|Ron Duquette as Albert Gallatin at Waleski Mansion|
With the complimentary Sip of Summer glass in hand, patrons made their way around the flower-strewn lawns and sampled the wines of six area wineries. Some decided to sit around tables and chairs installed in a massive tent in front of the bandstand where Bob Podash entertained with guitar and vocals playing soft, relaxing, easy listening music.
Each of the six wineries - Christian W. Klay Winery, Greenhouse Winery, J & D Cellars, Ripepi Winery & Vineyard, Thistlethwaite Vineyards, Shields Demesne Winery and Reece Winery offered samples of at least six of their wines, which were also available for purchase by the glass of bottle.
From Spraggs, Greene County, Alex Shields and family poured a unique set of eight Shields Demesne wines called melomel made with both grape juice and honey and come in red, white and rosé selections with either dry, semi-sweet or sweet finishes.
Besides allowing patrons to sample the wines, the $25admission ticket included four food stations featuring a fresh fruit waterfall, a fresh vegetables waterfall, a cheese fountain and a chocolate fountain catered by Trisha’s Treats Café in Fredericktown. The chocolate fountain offered the popular strawberry for dipping but included some other creative options such as banana bread cubes, Oreo cookies, vanilla wafers and more.
Additional vendors included Sweeties Cinnamon House, Bedillion’s Farm and Fruit Market, Big Barn Country Store, Organo Gold, All Day Stained Glass & Lucky Breaks Mosaics, McKee Kustom Wood Krafting, Margie’s Marque, Sugar Creek Candle Company, Stella and Dot and the Barkley Bakery.
Guided tours of the Waleski residence (the historic stone Welsh-Emery house) were offered for a small fee and featured Ron Duquette appearing as Albert Gallatin, a noted historic personality who served as Secretary of the Treasury during the Jefferson and Madison presidencies and lived in Friendship Hill near Point Marion in the very early 19th century. As Gallatin, Duquette, a noted performer of national status who’s appeared throughout the eastern United States, discussed the politics and events of his day.
Marianna Williamson of Beallsville, a first time Sip of Summer patron, said that she went to the event not knowing what to expect.
"It was raining when we arrived, and I thought it might hamper the enjoyment of the event, but the rain soon stopped, the skies cleared and the temperature was perfect," she said. "Everyone was soon mingling, sipping, and enjoying a wonderful evening. The food was great, and the wine was spectacular. I was introduced to new friends and even saw many friends I hadn’t seen in years. The Sip of Summer is definitely an event I will pencil in my calendar for many years to come."