am Thursday, September 28, 2017

Woodland Cemetery Historical Walk also Saturday

This Saturday, people can get a taste of Ohio’s vineyards at the annual Ohio River Wine Festival.

The event will be from noon-4 p.m. at the Holiday Inn Express & Suites in Ironton.

Mike Pearson, the Ironton aLive chairman of this event, said that the group started the event to fill in the missing link of the Ohio River Wine Trail.

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“That runs from Paducah, Kentucky to Pittsburgh,” he said. “Ironton aLive is trying to create events that will attract people to Lawrence County. We were in a blank spot between festivals, there was no stop from Adams County to the other side of Gallipolis.”

He said last year, the festival attracted around 100 people from as far away as Toledo, Cleveland, Illinois, Pennsylvania and Indiana.

“It’s been very popular because nobody around here does this,” Pearson said. “It’s all wines from Ohio.

Tickets are $30 for six samples, a souvenir wine glass, and hors d’oeuvres. Tickets can be purchased at the door the day of the event. Bottles of wine will also be available for purchase.

Pearson said the difference between the festival and wine tasting at places like a restaurant is that these wines come directly from the wineries.

“They bring the best wine because they are wanting you to come to their wineries,” Pearson said. This time the event features wines from Meranda Nixon, Terra Cotta, Merry Family and Valley Vineyards. “All the wineries are within a day trip of Ironton. We did that on purpose. So if you like wine, you can visit the winery.”

He said he has visited the Merry Family Winery and Old Mill Craft Beer in Bidwell.

“It’s a really great place,” Pearson said. “They make wine and beer. It’s just a nice place. Really interesting.”

Pearson said the wineries will help you pick out a wine you will like.

“You tell them what your favorite foods are and they have something you will like,” he said. “I’m serious. Last year, they had about four wines I liked.”

The event will also feature popular cheeses and a performance by musician Wiley Dew.

“Wiley Dew played last year and everyone really liked it, so we brought them back,” Pearson said. “It’s acoustic. Wine drinking music is how I describe it.”

Tickets can be purchased at the door the day of the event.

Follow up the event with the Historical Walk at Woodland Cemetery starting at 5 p.m.

“There is supposed to be somebody to talk about the walk at the festival,” Pearson said.

Shuttle service from the hotel to the cemetery and back will be available. Admission to the Historic Walk is free.

Pearson said the money from the festival goes to putting on next year’s festival.

“What we are is trying to do establish this event,” he said.