The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Local News

April 22, 2013

Wine tastings feature of Windber fundraiser

— The Windber Municipal Authority in conjunction with the Windber Fire Department will launch the inaugural Windber Wine in the Park event.

Wine lovers and those people desiring to learn about wine may partake of one or both tastings being conducted May 18 in the ballroom at Windber Recreation Park.

The first session will take place from 1 to 3 p.m. followed by a duplicate event from 4:30 to 7.

Vicki Hiteshew of Windber, chairwoman of the event, wants to offer as many people as possible the opportunity to participate.

“We divided it into two sessions because this is not something people would do for endless hours,” Hiteshew said. “Local wines and wine tastings will be featured.”

Each session costs $20 and includes wine tasting, hors d’oeuvres and a souvenir wine glass.

Hiteshew would appreciate advance reservations in order to determine the amount of hors d’oeuvres to have prepared. Tickets also will be available at the door.

“We also will offer some Italian food from Rizzo’s Restaurant, which may be purchased,” Hiteshew said. “Specialty vendors selling chocolate and wine smoothies will be there.”

There also will be an amateur winemaking competition, which will be judged by certified judges from the American Wine Society’s Pennsylvania chapter.

Authority member Kelly Campitell of Windber encourages amateur winemakers to submit wine and register at Fine Wines, 1801 Stockholm Ave. in Windber.

Wines will be placed in one of 10 classifications and be judged on a blind bottle basis using only numbers, not labels.

“Judges will take notes and critique each wine,” Campitell said. “Once the wines have been judged and awards presented, the judges’ notes will be given to each winemaker. It’s a wonderful opportunity to take any criticism and use it to keep improving their craft.”

Throughout each session, music will be provided by a jazz band.

The event benefits Windber Fire Department and Windber Municipal Authority, operators of Windber Community Building and Windber Recreation Park.

The two area groups have worked together over the past two years to coordinate Windber Oktoberfest.

Bob Haddad, assistant fire chief and chairman of the firefighters’ fundraising committee, said each of the nonprofits work tirelessly to raise funds to survive.

“Our Oktoberfest is a success and is aimed at one demographic,” Haddad said “We thought the wine event would appeal to people with different tastes while still enjoying a fun day.”

Advance tickets are available at the Windber Community Building, Windber Fire Department, Fine Wines, Something Xtra Special Floral and Media Exchange.

Information: Call 467-7111 or 467-6696, or visit

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