This weekend the city of Vevay, Indiana is hosting the annual Swiss Wine Festival. The four-day festival in Paul Ogle Riverfront Park celebrates Switzerland County’s traditions and history in wine making in the United States.
Both Kentucky and Indiana claim to be the home of the first commercial vineyard in the United States and both have a share in the story. Jean Jacques Dufour, first settled in Jessamine County, Kentucky, and established “The First Vineyard,” in the fall of 1798. However, after a few years, the vineyard proved unsuccessful and he moved to another site near Vevay, Indiana. While Kentucky’s was the first established vineyard and winery, Indiana’s was the first sustained successful wine commercial enterprise.
The Swiss Wine Festival is an excellent way to spend a part of your weekend. We’ve attended many times in the past and have always enjoyed ourselves. This year’s festival features amusement rides, arts & crafts and flea market booths, a beer garden, food booths, entertainment, a grape stomp, and the wine pavilion. Friday night’s concert features award-winning country singer, Tracy Lawrence. The food booths offer the usual festival fare, but also so much more. My favorite is The German Corner.
After strolling through the festival, wine lovers will want to make their way to the wine pavilion down by the Ohio River. Twelve Indiana wineries will be pouring tastes for visitors. French Lick Winery is our favorite stop in the pavilion. Along with the wineries, Brickhouse Cheese and Peacetree Mountain Truffles will be offering tastes of their products.
The festival opens on Thursday, but the wine pavilion doesn’t open its gates until Friday at 3 PM. The wineries will be offering pours from 3 to 10 on Friday, from 11 to 10 on Saturday, and from 12 to 5 on Sunday. The Swiss Wine Festival is one of the best festivals in the region and a good way to spend some of your weekend.
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