Monday, July 28, 2008

Toast of Ohio Wine Event Returns to Sandusky

The fifth annual Toast of Ohio will take place in Sandusky on Saturday, August 16 with help from the Ohio Grape Industries Committee. This year’s event will once again be held at the Sandusky Bay Pavilion (605 East Water Street) at Meigs and Water Streets, to allow for an open and comfortable festival atmosphere. In addition, fabulous musical entertainment and family fun activities at local museums will be featured for the Toast of Ohio wine heritage festival, which will take place from 11 am – 8 pm.

There is a $1.00 admission fee for this first-class event, which will feature fifteen Ohio wineries – admission fees will benefit the sponsor museums, Maritime Museum of Sandusky and Merry-Go-Round Museum. $0.50 and $1.00 tickets will be available to purchase for exchange of wine tastings and food purchases. Wine tastings are $0.50 and glasses will vary by vendor but start at $3.00. Food offerings will range from $1.00 - $5.00. Ticket packages will also be available for purchase. Packages will include a combination of food tickets and wine tickets for a set price. There will be packages ranging from $5.00 to $20.00. A $20.00 package includes ten food tickets, twelve wine tastings, and a souvenir wine glass.

Wineries that will be showcased include Sandusky's own Firelands Winery and Hermes Vineyards, as well as Quarry Hill Winery in Berlin Heights, Port Clinton's Mon Ami, Matus Winery of Wakeman, Meier's Wine Cellars of Silverton, Stoney Ridge Winery of Bryan, Chalet Debonne of North Olmsted, It’s Your Winery of Fairlawn, Ferrante Winery of Geneva, Breitenbach Wine Cellars of Dover, Viking Vineyards & Winery of Kent, Raven’s Glenn Winery of West Lafayette, Maize Valley Winery of Hartville and St. Joseph Vineyard of Thompson. Wine related merchandise and souvenirs will also be sold at the festival.

What's quality wine without quality food? Gourmet samples from local restaurants will be available throughout the day, including hot appetizers, fabulous entrees and various delectable desserts.

Lively entertainment will add to the event with featured entertainers the Bare Bones Jazz Quartet from 2 – 6 pm. Theatrical readings from the Harlequins Theatre will add to the entertainment throughout the day. In addition there will be artists exhibiting their work during the festival.

Prior to Prohibition, Sandusky was the largest wine-producing region in the nation. Huge vineyards 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 Sandusky's winemaking heritage.

The Maritime Museum of Sandusky and the Merry-Go-Round Museum, co-sponsors of the festival, will host tours and activities. At the Merry-Go-Round Museum admission will be free and carousel rides will be available for $1.00. At the Maritime Museum, a special $1.00 admission is being offered during the festival. There will also be an Underground Railroad Trolley Tour at 11 am. Reservations for the tour are required and there is a $5.00 fee. The free Sandusky Main Street Trolley will be available from 11 am – 4 pm to transport festival patrons to the Merry-Go-Round Museum and downtown Sandusky.

Please note, all vehicle access to the Meigs Street Pier will not be permitted during the event.

Other event sponsors include Lake Erie Living, Ohio Magazine, Lake Erie Shores & Islands Welcome Center, First Energy Foundation, Sandusky Main Street Association, Buckeye Cable, and Citizens Banking Company.

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