Festival goers sample offerings at the Maryland Wine Festival… (Baltimore Sun File Photo…)
The combination of wine, food, music, crafts and vendors will flow across the landscape of the Carroll County Farm Museum on Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 15-16, for the 29th annual Maryland Wine Festival.
The festival is always a popular event for grape lovers, but it also celebrates the wine industry in the state — this year, some 37 different wineries will be represented.
Several winery or vineyard operations either in Carroll County, or immediately close by, will be represented, including Cygnus Wine Cellars in Manchester; Galloping Goose in Hampstead; Serpent Ridge Vineyards in Westminster; Detour Winery near Keymar; and Elk Run Vineyards and Linganore Winecellars in Mount Airy.
Organizers note that today, more than 450 different varieties of wines are produced in Maryland, with some 1.744 million bottles sold in 2011.
The farm museum is located at 500 S. Center St., Westminster, and hours for the festival are Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sunday, noon to 6 p.m.
Visitors to the festival can sample a variety of wines from the wineries represented, as well as partake of food offerings.
During both days, more then 80 craft vendors and 35 food vendors will be on hand, and there will be Scheduled musical groups performing on stage. The following is the entertainment schedule:
Saturday, Sept. 15
11 a.m.-12:45 p.m. — Hard Swimmin' Fish
1-2:45 p.m. — Uncle Jack Band
3-4:45 p.m. — Crawdaddies
5-6 p.m. — Bourbon Street Ramblers
Sunday, Sept. 16
Noon-12:45 p.m. — Eric Byrd Trio
1-2:45 p.m. — David Bach
3-4:45 p.m. — Big Cam & the Lifters
5-6 p.m. — Bourbon Street Ramblers
There will be wine education seminars led by the Maryland Grape Growers Association and the American Wine Society. Also provided during the Festival are winemaking demonstrations. Four seminars are scheduled each day, every hour on the hour, from noon to 3 p.m. on Saturday, and 1 to 4 p.m. on Sunday.
Other activities include the Amateur Wine Judging, held on Sunday at 1 p.m. Pre-registered entries will receive a certificate of participation, along with a copy of the judges' rating form. Wines can be made from grapes and other fruits or non-fruits. Judges are all members of the American Wine Society. For details on entering a wine to be judged, go to http://www.marylandwinefestival.org/awsamateur.shtml.
Demonstrations will include sessions on making wine bottle stoppers, making wine jelly and painting grape borders and motifs, as well as demonstrations by the Carroll Carvers woodworking group.
Admission is $27 in advance, $30 at the gate for adults; $20 for designated drivers and children ages 13-20. Children 12 and under are free.
The Maryland Wine Festival Premier Tent Pass allows visitors to come and go throughout the day, and includes private sampling of premium wines, a Riedel wine glass, samples of food provided by local restaurants and a 2012 Maryland Wine Artist Series Poster (this year created by Natalie Clapp of Frederick). The premier ticket is $62 in advance, or $65 at the gate (if available). A total of 300 tickets are available per day.
New for 2012 will be the Wine Down 5K Run on Sunday, Sept. 16, beginning at 7 a.m. at the Robert Moton Center. For details and advance registration, go to http://www.endurancemaryland.com.
For general information, go to http://www.marylandwinefestival.org; or contact the Carroll County Farm Museum at 410 386-3880 or 1-800-654-4645, or http://www.carrollcountyfarmmuseum.org.