Final preparations being made for 8th annual SOE Wine Festival


By Joel Charron

The Shores of Erie International Wine Festival Committee will be rather busy over the next few days.

The 8th Annual SOE International Wine Festival kicks off this Thursday, Sept. 6 and run until Sunday, Sept 9 at the Fort Malden National Historic Site.

The Thursday night entertainment will set the table of the four-day event.

Justin Nozuka will open for headliner Fitz and the Tantrums. The Thursday night main attraction has performed on a number of U.S. talk shows and has opened for Maroon 5.

Thornetta Davis and Kimmie Horne will be headlining Friday and Saturday nights respectively. Juno Award winners Alex Cuba and Kathleen Edwards will have separate shows Sunday afternoon.

This year will feature a total of 12 wineries and 26 restaurants, which has been the standard amount for the past few festivals.

The Local Vine Pavilion will house the tasting bar, wine talks and seminars and be the base for the “wine walks,” the latter being conducted by Gary Killops. Killops, the president of the Windsor-Essex chapter of the Ontario Wine Society will give a short presentation then take people around the grounds to allow them to sample local wines while being educated on them at the same time.

On Saturday and Sunday afternoon local chefs will be performing culinary demonstrations between 1-5 p.m.

The winemaker’s dinner Friday night will feature an 1812 theme with the meal being the types of food that may have been served in that era.

Local historian Robert Honor team with Janet Willoughby will performing as Robert Reynolds and his sister Catherine Reynolds. Robert Reynolds was the deputy commissary to Fort Malden during the War of 1812 and was responsible for the construction of the Bellevue house while Catherine was an acclaimed artist. Tickets are limited to that dinner.

O’Rourke noted that they added a “wine and wellness” aspect to the festival, which includes cycling tours, tai chi classes, yoga classes and tips from naturopathic doctor Janice Davis.

With the shuttle service working so well last year, O’Rourke said the SOE brought it back, as well as expanding. There will be drop-off points in Crown Ridge subdivision, the “Monopoly” subdivision and in Pointe West and Kingsbridge. New for this year is a shuttle based out of the Zehrs store in LaSalle.

O’Rourke noted there is a new, free mobile app for iPhones and Android phones. O’Rourke said the app keep the public informed of events during the wine fest or how to buy tickets.

Individual tickets for Saturday night are sold out however single day tickets for Thursday, Friday and Sunday are still available. Thursday tickets are $30 in advance and $35 at the gate, Friday tickets are $20 in advance and $25 at the gate and Sunday tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the gate. Limited amounts of weekend passes are available with a four-day pass being $75 and a three-day pass being $50.



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