Just like the miles of vineyards in the Lake Erie Shores & Islands region the always popular Toast of Ohio Wine Heritage Festival, held on Sandusky’s waterfront, is growing! To celebrate the area’s heritage as the largest wine-producing region in the nation prior to Prohibition, the traditional one-day event is expanding to include a Friday evening event as well as the Saturday wine tasting, gourmet food eating, and art show shopping!
The event kicks-off Friday, August 10 with a wine-tasting event held at the Sandusky Greenhouse from 6-9 pm. Tickets for Friday evening are just $15 before August 5 and are available at Lake Erie Shores & Islands Welcome Center – East, Maritime Museum of Sandusky, and Merry-Go-Round Museum. Tickets will be available for $20 after August 5. Cost includes light appetizers, a souvenir wine glass, and two wine tastings. Patrons who attend the Friday night event will gain free admission to Saturday’s event by bringing their 2012 wine glass with them.
The festivities kick into high gear on Saturday, August 11 at the waterfront Sandusky Bay Pavilion (605 East Water Street, Sandusky). This fantastic event features nine Ohio wineries, gourmet food, live musical entertainment, and an artist’s showcase. The festival grounds will be open from 12-8 pm.
Wineries include Paper Moon Vineyards, Firelands Winery, Ferrante Winery, Stoney Ridge Winery, Viking Vineyards & Winery, St. Joseph Vineyard, Maize Valley Winery, Matus Winery, Myrddin Winery.
Gourmet food will be available from J. Bistro, Great Wolf Lodge, Pier 684, 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 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 – $5. Ticket packages – including a combination of food tickets and wine tickets – will also be available for purchase – ranging from $5 to $20. The $20 package includes admission, glass, ten food tickets, and ten wine tastings. Wine related merchandise and souvenirs will be sold separately.
A variety of musical entertainment and family fun activities will occur throughout Saturday. The Brad Walk Trio will provide music to enjoy from noon to 3 pm, Mankin and Gargasz, an acoustic duo from Vermilion, will play from 3-5 pm and The Summer of 65 covers summer songs from The Beach Boys and Jimmy Buffett to round out the evening’s entertainment.
The Lake Erie Shores & 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. Make a weekend of it with lodging packages available at SHORESandISLANDS.com and tour the area’s wineries.
Other event sponsors include Ohio Grape Industries Committee, Lake Erie Shores & Islands, WPCR – PortClintonRadio.com, and WPIB – PutinBayRadio.com.
For more information:
Lake Erie Shores & Islands
Maritime Museum of Sandusky