EPIC Wineries vintage wine tasting comes to Vivace


By Jonathan Martin


Hundreds have turned out for the 24th annual Essex Pelee Island Coast (EPIC) Wineries vintage wine tasting.

The event brought wineries from across the region together so that wine-lovers could sample a melange of tastes all in one location.

Eventgoers sipped on a selection of vintages from many wineries in the area, listened to music and munched on cheeses, chocolates, sushi, ribs, sliders, tacos and more.

This year, the vintage tasting was held at Vivace Estate Winery, a new addition to the region’s roster of wine producers and to EPIC’s membership list.

Vivace owner Jean Qian said she was excited to play hostess.

“(Organizing the event has been) a lot of work,” she said.  “I am grateful for all the help from family and friends and for the opportunity to be a part of this wonderful region.”

Jean Qian and Vivace Estate Winery hosted a vintage winte tasting.

Qian said EPIC has been “very helpful” during Vivace’s infancy.  The winery is just over a year old and is Qian’s first foray into the industry.  Before taking on winemaking, Qian developed motorcycle apparel in China.  This is Vivace’s first time hosting an event of this scale.

Michael O’Brien is the secretary of EPIC.  He said the tasting is an important part of Essex County’s so-called “wine country.”

“(We organize the vintage tasting) to promote ourselves,” he said.  “I think there are a lot of people out in the area who aren’t familiar with wine country out in Essex County and this is a great opportunity to interact with them and build relationships.”

O’Brien, who has worked in the industry for around a decade, said the day’s turnout was roughly on par with previous years.  This is the first time he has helped organize the event, though.  He was voted onto EPIC’s board around six months ago.

EPIC is a partnership between local wineries, growers and other stakeholders that acts as a platform for collective marketing and a united voice between those working in the wine industry.

“This is a great collective,” Qian said.  “A great collective in a great area.”

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