If you love wine, you might want to mark the calendar for June 24 and book an Airbnb in Door County.
With more than 300 miles of coastline, the Door County peninsula offers plenty of gorgeous vistas and opportunities to enjoy the waters of Lake Michigan or Green Bay, as well as the countryside in between.
But, what many don’t realize is that this Midwestern getaway also boasts an impressive Door County Wine Trail featuring eight unique wineries that produce a remarkably diverse selection of wines. And while the region has been traditionally known for its fruit-based wines, an increasing number of wineries are now working with cold-climate grapes like Maréchal Foch, Marquette, Vidal, Seyval and Frontenac.
The up-and-coming region was recently cited by CNN as one of the world's most undiscovered wine regions, and it's part of a swiftly expanding industry in the state of Wisconsin, which has seen growth from 13 licensed wineries in 2000 to 140 in 2017.
Wine tours are a popular attraction in Door County, but there might not be a better time to sample the range of wines available than at the Door County Wine Fest, a one-day event made possible by a partnership between the Door County Wine Trail and the Egg Harbor Business Association.
In its second year, the wine festival takes place Saturday, June 24 between 1 and 5 p.m. in Egg Harbor. And it includes plenty of wine samples and delicious accompaniments, along with live entertainment, free demonstrations and seminars, and free shuttles to and from the event.
During this year’s fest, Harbor View Park will host live entertainment by musicians including WAMI Award-winner Robin Pluer and Friends as well as the blues rock One 2 Many Band. Wine will be available for purchase at the park, both by the glass and bottle.
The 2016 festival saw upwards of 3,200 attendees – from millennials to baby boomers – during its inaugural year, including guests from over 22 states. And organizers expect similar numbers in 2017.
"This event not only showcases the wineries we have in this region, but it’s also a good excuse to throw a great party," notes Jeff Larson, President of the Egg Harbor Business Association and event planner for Wine Fest. "The nice thing about Door County is that even with so many people visiting, it’s easy to get around. And the scenery is so beautiful. It’s just the best place to get away from it all."
Tickets, which are just $40 in advance or $45 at the event (a notable steal), include a commemorative glass and unlimited tastings, live entertainment, free trolley service and admission to various demonstrations and seminars. Ticket-holders must be at least 21.
For more information, including details on pre- and post-fest events in the area, visit doorcountywinefest.com.
Lori is an avid cook whose accrual of condiments and spices is rivaled only by her cookbook collection. Her passion for the culinary industry was birthed while balancing A&W root beer mugs as a teenage carhop, fed by insatiable curiosity and fueled by the people whose stories entwine with each and every dish. She’s had the privilege of chronicling these tales via numerous media, including OnMilwaukee and in her book “Milwaukee Food.” Her work has garnered journalism awards from entities including the Milwaukee Press Club.
When she’s not eating, photographing food, writing or recording the FoodCrush podcast, you’ll find Lori seeking out adventures with her husband Paul, traveling, cooking, reading, learning, snuggling with her cats and looking for ways to make a difference.