On September 28th-29th several mid-Atlantic wineries will participate in the Thirteenth Annual Wine Fest at the Beach. This event will take place at the Inlet Park - right on the boardwalk and will include a couple micro-breweries and local food\craft vendors. As for the wineries, this is a great opportunity to sample various vinifera, labrusca, and hybrid wines from some of the best wineries from New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, and West Virginia.
The New York contingent includes America's oldest continually operating winery, Brotherhood Winery. Make sure you sample their Catawba and Pinot Noir. There will also be excellent Riesling from the three Finger Lake wineries: Goosewatch Vineyards, Swedish Hill Winery, and Hazlitt Vineyards. Hopefully these wineries will bring samples of their labrusca wines made from the Diamond, Delaware, and Isabella grapes.
There will be one winery representing Pennsyvania: Chaddsford Winery. Red wine drinkers should enjoy their Chambourcin and Due Rossi - made from Sangiovese and Barbera - while white wine drinkers will enjoy their Chardonnay.
Maryland will be represented by the 2005 and 2006 Governors Cup winners, Linganore Winecellars and Frederick Cellars. These wineries will probably not bring their award winning Maryland Merlot and Frederick Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon, but will provide excellent alternatives. Linganore also makes a great Chambourcin wine as well as their Terrapin White and several great fruit wines. Frederick Cellars should be pouring their Riesling and Eye of the Oriole, which are great summer wines - perfect for those trying to hang on to a few more weeks of warm weather.
Two of Virginia's better known wineries will be attending, Williamsburg Winery and Horton Vineyards. Not too long ago Horton was listed as one of America's top 40 wineries and is one of the best vinifera wine-makers in the state. Hopefully they will provide samples of their Viognier, Malbec, Tannat, Nebbiolo or Marsanne. Plus they may have on hand their excellent Norton and fruit wines. Williamsburg Winery is best know for their Chardonnay and hopefully the will bring their Blackberry Merlot.
Finally, two little known, but excellent wineries from West Virginia will make the trip to the shore. West-Whitehill Winery makes excellent wines from the hybrid grapes: Aurore, Chambourcin, and Seyval Blanc. Make sure you don't leave the festival without trying their Aurore wines. Then there's Forks of Cheat Winery, from picturesque Morgantown. The Deal family has won us over with their colorful labels, charming personalities, and of course - good wine. They make wine from many interesting varietals including Van Buren, Villard Blanc, Villard Noir, Leon Millot, DeChaunac, Marechal Foch, Catawba, Chambourcin, and Niagara. This list doesn't include their vinifera and fruit wine offerings. From this large selection there is a gift waiting for anyone.
We are looking forward to this year's Wine Fest at the Beach. The weather may even be warm and with the excellent wine and beer - so what if it's a little chilly. Plus, this may be you last opportunity for summer crabs.