On Saturday June 22nd, Trax Farms hosted the Second Annual Summer Wine Festival in Finleyville outside of Pittsburgh. People from all over southwestern Pennsylvania came out to the festival to wine and dine with local wineries and craft makers.
Nine different wineries offered tastings of their products and were very proud to be apart of the event. I talked with Monica Brancato, the tasting room and special event manager from the Glades Pike Winery, who came from Somerset to be a part of the event. Their most popular wine is their Bicentennial Blush and it was surely going fast at the tasting booth! You can check out their other products at www.gladespikewinery.com
I also chatted with Kenn Starr of Starr Hill Winery in Curwensville, Pennsylvania. For eighteen years his family has been producing wine and their specialty is the Shady Lady Zinfandel Blend, their charity wine whose proceeds are donated to the Area Agency on Aging in their area. This year they are making it out to 40 different events, so if you want to see where you can go to check out their popular varieties visit their website at www.StarrHillWinery.com
La Vigneta Winery, another local and family-run winery, was sampling three of their sirahs. What makes this winery special isn’t just that their lead, Chuck Dipiazza had been making wine for over 35 years, but that they import their grapes to Pittsburgh from the state of California and the country of Chile in South America. You can visit their website www.pittsburghwine.co
A list of the other wineries present and their websites are listed below.
Not only were their wine makers present at the festival, but wine accessory makers too! Mitchell Glassworks’ Linda Mitchell was present flaunting her different varieties of items recycled from used wine bottles. She cooks the bottles in a glass kiln at 1400 degrees Fahrenheit and then accessorizes them to be used as cheese plates, wall hangings and much more! Alongside Linda was Jamie Parker. She and Scott Blades specialize in found object sculptures and mix media until the title Skull Soup. The crowd favorite was ‘Carl,’ a spider figurine made from an old gear shifter and a recycled laser CD reader. Both of these artist’s items can be found on Etsy.com.
Another interesting vendor at the event, Salute, which means, “raise your glass,” in Italian, was started by a group of ladies who specialize in hand-painted glassware and wine accessories. Customizable and festival glassware was being displayed and definitely caught the attention of everyone looking for the perfect gift for his or her fellow wine lovers at home. Inquire for their special items can be directed to Taylor or Vali at firstname.lastname@example.org
Harold Betters Quartet provided the live musical entertainment for the event and kept the crowd up best despite the heat and humidity. Trax Farms’ Diane Trax and her friends were having a fabulous time at the festival and love the opportunity to support and promote local Pennsylvania businesses. This year over 540 tickets were presold for the Washington County Wine Festival so be sure to get your tickets next year and see what all the fuss is about!
Other Wineries present at the Trax Farms Second Annual Summer Wine Festival include:
Arrowhead Wine Cellars – North East, PA with a satellite at the Trax Farms Market http://www.arrowheadwine.com/
Oak Spring – Altoona, PA www.oakspringwinery.com
Christian Klay – Chalk Hill, PA www.cwklaywinery.com
Greenhouse Winery – Rilton, PA www.greenhousewinery.com
J & D Wine Cellars – Eighty Four, PA www.jndcellars.com
Kavic – Carnegie, PA www.kavicwinery.net
Royal Welsh Winery – Ligonier, PA www.royalwelshwinery.com
Ripepi Winery – Monongahela, PA www.ripepiwine.com