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Finleyville's Trax Farms set to host first 'Winter Wine Festival'

| Thursday, Feb. 14, 2013, 8:55 p.m.
JASMINE GOLDBAND
Trax Farms is shown in this May 27, 2011 file photo. Jasmine Goldband | Tribune-Review)

Fine wines and country music will make for a tasty mix down on the farm.

Trax Farms Market will offer visitors a sampling of wines from five or more area wineries as well as sounds of country classic tunes by a Washington-based band at its annual Winter Wine Festival on Feb. 23.

The noon to 5 p.m. event will take place at the country market at 528 Trax Road in Finleyville.

“We've never done a Winter Wine Festival before,” said Courtney Robinson, advertising manager at Trax. “If it turns out well, it could become an annual event.”

Robinson said a smaller-scale outdoor wine festival last June attracted about 500 wine tasters.

“It was really successful, especially for the first time, and we'll be doing that again this June, but we looked at the calendar for February and there wasn't much going on, so we decided to try a bigger wine festival.”

Robinson said representatives from the wineries will talk about their products, discuss the proper way to drink wines and offer samples.

The Trax Farm website lists Arrowhead Wine Cellars of North East, J & D Cellars of Eighty Four, Glades Pike Winery of Somerset, Greenhouse Winery of North Huntingdon and Ripepi Winery of Monongahela as participating wineries. Robinson said there could be more.

Wine tasters will each receive a complimentary glass for wine tasting. “There will be some foods, raffles and fun stuff to do,” he said.

The four-man Black Horse Band, devoted to delivering the finest classics of country music, will perform starting at 12:30 p.m. The group has performed at fairs and festivals throughout the tri-state area, including the Wheeling Jamboree.

“We had them here for a festival this past fall and the people really liked them,” Robinson said. “They really got a lot of people dancing.”

Robinson said the June wine-sampling event was attended by a “fun mix” of age and demographics, including young couples and groups of friends. “We had one group of women who came in all dressed up” for the afternoon, he said.

Cost for the Winter Wine Festival is $15 in advance and $20 at the door. Tickets can be purchased by calling the farm at 412-835-3246. Visitors must be 21 years of age to attend.

Other Trax events

On March 9, Trax Farms will feature its annual “Taste of Trax,” the last of three monthly events for winter 2013. From 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., visitors can sample homemade items from the pantry, including nut breads, baked goods, fudge and mulled wines.

Specialty vendors will have samples of their goods on site, such as “cinnamon bread and French toast on the grill, said the manager.

Raffles will be drawn during the day. Parking and admission is free for this event.

Two weekends in March are geared for the youngsters. “Breakfast with the Easter Bunny” events will be Saturday and Sunday, March 23 and 24, and Good Friday and Saturday, March 29 and 30.

“This event is very popular,“ Robinson said. “We'll have train rides and a petting zoo, coloring contests, and kids get to meet with the Easter Bunny. “It's a nice day to come to the farm. It's less hectic and more relaxed than maybe a trip to the mall.”

Cost for the breakfast is $8 and $7 for the egg hunt. For more information, visit the Trax Farms website at www.traxfarms.com.

Trax Farm continues its weekend “Winter Flea Markets” on Saturdays and Sundays this month, and March 2 and 3. The indoor flea markets attract more than 80 vendors. The event is open to vendors at 8 a.m. and the general public at 10 a.m. Cost for vendor space is $30 for both days.

Other popular events at the farm are a Strawberry Festival in the spring and a Pumpkin Festival, hayrides and scenic tours in the fall.

Trax Farms was founded in 1865 by Lewis Trax. Six generations of the Trax family have since operated the business, offering fresh fruits, vegetables, plants and homemade foods. Furniture, fountains, deck and patio décor and other items can be found at its gift shop.

Trax Farms is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily through March 15, followed by extended hours.

Colleen Pollock is a freelance writer.

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