By Ryan Cornell
If whiskey's too risky but wine is divine, make your way to the Yellow Barn at the Shenandoah Caverns this Saturday for the fifth annual Shenandoah Uncorked festival.
The festival will offer tastings from 10 regional wineries and one cidery. Admission is free, but tickets for the tastings are $15, which can be purchased at the door or at the festival's website at shenandoahuncorked.com. Tickets include a kid's packet filled with crayons, a coloring book and two barrel train ride tickets as well as a 35-percent discount on admission into the caverns and American Celebration on Parade.
Allison Dugan, director of marketing at Shenandoah Caverns, encourages people to arrive early to the festival.
"If you come early, you got that one-on-one with the winemakers," she said. "...Originally, the festival began as a showcase for Shenandoah County wines."
Three of those original wines -- Shenandoah Vineyards, Cedar Creek Winery and North Mountain Vineyard and Winery -- will return to the festival this weekend.
Dugan said that since the first year, the festival has expanded to include many other wineries throughout the valley such as Winchester-based Misty Mountain Meadworks, which produces mead, a drink often compared to honey-wine.
Although people are obviously required to be 21 and older to participate in the tastings, Dugan said the atmosphere is family-friendly. Live music will be performed inside and outside the barn, entertainment will be provided by professional magician Dean Burkett and pedal tractor races and art demonstrations will be available for children.
"It's about taking the local food, local wine, having fun and seeing the arts and crafts of the area," she said, adding that apple butter will be cooked at the event. "Hopefully, we'll have dynamite weather."
The festival lasts from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and the wine stops pouring at 4:30 p.m.
For more information, contact the Yellow Barn at 540-477-2432 or visit shenandoahuncorked.com.
Contact staff writer Ryan Cornell at 540-465-5137 ext. 164, or firstname.lastname@example.org