Archived Story

Hit the beach for wine festival

Published 6:28pm Thursday, June 10, 2010

The Lake Michigan Shore Wine Festival June 19 to feature live music, cooking demos and more. File photo

By KATIE JOHNSON
katie@offthewater.com

The Lake Michigan Shore Wine Trail, Traffic PR and the Economic Growth Alliance (a partnership of Lake township and the City of Bridgman) will present the 5th Annual Lake Michigan Shore Wine Festival Saturday, June 19 from 1 to 10 p.m. at Weko Beach.

The Lake Michigan Shore Wine Festival is a showcase event where guests sample Lake Michigan Shore Wine Trail locally grown and produced varietals and wines from Tabor Hill, Contessa, Domaine Berrien, Fenn Valley, Karma Vista, Lawton Ridge, Lemon Creek, Round Barn, St. Julian, Free Run, Hickory Creek and Warner. Also featured will be cuisine from local restaurants; rock, blues and R&B live music; and a dazzling sunset.

Chris Moersch, general manager of The Round Barn Winery in Baroda and president of the Lake Michigan Shore Trail, explained that the growing region is known as the “Lake Michigan Shore” American Viticultural Area – the inspiration for the festival.

“We thought, what better way to celebrate the Lake Michigan Shore than on the shore,” he said. “That was the initial thought behind it, and it’s been quite successful. We’ve had people from all over the Midwest attend.”

Moersch said the festival is the centerpiece event of the year for the wine trail, and the event has grown along with the area’s wine industry tourism.

“The biggest thing, I think, has been word of mouth,” he said. “That’s always your best advertising. We’ve definitely seen the pace pick up in the past five or six years in the volume of people coming through the tasting rooms of the area. Even in a down economy, all the winery sales have been up.”

The festival will also feature unique local food vendors, Moersch said.

“There is food there as well, including a specialty chocolatier (The Chocolate Garden) and a gelato producer,” he said.

Moersch said the location for the festival is really a “hidden gem” of the Lake Michigan Shore.

“We would just like to see as many people as possible out there,” he said. ” It’s (the wine festival) the only one that I know of that’s right on the lake.”

Admission to the festival is $10 for ages 21 and older and includes a souvenir wine tasting glass and live entertainment all day. Ages 13 to 20 are only $5 while 12 and under are free. Advance tickets are $8, and are available at www.ticketweb.com. Wine tasting tickets are $1 for a taste and $5 to $7 for a glass.

Weko Beach is located at exit 16 on Interstate 94, then north on Red Arrow Highway and west on Lake Street in Bridgman. Follow directions for parking and shuttle buses.

Parking and shuttle buses will be available at designated lots in Bridgman. No coolers allowed.

This is a rain or shine event. An ATM will be available. Call (269) 925-6301 for more information.

Live band schedule
1 p.m. – Duke Tumatoe
3 p.m. – Ninth Street Bridge
4:30 p.m. – Midwest Hype
6:45 p.m. – Mighty Blue Kings
8:30 p.m. – Ty Stone & Just Soul

KitchenAid Chef’s cooking demo schedule
2:30 p.m. – Eduardo Pesantez/Cassava
4 p.m. – Port 412
6 p.m. – Tom Weber/Double T’s BBQ

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