The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

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August 17, 2013

Festival will celebrate Pa. wine, food

CHAMPION — The call is out for all foodies and wine lovers.

The 21st annual Wine & Food Festival on Saturday and Aug. 25 at Seven Springs Mountain Resort near Champion will be the place to savor a variety of food and sample select Pennsylvania wines.

The festival also delivers eclectic tastings, hands-on cooking demonstrations, seminars and a breathtaking venue.

The festival will feature wines crafted by 30 participating Pennsylvania wineries, gourmet food, daily seminars, live entertainment, and a variety of arts and crafts.

The event traditionally draws thousands of people.

“It’s one of the more highly anticipated and popular events we have during the summer,” said Anna Weltz, communications manager at the resort. “We get calls in late fall and early winter from people inquiring about the summer dates.”

The festival will be held from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day.

Admission is $38 for Saturday and $28 for Aug. 25, but does not include the price of food.

Tickets are $32 for Saturday and $22 for Aug. 25 if ordered by Monday.

“We are celebrating some of Pennsylvania’s finest wines,” Weltz said. “The winery representatives will be on hand to allow visitors to explore their products.”

The number of wineries has increased, but the festival relies on a core group of wineries that have had a continuous presence over the past two decades.

Some of those scheduled to participate are Allegheny Cellars Winery, Flickerwood Wine Cellars, Glades Pike Winery, Long Trout Winery, Presque Isle Wine Cellars, Starr Hill and Winery at Wilcox.

The festival offers people a chance to try a wine before they buy it. Festival guests can sample from hundreds of different tastes, combinations and vintages, as well as purchase their favorites to take home.

“Attendance is determined a lot by the weather,” Weltz said. “Last year, the Saturday of the festival was 80 degrees and we drew over 4,000 people.”

The event’s live entertainment selection includes Unknown String Band, Runaway Dorothy, Drew Bentley, Allegheny Rhythm Rangers, Meredith Holliday and Mark Ferrari Duo.

“We have musicians performing on alternating stages to allow a continuous blend of music throughout the festival,” Weltz said.

Festival guests may attend two daily seminars taught by Seven Springs’ food and beverage director, Brian Annapolen.

The first, “Local Vore, Local Pour” is a wine and cheese pairing session featuring locally made cheeses. Annapolen will lead the group through an in-depth look at how to properly pair wine with different cheeses.

The second seminar, “Cooking with Wine,” focuses on Pennsylvania wines and how to apply those flavor profiles to different types of food and cooking techniques.

“Our culinary team will be offering traditional festival favorites like kielbasa, pulled pork, burgers and hot sausage,” Weltz said. “We will also be presenting our mashed potato bar and the new Wine & Food Festival buffet.”

It will feature a farmers market table, fresh seasonal fruit, roasted and grilled vegetable displays, Cabernet marinated hangar steak, rosemary roasted Oak Farms chicken, broccolini with garlic butter and Somerset green beans.

Wine tasting is limited to those ages 21 and older.

Festival admission includes a wine glass, attendance at wine and food seminars, musical entertainment, crafts exhibits and a program guide.

For reservations or more information,  call (800) 452-2223 or visit www.7springs.com.

Tom Lavis covers Features for the Tribune-Democrat. Follow him on Twitter at Tom Lavis @TomLavistd.

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