Ocean City Today

Maryland wineries showcased during Ocean City festival

By Kara Hallissey | Sep 28, 2017
Linda Tabach pours a strawberry blend from Olney Winery in Maryland during the 2016 festival. This year’s event will take place today and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. in the inlet lot.

(Sept. 29, 2017) Thirteen Maryland wineries will provide an assortment of samples for wine aficionados in the Ocean City inlet parking lot during the 23rd annual Wine on the Beach Festival, held today and Saturday, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

“Maryland wines have grown exponentially in quality and variety over the years and we are able to offer the same quality experience to our guests, while promoting this industry that contributes so much to Maryland agriculture and tourism,” said Christina Nokes, event coordinator.

Solomons Island, St. Michaels, Layton’s Chance, Far Eastern Shore, Knob Hall and Bordeleau are some of the Maryland wineries scheduled to attend the fall festival along with a few craft breweries including Fat Tire, Evolution and Bold Rock Hard Cider.

“The entire Maryland wine industry sells maybe 3 percent of all of the wine consumed in Maryland, so festivals like these are an important part of our marketing and promotion activity,” said Tien-Seng Chiu, co-owner of Far Eastern Shore Winery. “We had heard from a number of our customers about Winefest and we finally grew enough for us to attend in 2011 and eagerly anticipate this event every year.”

Because of a change in state liquor laws, it was difficult for organizers to include out-of-state wineries this year.

“However, we are proud to have an all-Maryland event,” Nokes said. “It affords us the opportunity to showcase the tremendous growth in the state industry since our first wine festival many years ago. (When there were only 13 wineries in the entire state).”

Knob Hall Winery, located in Clear Spring, has attended Wine on the Beach for at least six years.

“When the weather is good, wine festivals in OC are a lot of fun [and] usually end up in water balloon battles,” said Richard Seibert, managing partner of Knob Hall. “Our oldest daughter lives in OC so it is always good to come and visit with her. We will have our Prestige (a 92-point wine), N39, Vidal Blanc (goes great with seafood), rose, Embrace (off-dry) and Jealous Mistress.”

Bordeleau Vineyards and Winery, out of Eden, will have mostly red and white dry wines for attendees to taste at the event.

“This is our third year,” said Lisa Shelton, general manager of Bordeleau. “[The event is a] great way to introduce our wines to more people [and a] great way to check out different wineries in one location.”

Far Eastern Shore Winery, located in Easton, specializes in wine and fruit pairings such as Dragonfly, which features raspberries in a white Shiraz, Autumn, a white cranberry Pinot Gris, and Swan’s Dream, a chocolate-raspberry dessert wine.

“Each of our wines are a different wine/fruit combination, and we’re bringing our entire line-up,” Chiu said. “Here’s a chance for a lot of customers to come out and try our wines without having to buy an entire bottle.”

Bird Dog & the Road Kings will perform each day from 4-7 p.m. Kevin O’Brennan and Shoreline kicks off the live musical entertainment at the festival today, Friday, from 12:30-3:30 p.m. and 3 Penny Opera will rock out on Saturday, from 12:30-3:30 p.m.

There will be more than 30 arts and crafts, apparel and food vendors at the event.

“Local music with our stage in the sand and the ocean backdrop along with Maryland wine…This event is special because it is homegrown by Marylanders, in an iconic Maryland resort, for everyone to enjoy,” Nokes said.

The cost to attend is $35 with a valid ID, which includes one-day admission, a commemorative wine glass and samples from various wineries.

“This is an Ocean City fall tradition not to be missed,” Nokes said. “Show your Maryland pride and learn more about what the state has to offer.”

Attendees also have the option to purchase wine by the glass, bottle or a case to drink at the event or to take home with them.

In addition, festivalgoers can purchase a wine glass lavalier, which hangs around the neck and allows for a hands-free experience while strolling from booth to booth.

Pretzelphoria, LulaRoe, Save The Coconuts, Crabby Spice, A Reason to Wine and Señor Cigars are a few of the vendors that will be at the wine festival.

Around 8,000 people visit the event annually to enjoy wine and Ocean City during a time of year when it is less crowded and the weather is still warm, Nokes said.

“It’s the opportunity to learn about the variety of wines you can serve with Maryland pride and enjoy sampling them in the process,” Nokes said. “Paired with Delmarva cuisine, there’s nothing better. It is an Ocean City early fall tradition. Great fun for friends and family outings.”

For a full list of vendors, wineries, breweries and a discount coupon, visit www.winefest.com. Call 410-280-3306 for more information.

“Winefest has been plagued by lousy weather these past two years and we’re looking forward to this year’s hurricane-free event,” Chiu said.

Guests younger than 21 must be accompanied by an adult. Children ages 13-20 get in for $15. Youth 12 and under are admitted free.

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