Wine festival in Millvale gains popularity
By Bethany Hofstetter
Published: Wednesday, Sept. 25, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
Friends and couples are invited to enjoy food, live jazz music and a glass of wine along the river during the borough of Millvale's annual Harvest Moon Wine Festival this weekend.
“We really feel it's a unique event,” said Eddie Figas, the borough's community and economic development director. “It's something a bit different from the other types of events we do have. … It's really a relaxing night.”
While smaller than the longer-running Brewfest in Millvale, the wine fest is growing in popularity and now is in its fourth year.
This year's wine festival will be held from 5 to 8 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 28, and will feature wine tasting from six wineries and appetizers for participants. Local vendors will have items for sale, and the band Smooth Jazz will provide live music during the event.
Tim Gaber, owner and winemaker at Pittsburgh Winery in the city's Strip District, said he enjoyed participating in Millvale's wine festival in the past and will return to the festival this year with five varieties of wine.
“For us we get to see people we wouldn't normally see or (who) didn't know we existed yet,” Gaber said. “And (it) gives people the opportunity to try (several) different wineries all in one shot and realize what they like.”
Sharon Klay, president and winemaker of Christian W. Klay Winery in Chalk Hill, Fayette County, will bring four of the winery's most popular wines to the event, which she tries to participate in every year.
“I know that area and like that area, and we like that it is a community-spirited event,” said Klay, who is formerly of Fox Chapel. “We belong to Buy Local, so I try to participate in community events that support community businesses and local agriculture. … So when someone gets a community event going I like to support it.”
Last year, the Harvest Moon Wine Festival attracted close to 400 participants, but, Figas said, he expects that number to be closer to 500 this year.
All of the money raised will support children's programs and activities in the borough through the nonprofit organization Millvale Borough Development Corp. The organization is responsible for offsetting the cost of activities such as children's events during Millvale Days, the Halloween parade, lighting for Christmas and the children's Harvest Party that will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, Sept. 27, at Riverfront Park.
“We're also investing in some buildings in the community, as well, something we started this year,” Figas said.
In addition to helping the borough, Figas said, the wine festival is special in that in addition to the wine tasting, festival-goers also have the option to purchase bottles of wine at the event to take home or consume on site.
“If they find a wine they like, they can buy a bottle of wine with friends and pop the cork and enjoy a glass with friends while overlooking the river,” Figas said.
Bethany Hofstetter is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-772-6364 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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