Raise a Glass to Wine Fest

There are festivals in Door County that celebrate the natural beauty of the land, the history of the county, the ethnic background of the people who made that history, and the changing of each season. There is even a festival for the roofing of the goats and a parade specifically for Scottish terriers. But by far, the most important festival happens on Saturday, June 24: Wine Fest. (I may have a slight bias toward anything pertaining to crushed, fermented, aged and bottled grapes.)

The festival held at Maxwelton Braes in Baileys Harbor raises the bar – or, rather, the glass – by offering unlimited tastings of the wines made here on the peninsula. 

The essence of Wine Fest is a celebration of the winemakers from the nine wineries that make up the Door County Wine Trail. These extraordinarily talented artisan producers turn local and imported grapes, and sometimes other local fruits, into varietals and blends that can satisfy both the sophisticated and the slightly silly palates of locals and visitors. 

There will be both sweet and dry cherry wines – which have played a significant role in the peninsula’s winemaking history – but it would be a serious mistake to associate the wines of Door County only with sweet and fruity varieties. 

Door County winemakers produce beautiful and lush Cabernet Sauvignons, Chardonnays, Zinfandels, Merlots and other traditional wines from grapes brought to the county from California and Washington. Crisp and aromatic wines are also created from local grapes and will put the tastes of Door County on the tongues of attendees. Wine Fest presents a tremendous opportunity to become immersed in an industry that is quickly making its way into the culture of Door County.

The Wine Trail continues to grow, and it’s added its ninth winery: Anchored Roots Winery in Egg Harbor. Anchored Roots will be making its first appearance at Wine Fest and will introduce its new releases: Frontenac Gris, Petite Pearl Rosé and Frontenac, in addition to a selection of its Washington State wines.

As if the exceptional wines were not enough, this excellent introduction to the Door County wine scene will also offer live music, food and free shuttles to take participants to and from Maxwelton Braes throughout the day.

Wine Fest is a great event for both the seasoned, sophisticated wine aficionado, as well as the less serious or novice appreciator of the fermented grape. On June 24, enjoy and celebrate the fruits of outstanding winemakers’ labors.