LEWISTON – Raise a glass to the Niagara Wine Trail’s seventh annual Niagara USA Wine Festival, to be held Saturday and Sunday in Academy Park, Lewiston.
The festival will run from noon to 7 p.m. Saturday and noon to 6 p.m. Sunday and will feature 17 local wineries, more than 20 vendors, live music and wine education seminars.
“Last year, we set a record with 1,200 attending,” said Shane Gustafson, who along with her husband, Erik, is chairing the event for the third year. “This year, we’re shooting for 2,000.”
They Gustafsons own A Gust of Sun Winery, with tasting rooms in Cambria and Parma.
Other participating wineries include: 810 Meadworks; Arrowhead Spring Vineyards; BlackBird Cider Works; Chateau Niagara Winery; Eveningside Vineyards; Flight of Five Winery; Freedom Run Winery; Mayer’s Lake Ontario Winery; Leonard Oakes Estate Winery; Long Cliff Vineyards and Winery; Midnight Run Wine Cellars; Niagara Landing Wine Cellars; Schulze Vineyards and Winery; The Winery at Marjim Manor; Victorianbourg Wine Estate; and Vizcarra Vineyards.
Parking is free and food will be available for purchase.
Vendors include: (716) Clubhouse food truck; Barker Chocolate Box; Becker Farms; Burning Asphalt Sauces; Casa Antica; Cream and Sugar Café; Dona Eicks; D’Avolio Olive Oils; Gourmet Gift Land Dip Mixes; American Collectibles Lolita Wine Glasses; LynOaken Farms; Mommy-O Design; Nando’s Italian Pizelles; Seas The Day Seafood; Bavarian Nut Company; the Great Foodini; House of Olives; Yancey’s Fancy New York State artisanal cheeses; and Designated Drivers of Western New York.
In addition, Sheraton at the Falls hotel in Niagara Falls, will be giving away prizes.
“We’ve changed the name of the event this year to the ‘Niagara USA Wine Festival’ to highlight the fact that it’s run by the Niagara Wine Trail, and we’ve added more wineries and vendors,” Shane Gustafson said. “We’re up to 22 wineries on our trail now. We are always encouraging visitors to the festival to come back to visit the region and stay for a long weekend, or a ‘staycation.’ ”
Tickets are available for the pre-sale rate of $25 each online until 9 p.m. Friday or may be purchased at the event both days, for $30 each. Anyone not wishing to taste wine or under age 21 is not required to purchase a festival ticket and is admitted for free. Valid identification is required to purchase a ticket for tastings.
Each festival ticket includes three tastes at each participating winery. Tickets are valid for both days.
Festival ticket-holders receive a keepsake wine glass with their ticket as a souvenir, while supplies last. Those purchasing wine who don’t want to carry it throughout the festival may leave it with a wine pick-up service.
The purchase of an advance ticket entitles a festival-goer to $5 worth of coupons toward the purchase of wine at the festival. Patrons also may receive a free six-bottle wine tote with each six-bottle purchase at the festival.
For more information, visit NiagaraUSAWineFestival.com.