Popular Wine Festival Flourishes!

July 23, 2010

Just like the miles of vineyards in the Lake Erie Shores & Islands region the always popular Toast of Ohio Wine Heritage Festival, held on Sandusky’s waterfront, is growing! To celebrate the area’s heritage as the largest wine-producing region in the nation prior to Prohibition, the traditionally one-day event is expanding to three days of wine tasting, gourmet food eating and art show shopping fun!

The wine festivities begin Thursday, August 12 with a wine-tasting cruise aboard the Goodtime I, where passengers will enjoy a leisurely sight-seeing cruise on Sandusky Bay and Lake Erie and witness a spectacular sunset. The cruise departs the Jackson Street Pier at 7 pm and returns to port at 9 pm. The cruise is sponsored by Specialty Wines, who will feature their Italian imports. Fantastic wine selections are included in the cost. Tickets for the inaugural Toast of Ohio sunset cruise are just $25 per person and can be purchased at the Lake Erie Shores & Islands Welcome Center. Hors d’ouvres will be provided by Creative Cuisine.

The festivities kick into high gear on Friday, August 13 and Saturday, August 14 at the Sandusky Bay Pavilion (605 East Water Street, Sandusky) with the official Toast of Ohio Wine Heritage Festival, now in its seventh year. This fantastic event features twelve Ohio wineries, gourmet food, live musical entertainment and an artist’s showcase. The festival grounds will be open Friday from 4 – 9 pm and Saturday from noon – 8 pm.

Admission is just $5.00 per person and includes a souvenir Toast of Ohio wine glass and two complimentary wine tastings. Patrons who visit the festival Friday can bring their 2010 glass back to the event on Saturday for free admission. Admission fees benefit the sponsoring museums, the Maritime Museum of Sandusky and Merry-Go-Round Museum.

Tickets will be available to purchase for exchange of wine tastings and food purchases. Wine tasting tickets are four for $3.00 and glass pours will vary by vendor. Food offerings will range from $1.00 – $5.00. Ticket packages – including a combination of food tickets and wine tickets – also will be available for purchase – ranging from $5.00 to $20.00. The $20.00 package includes admission, glass, ten food tickets and ten wine tastings. Wine related merchandise and souvenirs will be sold separately.

A variety of musical entertainment and family fun activities will occur throughout the festival. The Maritime Museum of Sandusky and the Merry-Go-Round Museum, co-sponsors of the festival, will host tours and activities.

The Lake Erie Shores & Islands once featured huge vineyards that spread from east of Sandusky to the western region near the bay because of the lakeshore climate. The Toast of Ohio event was developed to celebrate the area’s winemaking heritage. Today, dozens of wineries still operate in the region. Make a weekend of it with lodging packages available at SHORESandISLANDS.com and tour the area’s wineries.

Other event sponsors include Ohio Grape Industries, Ohio Magazine, Lake Erie Shores & Islands-East Welcome Center and the City of Sandusky.

Tagged: wine, goodtime I, toast of ohio wine festival, Sandusky, lake erie shores & islands