WEST VIRGINIA 2013
20th annual UNIQUELY WEST VIRGINIA:
WINE, COOKING DEMOS, AND A GOURMET FOOD TRUCK MAKE BERKELEY SPRINGS A TASTY PLACE
BERKELEY SPRINGS, WV -- A new gourmet food truck, live cooking demonstrations featuring marshmallows and an eight-pack of state wineries with vintages to taste are star attractions at the 20th anniversary Uniquely West Virginia wine and food festival. The one-day tastebud-pleaser event is scheduled for 10am to 5pm on Saturday, April 20 in downtown Berkeley Springs. The show offers a free opportunity for the public to sample and buy dozens of state-grown products as well as meet the faces behind these products. By locating at the north end of the Old Factory Antique Mall, more than 75 antique vendors extend festival shopping further.
Cooking demonstrations from local chef Scott Collinash of Panorama at the Peakm draw crowds and include three different foods cooked during four sessions. “Marshmallows must be popular since they have two sessions” said Jeanne Mozier, one of the event organizers. Other foods are hollandaise and kale and bacon. “Getting to sample what you watched him cook is the best part.”
Lot 12 brings their new gourmet food truck to Uniquely West Virginia parking just outside the entrance. The award-winning restaurant also plans an inside location. The Lot 12 menu features ramps in everything from soup and chicken salad to hush puppies and raw by the pound. Another seasonal West Virginia delicacy is also on their list both as raw morel mushrooms in bulk and fried morel sandwiches. “They’ll have a line around the hall,” predicted Mozier. Tari’s Café makes the third prepared food source at the Festival.
Berkeley Springs Farmers Market vendors are attending bringing a range of locally grown edibles and plants including greens, dairy products, honey and, from Mocks’ Greenhouses, hydroponic lettuce and tomatoes. Other food producers offer chocolates, mustards and sauces.
Nine West Virginia wineries are making an appearance, each with a special spin on the ancient art of winemaking. Vintages for tasting range from true Italian concord to light white Riesling. "The winemakers all have a story to tell as you sample their wines," said Laura Smith, Administrator of Travel Berkeley Springs which produces the event. Smith considers the chance to taste and buy rare state wines as the major draw for regulars. "People buy their favorites by the case. Fortunately, there is plenty of free parking at Old Factory to load up." For those who want to make their own, newcomer Mountain Man Wine and Brew Supply plans winemaking demonstrations.
Wining and dining wonders do not end at the festival door. Saturday evening, Highlawn Inn has a limited seating Meet the West Virginia Winemaster five-course meal with matched wines featuring Fisher Ridge's Dr. Wilson Ward. All weekendlong, Angus and Ale goes native with Sweet Ambler West Virginia distilled products while the restaurant has a country version of fusion cooking up ‘gator meat in downhome fritter batter.
Shopping along the historic streets is also in festival mode. Vintage Kitchen has deep discounts on famous West Virginia Homer Laughlin dishes, pitchers and more. Berkeley Springs Memories has famous WV chocolate from De Fluri’s on sale.
Fun moves outdoors with Redbud Weekend which includes everything from the Farmers Market on Sunday in the Square to a pair of redbud scouting hikes on Sunday. The “signs of Spring” hike at Eidolon Nature Preserve begins at 10am while Cacapon State Park’s Sunday afternoon “redbuds emerge” hike starts at 1pm.
"One of the most popular parts of the weekend is getting a free redbud seedling at Nature Niche," said Mozier. "Folks need to come on Friday or get there before the festival Saturday morning because those seedlings go quickly." Nature Niche is now located on the main street near the Rt 9 west traffic signal. A three-year redbud tree is the bonus for anyone spending the weekend at the uniquely West Virginia-style Gobbler’s Knob log house perched atop a mountain.
Other lodging specials include package deals at Best Western Berkeley Springs Inn and special prices on select “unique” properties from Berkeley Springs Cottage Rentals.
The Old Factory Antique Mall, site of Saturday’s wine and food fair is located on Mercer and Williams at the north end of Berkeley Springs. Uniquely West Virginia is produced by Travel Berkeley Springs, with support from the Division of Culture and History Fairs and Festivals. For a free Celebration Guide with all the details on both festival vendors and related activities throughout the county including Redbud Weekend call 800-447-8797 or check online at www.berkeleysprings.com.
2013 UNIQUELY WEST VIRGINIA VENDOR
FISHER RIDGE WINE CO.-Charleston-
- Weston - Jim & Debbie Lambert 304-269-4903.
VU JA DE VINEYARDS - Spencer - Bryan George 304-377-1404
LOT 12 - Berkeley Springs - Damian & Betsy Heath 304-258-6462.
TARI'S PREMIER CAFÉ - Berkeley Springs - Amy McBee 304-258-1196.
PANORAMA AT THE PEAK-Berkeley Springs-Patti Miller & Leslie Hotaling 304-258-0050
FARM - Dryfork- Ben McKean 304-227-4414 Honey and beeswax
products and handmade chocolates
Berkeley Springs Farmers Market: