A new summer wine festival is popping its cork!
The inaugural Muskegon Summer Wine Up has something for everyone, from wines local to Michigan, to bottles from across the globe, to contests and seminars.
Gather your best crew and get sippin'.
Taking place at Muskegon's Hackley Park on Saturday, June 8, from 2 p.m. – 8 p.m., the Muskegon Summer Wine Up offers up a chance to sample wines from all over the world, in every price range. Rich Berry, Director of Sales for Cumulus Radio – Muskegon, notes the wineries were chosen based on quality, affordability and diversity, with the help of Alliance Beverage Distributing Company.
"I think everyone will be impressed by the variety of these wineries that will be participating," said Berry. "This really is an impressive list and all of these wineries really wanted to come. They understood our vision and want us to be successful."
- Parducci Cellars
- St. Julian Winery
- Chateau Grand Traverse Winery
- Leelanau Winery
- Lemon Creek Winery
- Copa di Vino
- Jackson Family Wines
- Babich Wines
- Bronco Family Wines
- Woodbridge & Robert Mondavi Wines
Participating wineries will have a variety of wines on hand for sampling and festival patrons will be able to elevate their wine knowledge by participating in several seminars, which will run approximately 20 minutes each. Additionally, guests can take part in a Mystery Wine Contest, where they'll blindly sample two wines to try to discern which is the more expensive option. Prizes abound for those who guess correctly!
The History of St. Julian Wine | 2:30 p.m. and 4:45 p.m.
Presented by Vince Meconi, a fourth-generation member of the St. Julian Wine Family. Meconi will discuss how this famous winery was started by his great-grandfather Mariano Meconi in Canada during Prohibition. He ultimately moved to Detroit and then to Paw Paw to build the winery that it is today. Samples of St. Julian Wine will be served as part of the presentation.
The Amazing Story of Ed O'Keefe Junior | 3:15 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.
Presented by Statewide Ambassador of Chateau Grand Traverse Rhonda Riebow. Like many mavericks in the wine industry, Ed O'Keefe Jr. did a number of things before starting Chateau Grand Traverse. He was an Olympic Gymnast, Army Green Beret Special Forces Paratrooper, NYC Undercover Narcotics Agent with the U.S. Treasury, and other experiences—including a passion for wine, of course—led him to start a winery in 1974 where none had ever existed. Samples of Chateau Grand Traverse wine will be served as part of the presentation.
How to Read a Wine Label | 4:00 p.m. and 6:15 p.m.
Presented by David Belean, Chief Executive Officer of Babich Wines of New Zeeland. Wine labels have a lot of information on them—some of which is critical to understanding what's inside the bottle and some information that's just "blowing smoke." Belean gives a guide to help you know what matters, how to spot a bargain and what to ignore. Samples of Babich Wines will be part of the presentation.
"Our goal is to have a premiere wine festival to celebrate the unofficial start of summer," said Berry, adding that there aren't really any other summer wine festivals matching the projected size of the Muskegon Summer Wine Up.
"We also believe that we can grow the Muskegon Summer Wine Up into a premier event in Michigan. We'd like to ultimately be the biggest, best and most fun wine festival in Michigan, within a couple of years."
Attendees will have the opportunity to taste more than 100 wines in 1.5-ounce sample sizes. Admission is $15 and includes a stemless souvenir wine glass and four wine sample tickets. For more information, visit Muskegon Summer Wine Up.
Written by Sarah Suydam, Staff Writer for West Michigan Woman.