The second annual Nine Lakes Wine Festival is this week with three days of events celebrating the best in Tennessee wines in Oak Ridge and West Knoxville.
The festival is scheduled from Thursday, May 17, to Saturday, May 19.
The main event is the Grand Tasting from 3 to 8 p.m. Saturday, May 19, on the waterfront at Melton Lake Park in Oak Ridge. This event features more than 15 Tennessee wineries pouring more than 100 locally made wines and ciders, with live music, chef demonstrations by The Savory Whisk, and wine seminars by a variety of Tennessee wine experts, a press release said.
Music will be provided by the Nashville band Arts Fishing Club and two East Tennessee bands, Wild Blue Yonder and KUDZU.
Two other smaller events are offered earlier in the week:
- Chef’s Table Wine Dinner, Thursday, May 17, 6 to 9 p.m. This limited seating dinner is hosted by The Cutting Edge Classroom in West Knoxville. Chat with Chef John Alunni, and winemakers Nicole Riddle and Michael Coombs, as they serve a gourmet dinner paired with three wines from The Winery at Seven Springs Farm.
- VIP Taste of Gold, Friday, May 18, 6 to 8:30 p.m., Melton Lake Park, Oak Ridge. Featuring only the best in Tennessee wines, this all-inclusive evening features gold-medal red, white and sparkling wines with gourmet small plate cuisine. During the evening, the inaugural 2017 Eastern Division Governor’s Cup will be presented, honoring the top wine in East Tennessee. This all-inclusive evening will be held outdoors under a large tent on the shores of beautiful Melton Lake Park.
Tickets for all events are on sale now at www.NineLakesWineFestival.com.
The festival is just 30 minutes from downtown Knoxville, and bears the name “Nine Lakes” from the nine Tennessee Valley Authority-made lakes in the greater Knoxville region.
Nine Lakes Wine Festival is presented by Celebrate Oak Ridge, a nonprofit organization bringing events to the city, including Secret City Festival June 8-9. Nine Lakes Wine Festival is produced by the Appalachian Region Wine Producers, which emphasizes quality and wine tourism, the press release said.
“We encourage our wineries to enter into competitions regularly, to participate in quality initiatives, and to work cooperatively on wine trails for the benefit of the Tennessee wine industry,” explained James R. Riddle, president of the Appalachian Region Wine Producers.
“When we set high standards, we all rise together,” Riddle said. “At Nine Lakes Wine Festival, we want to show off the hard work our talented winemakers are doing in the state, and expose more people to award-winning Tennessee wines. The VIP Taste of Gold event will feature both Tennessee’s top wine made from 100 percent Tennessee grapes, and the Eastern Division Governor’s Cup wine.”
Boutique Tennessee wines made with Tennessee fruit are not found in area grocery stores or restaurants because of the cost of distributing them.
“The wines featured at Nine Lakes Wine Festival are only available at the individual wineries, or at a wine festival,” Riddle said.
“Nine Lakes Wine Festival is an opportunity for the public to taste award-winning Tennessee wines and talk to the winemakers,” he said. “Very often we find that people have never tried a Tennessee wine. When they do, they are often amazed at how that wine compares with the best they’ve ever had.”
Participating wineries are members of four Tennessee Wine Trails: Great Valley Wine Trail north of Knoxville, Rocky Top Wine Trail in Sevier County, Foothills Wine & Cider Trail, stretching from Sweetwater to the Great Smoky Mountains, and The Upper Cumberland Wine Trail, in upper Middle Tennessee.
In addition to Celebrate Oak Ridge, other major sponsors of Nine Lakes Wine Festival include Slamdot, the Appalachian Region Wine Producers, and ZiOlive of Gatlinburg/Pigeon Forge
Free parking is available at Nine Lakes Wine Festival. For more information, visit www.NineLakesWineFestival.com.
More information will be added as it becomes available.
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