The Beachcomber

Ready, Set, Sip at 6th ‘Pour Into Summer’ Wine Festival

Ten Wineries Come to Beach Haven June 16-17
May 26, 2017

The days are getting longer, the weather warmer, and the Island is starting to buzz. What better way to celebrate than with a little bit of wine at the beach while soaking in the sun?

The Southern Ocean County Chamber of Commerce sixth annual Pour Into Wine Festival will kick off June 16, continuing through Saturday the 17th in Beach Haven. With 10 New Jersey wineries offering samples from chardonnay to pinot noir, guests are encouraged to not only enjoy the classics but also try something new.

Heather Brown, owner of Wagonhouse Winery with husband, Dan, is excited to offer what they call their “unique, boutique blends” as part of their Three Boys Brand. Their very popular “Daisy Grace” is a white wine with citrus and vanilla.

“It tastes just like a Creamsicle, believe it or not,” Brown said.

In all, Wagonhouse Winery will offer 20 different wines to taste, some on the sweeter side and some drier varieties such as cabernet sauvignon and sauvignon blanc.

Since its inception, the festival has been a hit with the community, bringing Islanders and out-of-state visitors alike. Kathy Bullock, vice president of GPS, the event management company hosting the festival, said she was thrilled how quickly the LBI community embraced the concept.

“Ever since the first year, we had a great turnout, usually 2,000 to 2,500 people a day, Brown said. “Since this year is further into the season, we are expecting our biggest event yet.”

With 10 wineries offering over 20 wines each, guests are bound to find one to suit their taste.

“We want people to learn about all the great New Jersey wines,” Bullock said. “Sangrias and summer wines will be showcased throughout the two days. Maybe they will find their new favorite.”

Kenton Nice, owner of Coda Rossa Winery with wife, Kathy, has participated in the festival since 2010.

“The festival has evolved and changed through the years. We are always thrilled to participate and take the opportunity to spend the night on the Island. We look forward to it every year – it’s a great crowd.”

Coda Rossa will offer both dry and sweet wines in a variety of reds and whites.

Don’t worry if wine isn’t your thing. You do not have to be an oenophile to enjoy the festivities. With live entertainment, local restaurants offering their best bites, crafts and artisanal food items, there will be something to pique everyone’s interest.

“It has always been our goal to showcase the great restaurants and eateries of LBI,” Bullock said. “People always rave about the food.”

Two bands are new to the festival this year. Ned Ryerson and the Groundhogs will perform covers ranging from ’70s hits to soul and rock.

“We have a blast on LBI,” said lead singer Mike Konopka (a.k.a. Ned Ryerson). “We like to play a wide range of genres, so there’s something for everybody. We’re pumped.”

Mario and the Slyders will be on stage Saturday. “They play a lot of our wine festivals throughout New Jersey,” Bullock said. “They are a fun, fun band.”

Unique to Pour Into Summer, guests are permitted – and encouraged – to purchase full bottles of wine and enjoy them on premises. “Bring your chairs, blankets, buy a bottle of wine and open it up right there and enjoy,” Bullock said.

“We are really looking forward to this year’s event.”

Cheers!

— Mary McGill

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