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 event has expanded to include a Friday evening event along with the Saturday wine tasting, gourmet food eating, and art show shopping fun!
The wine festivities begin Friday evening August 9th with a wine-tasting event held at the Sandusky Greenhouse from 5:30-8 pm. The Merry-Go-Round Museum, The Maritime Museum of Sandusky, and The Sandusky Greenhouse are hosting the evening event and wine tasting. Tickets for the Friday evening fun are just $15 before August 5th, and $25 at the door. The ticket includes light appetizers and wine tastes. Patrons who attend Friday night’s wine tasting event will again gain free admission to Saturday’s festival, by bringing their 2013 wine glass with them.
Then Saturday, August 10th at the Sandusky Bay Pavilion (605 East Water Street, Sandusky) the Toast of Ohio Wine Heritage Festival, now in its ninth year, will kick off with ten Ohio wineries, gourmet food, live musical entertainment and an artist’s showcase. The festival grounds are open Saturday from noon – 8 pm.
Admission for Saturday is just $5.00 per person and includes a souvenir Toast of Ohio wine glass and two 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 $3.00 and glass pours will vary by vendor. Food offerings will range from $1.00 – $5.00. Ticket packages – including a combination of food tickets and wine tickets – also will be available for purchase – ranging from $5.00 to $20.00. The $20.00 package includes admission, glass, ten food tickets and ten wine tastings. Wine related merchandise and souvenirs will be sold separately.
Participating wineries include Paper Moon Vineyards, Firelands Winery, Ferrante Winery, Maize Valley Winery, Viking Vineyards, Stoney Ridge Winery, Quarry Hill Winery, Myrddin Winery, Matus Winery, and Chateau Tebeau.
A variety of musical entertainment and family fun activities will occur throughout Saturday. The Brad Walk Trio, Mankin and Gargasz, and Sand Town will play during the Toast. The Maritime Museum of Sandusky and the Merry-Go-Round Museum, co-sponsors of the festival, will host tours and activities.
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. Call 1.800.255.3743 for information.
Other event sponsors include Ohio Grape Industries, Ohio Magazine, and Lake Erie Shores & Islands.