Wine Fest expected to draw thousands to county

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 CLERMONT - They’re off and tasting!

The Kentucky Wine Association presents its first annual Derby Eve Wine Fest at the Bullitt County Fairgrounds.

Association president Eddie ODaniel said the new event was planned following the success of an initial wine festival event last October, with almost 2,000 patrons.

“If its a beautiful day, we’re expecting three to five thousand,” he said. “It’s something to do on Oaks Day. We’ll kind of provide another Derby party.”

The event will feature at least 16 state wineries, including all Bullitt and Nelson County businesses.

“These places are all across the state,” ODaniel said. “We think this is going to be a regular Derby event. Many of these wineries are a part of the Kentucky Wine Trail, that’s becoming popular.”

Among the special guests at Derby Eve Wine Fest is Lindsey Haukom, Mrs. Kentucky 2013.

Three local musicians will performing live, including Shane Dawson, Jonathan Rideout and Thomas Wietecha. Regional artists will displaying their works, and festival food vendors will be available.

“Lots of food, lots of music, and lots of wine,” ODaniel said.

A big-screen television will show Oaks Day races from Churchill Downs throughout the afternoon.

For a $15 admission price, patrons receive a souvenir festival glass and 10 tasting tickets for the wineries and brands of their choice.

ODaniel said wineries will also sell their products by the glass or the bottle.

The Kentucky WIne Association comprises about 80 percent of the state’s wineries. ODaniel said all four Bullitt County wineries were members, as well as his own location, Springhill Winery in Bardstown.

The inaugural Derby Eve Wine Fest takes place Friday, May 3, 2-10 p.m. at the Bullitt County Fairgrounds on Highway 245 at Interstate 65. For more information visit www.bestkywineries.com or visit the Kentucky Wine Association Facebook page.