When the organizers of the Worcester Wine Festival began formulating the inaugural event, they were not exactly sure what to expect. Now that the dust has settled on the weekend’s festivities, they know all their hard work was well worth it.
“We had over 1,300 people attend our events this weekend,” said Ed Russo, one of the founding members of the Worcester Wine Festival, LLC. “With 2017 being our inaugural year, we were more than pleased at how the Festival was supported by the Central Massachusetts community,” he added.
The Festival kicked off Friday night, October 6th with a reception at Lock 50 Restaurant and Wine Bar in Worcester for special guests, sponsors, and wine industry insiders. On Saturday, October 7th, the day was filled with a variety of events including brunches, wine tastings and wine dinners held at various venues and restaurants across Worcester. On Sunday, October 8th, before a lobby full of anxious VIPs, Mayor Joseph Petty cut the ribbon at exactly 11:30 to open the Grand Tasting at Union Station.
At the Grand Tasting, visitors were provided a wine tote courtesy of Julio’s Liquors (Westborough) and Lock 50 Restaurant & Wine Bar that included a commemorative Festival tasting glass. Once in the Grand Hall at Union Station, they were able to sample tastes from over 200 wineries, 5 breweries, and 4 distilleries while also enjoying small tastes from 6 different specialty food vendors. VIP ticket holders were treated to an additional experience including the ability to taste 30 unique and rare wines as well as additional food tastings.
“Everyone associated with the Festival worked extremely hard to prepare for this event and it showed,” said Luke M. Vaillancourt, one of the Festival’s founders. “Attendees were pleased with the variety of choices as well as the knowledgeable staff who helped guide them through each and every tasting. The overwhelming response from our attendees was they can’t wait for next year,” he added.
In addition to the excitement of the Grand Tasting floor, the Festival conducted 4 educational seminars where attendees listened intently and learned from industry experts in an intimate setting. The seminars were curated by Toni DeLuca of Julio’s Liquors, Westborough, MA.
“The planning and production of the Festival were outstanding. The showcase of wines at the Grand Tasting was exceptional and the educational seminars were unique and interesting. I can’t wait to attend the event next year,” said Joe Paparella, one of the Festival VIP guests and Chapter Chair of the Worcester Chapter of the American Wine Society.
The event was supported by some of Central Massachusetts biggest names. Worcester Art Museum signed on as Presenting Sponsor and Discover Central Massachusetts provided endless marketing support. Julio’s Liquors, Westborough MA provided expertise in organizing the wine vendors, curating the Educational Seminars and acting as the Festival’s retail partner. Other sponsors included 145 at City Square (Roseland Residential), AlphaGraphics, Bollus Lynch CPA, Canal Lofts (Winn Companies), Commonwealth Consulting Group, Dana Lane Photography, Enterprise Cleaning, Erb Photography, FletcherTilton Attorneys at Law, Herlihy Insurance, Interstate Specialty Products, Lock 50 Restaurant & Wine Bar, MassFoodies, Music Worcester, Polar Beverages, Renewal by Anderson, Riedel Wine Glass Company, Shea Management, Voss Water, Unibank, Worcester Business Journal and WSRS.
Plans are already being made for next year’s event which the organizers vow will top the 2017 event.