Winter Wine Festival returns to benefit Transportation Museum

PLATTSBURGH - The wine will flow freely once again as the Champlain Valley Transportation Museum hosts its second annual Champlain Valley Winter Wine Festival.

The three-day event will return to the city Friday, Jan. 28, through Sunday, Jan. 30, showcasing the region's unique specialty wine, food and restaurants.

Ashlea Keene, director of fundraising and membership for the museum, said the festival will kick off again this year with a wine dinner at Olive Ridley's, 37 Court St., from 7 to 9 p.m. next Friday night, signifying the culmination of several months of planning.

"We talked to the wineries and restaurants involved last year to get some suggestions and ideas to make the event even better," Keene said, "and we've been working with them and new vendors since July. We have a lot of the same local wineries from last year but we've brought some new ones on this year as well."

"It should be a fun weekend of festivities," she added.

The festival will continue with a grand tasting and silent auction in the City Hall Rotunda from 4 to 7 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 29, which will give people the opportunity to meet with food and wine experts while sampling their products, said Keene. Live entertainment and big-ticket auction items such as round-trip airfare for two to Orlando, courtesy of Allegiant Air, are expected to help draw a crowd as well, she said.

"We have paintings from several local artists. We have some hand-painted wine glasses. We have a lot of stuff from all sorts of local businesses," Keene said.

That same evening, wine dinners will be held from 7 to 9 p.m. at both Irises Caf and Wine Bar, 20 City Hall Place, and Michele's Fine Dining, 5131 U.S. Ave. The following day, a Sunday brunch will be held at The Smoked Pepper, 13 City Hall Place, from 12 to 3 p.m.

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