The third annual Nine Lakes Wine Festival has been scheduled for May 31-June 1 in Melton Lake Park in Oak Ridge. The festival celebrates Tennessee wines and ciders that are 100 percent locally made. Plus, the festival is home to the Southâ€™s only human-powered wine barrel race, benefitting 24 local charities, a press release said.
The Grand Tasting is Saturday, June 1, from 3 to 8 p.m., on the waterfront at Melton Lake Park, featuring 17 wineries sampling more than 100 Tennessee wines and ciders. Festival-goers can receive a complimentary tasting glass and a six-compartment wine tote, the press release said. They may purchase bottles of wine directly from the winemakers, and enjoy shopping with local artisans at the festival as well.
From 4 to 7 p.m., festival participants are invited to join in the Barrels of Fun Charity Race, in which pairs of rollers can earn cash for their chosen charity. “Winning teams will receive a bottle of Tennessee wine!” the press release said.
â€œWhile the southern U.S. has many horse barrel races, of course, this is the only one with humans rolling them, as far as we know, like they do in Italy,â€ said festival organizer Rebecca Williams. â€œDonâ€™t miss this fun opportunity to raise money for your favorite charity in East Tennessee.â€
Live music will be featured in the parkâ€™s pavilion throughout the day by Wild Blue Yonder, Josh Cottrell, and Carolina Story.
Food vendors Penne For Your Thoughts, Brick Oven Bus, Cruisinâ€™ Cuisin, and Burchfieldâ€™s Restaurant will be on hand to serve dinner. Shaded seating is available, but you may bring lawn chairs as well and enjoy the evening beside Melton Lake, the press release said.
A commemorative T-shirt has been designed by Knoxville artist Mark Gillerand of the The Depot Printhouse. He will be printing them on site with water-based inks, the press release said.
The festival also offers the VIP Taste of Gold event on Friday, May 31, featuring only gold medal and reserve wines, paired with a gourmet small plate dinner that is included. The David Slack Trio will provide light jazz entertainment for the event.
Tickets for both events are sale now at www.NineLakesWineFestival.com.
Complete rules for the barrel race are also on the website.
Nine Lakes Wine Festival is just 30 minutes from downtown Knoxville, and its name reflects the nine Tennessee Valley Authority-made lakes in the greater Knoxville region.
â€œThe Nine Lakes region of Tennessee is home to some of the best vineyards in the state of Tennessee,â€ said James R. Riddle, president of the Appalachian Region Wine Producers Association, which produces the festival. â€œBecause of this festival and other events during the year, Nine Lakes Wine Country has seen tremendous growth, and in fact there are four new wineries getting ready to open soon in the region.â€
The 2019 Nine Lakes Wine Festival is presented by Celebrate Oak Ridge, a nonprofit organization bringing events to the City of Oak Ridge, including Secret City Festival. Explore Oak Ridge, the visitorsâ€™ bureau of the city, is promoting a â€œfestival seasonâ€ in June with events and festivals each weekend. For more information, visit www.ExploreOakRidge.org.
The Appalachian Region Wine Producers Association emphasizes wine quality and cooperative tourism, and promotes three wine trails in the region: Great Valley Wine Trail, Foothills Wine & Cider Trail, and Rocky Top Wine Trail.
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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