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Wineries prepare for 8th annual Niagara USA Wine Festival

LEWISTON – Celebrating their 8th Niagara USA Wine Festival, members of the Niagara Wine Trail will converge on Academy Park in Lewiston on Saturday and next Sunday to offer patrons sips of their celebrated wines, meads and ciders, and encourage them to visit their establishments in the future.

The event is planned for noon to 7 p.m. Saturday and noon to 6 p.m. next Sunday.

“Nineteen of our 22 wineries, meaderies and cideries will participate,” said Elizabeth Maute, the Trail’s media coordinator.

“We’ll have more live music this year, with Savannah King, Christina Custode, and Tom and Sarah Wright performing,” she said. “The Niagara County Community College Craft Beverage program will be selling wine truffles both days and the school’s pastry chefs will have wine and chocolate pairings on Sunday.”

New this year is a “Christmas in July” tent, whereby patrons may enter raffles for Wine Trail holiday event tickets and receive a free holiday ornament.

“We’re also going to have more food vendors this year,” Maute said, touting more ethnic variety. Food items are not included in the festival ticket price.

Patrons who purchase tasting passes online prior to the festival receive $5 worth of coupons with their tasting glass, valid toward the purchase of bottles of wine at the festival. Advance passes are available until 9 p.m. Friday at: www.NiagaraUSAWineFestival.com for $25. Tasting passes purchased at the festival are $30.

All tasting passes include a commemorative festival wine glass and booklet, which attendees present to each of the 19 participating wineries to receive at least three tastes of wine, mead, or cider. A total of 57 samples may be enjoyed throughout the two-day event, so patrons are advised to retain their tasting glass if attending more than one day.

Wine pick-up service will again be available to customers. Each customer who purchases six bottles of wine in one day will receive a reusable wine tote to carry purchases home, while supplies last.

Live music and wine education seminars are free and open to all festival attendees for both days. Designated drivers and festival participants under the age of 21 are admitted free of charge. Parking for the festival is free in the village. Those tasting during the festival will be required to show a photo ID at the entranceticipating wineries, vendors and schedule of events may be found at: www.NiagaraUSAWineFestival.com.

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