AP NEWS

Wine fest pours out good times at Headwaters

April 29, 2018

If you happened to think a wine named Tippy Zippy Red was promising a quick buzz,  Lindsey Richcreek quickly dispelled that notion Saturday afternoon.

The wine, one of several provided for sampling at the Tippy Creek Winery booth at the Michiana Wine Festival in Fort Wayne’s Headwaters Park, was actually named for the Kosciusko County winery’s resident dog, she says.

He’s a Maltese-Shih Tzu mix - which might make him a yippy Tippy Zippy, Richcreek agreed.

“He just zips around the winery all the time,” she said, while doling out yet another glass of the winery’s product.

There wasn’t a lot of zipping to be had at Saturday’s second edition of the festival. Lines were long  -- some very long -- as an estimated 2,000 patrons pleased their palates with vintages from 18 different wineries, two more than last year.

Patrons then moved on to find everything from Ziffle’s Fort Wayne-famous ribs to tamales from South Bend’s Rico Suave being offered from nine waiting food trucks.

Lisa Beber of Fort Wayne, an organizer of the event with her friends Nichole Thomas and Cristal Reader of Fort Wayne, said attendance was likely double that of the festival’s first year last spring. 

That day was cold and rainy and people huddled under the park’s pavilion, she said.

The festival, she added, is now a three-day event. A 5K run took place Friday night, and a brunch featuring mimosas was scheduled for three seatings today at downtown’s Park Place restaurant. 

Saturday’s tasting and grazing was accompanied by crafts and vendor booths for those who braved the day’s brisk breezes.

“I’d like the weather to be about 20 degrees warmer,” said Laurie Hardesty, 60, of Gosen, attending with Crystal Baker, 54, of Howe.

Both special education teachers, their motto Saturday could have been “Have Wine? We’ll Travel.” The two said they enjoy visiting wineries and shopping at festivals.

For Baker, the reaction to her choice at the Cedar Creek Winery’s booth - Apple Smooch - came quickly. “Hey, that’s good,” she said.

Hardesty sipped the Martinsville winery’s Sweet Inspiration -- described as a chocolate raspberry port.

“It’s $28 a bottle,” she said, growing wide-eyed and contributing her assessment of the festival.

“It’s worth the trip,” she said.   

rsalter@jg.net