Music, food, wine, shopping and July weather — what’s not to love?

Those are just some of the reasons Ashley Schram, owner of Schram Vineyards Winery & Brewery in Waconia, says people should attend the Waconia Wine Festival July 27-28.

“It’s a great, fun and easy way to experience all three wineries over the course of a weekend,” Schram said.

The Waconia Wine Festival is being held at three wineries in Waconia — Parley Lake Winery, Schram Vinyards Winery & Brewery and The Winery at Sovereign Estate — that are located within a five-mile radius of each other, and all have views of different lakes.

The event, which is in its fourth year, is put on by Waconia Wine Country, a joint association of the three wineries.

“We have collaborated on events since 2012, but wanted a big event to showcase the amazing grapes grown and wines being created in this area,” Schram said. “We all grew in size and became established enough to put on a bigger event.”

The area has become very well known for its wineries, with the wineries seeing success because of the symbiotic relationship they have with each other, explained Terri Savaryn, general manager of The Winery at Sovereign Estate who also serves as the main organizer of the festival. But because Minnesota wine is still a new industry, Waconia Wine Country is trying to raise more awareness about local wineries.

Savaryn says a festival is a good way to do that because “people in Minnesota love festivals,” noting the Waconia Wine Festival attracts more people to all three wineries, giving them a good sense of what each one offers.

At each winery, attendees will pay a $5 general admission, and then it is another $5 for a wine tasting (you can pay more to taste more wines). The wine tasting comes with a souvenir glass with the winery’s logo on it, so if you go to each winery, you can collect all three.

Schram Vineyards will be pouring a selection of its reds, whites and roses, as well as sampling its Bumbley honey wines from the can — something that’s not done often at the winery, Schram said. At Sovereign Estate, visitors will be able to sample a variety of wines, including several state-grown wines, Savaryn noted.

There will also be live music, a variety of food options and various vendors at each winery throughout the weekend. Visitors will also have the opportunity to take home wines.

A new feature at this year’s event makes it easier for people to get around. There will be buses that will make the rounds between the wineries, so people can park at one and take a bus to the rest of them if they so choose. Savaryn said this is something people have been asking for for years.

Melissa Turtinen is the multimedia reporter for Lakeshore Weekly News. She's passionate about adding context to stories and informing people about what's going on in their community. She enjoys being outside, traveling and good beer.

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