Kutztown will turn its 200-300 blocks of Main Street over to the 2014 Taste of Kutztown Wine Tasting Festival Saturday, June 7. The event will feature 21 wine, mead and beer purveyors from the Lehigh, Berks, Mason-Dixon, Bucks and Susquehanna Heartland Wine Trails. A hand-picked selection of unique wine themed food and craft specialties will pair with local participating merchants and eateries tempting the palate at the festival. Live music all day will be provided by Acoustic Road Show.
Known as the heart of Pennsylvania Dutch culture and farmland, Kutztown is home to the Kutztown Folk Festival. The Taste of Kutztown wine festival now takes its place alongside the Folk Festival, the Lyons Fiddle Festival and the Bowers Chili Pepper Festival, making northern Berks County a regional hotspot.
The region is known for its fertile, shale-rich soil creating a wonderful terroir for an expanding PA viticulture industry. Many PA wineries are winning awards in regional and national competitions. Lehigh Valley wines have been showcased in the Philly.com article, “A luscious tour of Lehigh Valley wine.”
A new feature for the 2014 event is to recognize the educational aspect of this unique grape growing region. Wine consultant and educator, Steven Giles will conduct a seminar on the fine, dry wines of Pennsylvania. The seminar will begin with a brief talk detailing the Pennsylvania wine industry’s past, present and future. A special tasting of five of the state’s best “dry” wines is followed with a “Q&A” session involving a panel of winery owners, winemakers and Mr. Giles.
“The Pennsylvania producers of high-quality, fine dry wines are on the cusp of something big,” says Giles. “I believe that in the next five to 10 years, these wines will be talked about in the same breath as those from the Finger Lakes region of New York, Virginia and other outstanding East Coast producers.”
Mr. Giles has had a passion for wine and food for more than 30 years. His involvement in the wine industry has provided him with opportunities to travel extensively throughout the world of wine to Italy, California and New Zealand.
The Kutztown Rotary Club sponsors the Taste of Kutztown fundraiser. 2013 proceeds were proudly donated to www.ihartharvest.org, which provided more than 200,000 pounds of potatoes through the Greater Berks Food Bank to more than 8,000 local households. Kutztown Rotary has been named as the largest donor to the 2014 international Rotary “Dream Team” dam building project in India. The dam building project supports the India agriculture efforts to supply three times the amount of water for food production for that immediate area.
Buy tickets at www.tasteofkutztown.org or at Kelchner Cleaners, Dunkleberger’s Jewelry, and Firefly Bookstore in Kutztown.