Archive for Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Five questions: Wine celebration

Wine lovers will be able to sample offerings from 13 of the state’s 23 wineries June 16 at the Winesong at Riverfest festival at Riverfest Park in De Soto.

Wine lovers will be able to sample offerings from 13 of the state’s 23 wineries June 16 at the Winesong at Riverfest festival at Riverfest Park in De Soto.

June 5, 2012, 5:11 p.m.

Updated: June 6, 2012, 12:00 a.m.

De Soto City Administrator Pat Guilfoyle talks about the upcoming Winesong at Riverfest festival he conceived.

Q: When and where is the festival?

A: It will be from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. June 16 at De Soto Riverfest Park on 83rd Street west of De Soto.

Q: What is Winesong at Riverfest?

A: It’s a celebration of the growing Kansas wine industry. Thirteen of the 23 wineries in Kansas will be in attendance. For a $15 entry fee, those attending will be given a wine glass and tickets good for 10 samples of the many products the wineries will have available.

Q: How did the festival begin?

A: I was something of a wine snob, but my wife, Sally, and I went to Somerset Ridge Winery in Paola and I was blown away by how good Kansas wines are. I looked around the Internet and there was a Kansas Wine and Grape Council sponsored by the Kansas Department of Agriculture. Its chairman was the owner of Somerset Ridge. I wrote and asked him if he thought this would be a good idea. He and others thought it would be a great idea.

Q: Is it true you had to get a state law changed to have the festival?

A: We found out at a festival like this, you could taste wine but couldn’t buy it. That’s a killer. We asked Sen. Julia Lynn (R-Olathe) if she would help us change the law so that the vendors could sell their wines. A bill was introduced and passed the House and Senate.

Q: How can I learn more about the festival?

A: Visit winesongatriverfest.com. There is also a Google map there with directions to Riverfest Park.

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