Last year, it was a new name.
This year, it’s a new venue.
Just as a wine’s vintage evolves based on the environment, so too does the Orange County Chamber of Commerce’s annual wine festival.
“Orange Uncorked” debuts this year across from The Market at Grelen in Somerset, and the location isn’t the only thing new.
Orange County Chamber Director Tammy Collins was excited about new wineries, artisans, bands and food trucks that will complement familiar favorites at this year’s event May 4—5.
“We still have all the things people love about our wine festival, but we have some exciting new additions this year,” she said.
Magnolia Vineyards and Well Hung Vineyards are scheduled to attend, along with familiar local favorites, including Barboursville, Horton and Prince Michel. More than a dozen area wineries and cideries are scheduled to attend.
In between tastings, visitors to the festival will find a slate of local and regional artisans and craftspeople offering demonstrations and their handiwork for sale.
Collins highlighted Platinum Star Forge and the work of blacksmith Taylor Rood. She said the Locust Dale craftsman will demonstrate his blending both the “old world” of using a forge and hammer alongside the “new world” of modern tools.
She also mentioned Burly Man Wood Specialties—which creates cutting boards, butcher blocks and turned wood items like pens, calls, keychains and ornaments.
“We are looking forward to these new artists,” Collins said. “One of our priorities was getting more of these talented artisans and their works at the festival.”
Visitors to this year’s event also will notice a new musical lineup that’s more robust than past years.
Local talent Kenzie Kincaid will perform pop and country covers Saturday, followed by 80s music tribute band The Wavos, which performed at last fall’s street festival. The afternoon’s music concludes with The Unsuitables.
Sunday, Midlife Crisis brings its classic rock to the stage, followed by Elvis tribute artist Stewart Chapman and capped off again by The Unsuitables.
“We’ve really tried to ramp up the music this year,” Collins said. “These performers are all great. It really should be a lot of fun. We’ve been saying ‘come for the wine, stay for the music.’”
Other additions include a couple of new food vendors—Good Waffles and Co. (chicken and waffles) and Glory Dogs (gourmet hot dogs), the Kiwanis Club offering face painting for children and the Orange County Humane Society on site with animals available for adoption. Collins also noted that for the first time, this year’s festival will permit “friendly” pets.
Another change this year is those who pre-purchase tickets will receive an Orange Uncorked wine bag, Collins added.
“Things are shaping up nicely. We’ve got great wineries and vendors and a great new venue,” she said. “We’re just praying now for good weather.”
The Orange Uncorked wine festival will be held Saturday, May 4, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday, May 5, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Advance tickets are $20.
For more information, visit the event’s website at www.orangevachamber.com/pages/MontpelierWineFestival.