Wine with a view

Schweitzer hosts 5th annual Northwest Winefest

By Lyndsie Kiebert
Reader Staff

Wine and mountain enthusiasts rejoice — Northwest Winefest is back on Schweitzer Mountain for the fifth year, Saturday, July 20 and Sunday, July 21, boasting 20 wineries showcasing 80 wines. Sip on samples of red, white and rosé while overlooking a breathtaking view from noon to 7 p.m. on Saturday and noon-5 p.m. Sunday.

These ladies are having absolutely no fun at Winefest. Courtesy photo.

For one of the wineries in attendance this year, Winefest is a celebration not only of their product, but a call back to the business’ origins. Small House owner and winemaker Patrick Werry used to work in events at the resort, while Small House co-owner — and self-proclaimed product tester — Lisa Gerber worked in Schweitzer’s marketing department. The two were married in 2008 and launched Small House, producing their first vintage in 2013. The Small House rosé has won Fan Favorite at Winefest for the past two years.

“Now, over a decade [since working at Schweitzer], it’s cool to be back where it all started,” Gerber said. “From a winemaker perspective, we love the mountain setting; and, although it is certainly a popular event, it’s intimate enough that we don’t feel rushed and are able to talk to people who are curious and want to know more.”

The event also features free live music from Casey Ryan, The Copper Children and Super Sparkle on Saturday, then Letter B followed by The Powers on Sunday.

According to Schweitzer Marketing Manager Dig Chrismer, Winefest isn’t strictly for oenophiles; the weekend is for everyone.

“You don’t have to take part in the tastings to enjoy the free live music, visit the arts and crafts vendors or indulge in some fantastic local flavors,” Chrismer said, adding that the resort’s daily summer activities — including the zip line, trampoline jumper, climbing wall and lift-served downhill mountain biking — will also be available starting at 11 a.m. on both days. 

“All in all, it’s a great weekend for the whole family,” she said.

For those looking to take part in the wine tasting, a stemless souvenir wine glass with six tasting tickets (2 oz. each) costs $25. Additional tasting tickets are $3 each. Tickets can be purchased at the event’s main tent and can only be used in 2019 Northwest Winefest glassware.

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