KIRTLAND, Ohio — Get ready to wine and dine this weekend.
The Vintage Ohio Wine Festival is back for its 27th year at the Lake Metroparks Farmpark in Kirtland.
Organizers call the all-day excursion a one-stop for a true wine experience.
“I think the festival is the so the crown jewel of all that we do,” said Donniella Winchill, Executive Director of Ohio Wine Producers Association. “People are discovering what we're doing…it's making wine accessible, it's making wine fun, it's making wine interesting, and it's being replicated all of Ohio.”
In addition to three Ohio breweries, food trucks and wine classes, we’re told 18 wineries will be at this year’s festival from all over the state, including Klingshirn Winery in Avon Lake. Its owner, Lee Klingshirn, says it’s a family business.
“We have been going to the Vintage Ohio wine festival for 28 years now,” he said. “My grandfather, Albert began it. My father, Alan, ran it until the mid to late eighties, and that's when I took over.”
Klingshirn says the festival has kept his winery full of customers.
“It has been instrumental in bringing people, new customers to this location," he said. "We can go out and serve wine everywhere, but we get people to come here that is when we make our biggest gains.”
Klingshirn says it takes a lot to prepare for the festival.
“We've done extra bottling, upwards of another additional 100 cases,” he said. “Getting new posters, new price list, making everything look fresh and clean.”
But with the celebration of history at its core, the Vintage Ohio Wine Festival serves as a platform for the next generation of winemakers.
“Six of the 18 wineries are first timers here and another five or six have just come one or two years," Winchill said. "So, Vintage is an opportunity, sort of a journey of discovery of what is new and coming in the future for the Ohio industry.”
Gates open from noon to 9 p.m. on August 5 and 6. Tickets are $40 at the gate. Tickets come with a wine glass and a tasting booklet.