FORESTVILLE Tickets are selling out fast as the date quickly approaches for one of Chautauqua County's biggest summertime events, the America's Grape Country Wine Festival. The event boasts being the largest statewide wine festival in the Western New York area and has become a highly anticipated annual gathering for wine lovers throughout the region.
This year's festival will be held on Aug. 13 from noon to 7 p.m. and Aug. 14 from noon to 5 p.m. at the Chautauqua County Fairgrounds in Dunkirk. The headline concert featuring area native Sean Patrick McGraw and Billboard Top 100 and Atlantic recording artist Uncle Kracker will take place at 7 p.m. on Aug. 14 with grandstand gates opening for seating at 6 p.m. to concert ticket holders.
This is the fourth year for the event, which has seen growth in both size and attendance annually. The event doubles as a wine festival and farmers market, featuring area crafters and vendors. This year, 27 wineries from across New York will participate in the event, each helping to represent what the various wine trails throughout the state have to offer. Each winery will offer wine tastings and sales by the bottle in an effort to provide attendees with a spectacular chance to taste something new and different, and possibly adopt a new favorite wine.
For those looking to take something more away from the festival, free educational seminars are scheduled for both days inviting those who may like to learn something more about wine pairing possibilities. Cheryl Pitti, a Wine Instructor from the New York Wine and Culinary Center, will present two seminars, a Wine and Food Pairing from 1 to 2 p.m. and a Wine and Cheese Pairing from 3 to 4 p.m. both days of the event. For those who love to entertain or just want to know what wine to pair with what course, these classes will instill a world of knowledge in a short amount of time.
While wine tasting is undoubtedly the main attraction at the festival, for many attendees the live music presented throughout the weekend is quite a highlight in itself. This year, the Arthur R. Maytum Family Theater will present live music from Lazy Susan on Saturday from 3:30 to 7 p.m. and Side Effect on Sunday from 1 to 6 p.m.
New this year to the festival is the addition of a headline concert, taking place in the grandstands on Sunday after the wineries are done sampling for the weekend. Hometown celebrity McGraw will open the concert. The local country crooner landed a spot on the 2009 "America's Toughest Tour," opening for Toby Keith and Trace Adkins, and is climbing in popularity in the country music world.
Headlining the concert is Billboard Top 100 and Atlantic recording artist Uncle Kracker. With more than 15 years in the limelight of the music industry, Uncle Kracker has earned the respect and adoration of fans spanning multiple musical genres including rock, country, pop and blues. His musical talent and range has created quite the fan base, making him relatable to a wide audience of listeners.
"The America's Grape Country Wine Festival creates an amazing atmosphere both for the wineries and vendors involved, and the attendees," said Jason Merritt, General Manager at Merritt Estate Winery. "Whether you're coming to wine taste, take home tips from a seminar or be a part of one of the biggest concerts to hit this area in a long time, there really is something for everyone to enjoy at this festival."
For more information on the America's Grape Country Wine Festival or to purchase festival and concert tickets, visit www.agcwinefestival.com or call 1-800-965-4834. You can also follow the America's Grape Country Wine Festival on Facebook and Twitter for constant updates.