Summer has officially arrived. Clear skies, a beautiful Lake Champlain, and time to sit back and soak up the sun. But for many, Saturday was about getting a taste of Vermont at the 4th annual Burlington Wine And Food Festival.
"Vermont has been so cutting edge for such a long time with the whole local food movement. I think Vermont was doing that before it was cool or trendy. It's really nice to see the cheese makers and the bread makers and local vineyards," said festival organizer Tracy Stolese.
It's an all day event showcasing some of Vermont's tasty talents: 300 wines, 9 local restaurants, and 25 artisan food vendors. A lot of food for thought.
"There is just so much going on in Vermont when it comes to local food that sometimes we take it for granted. I think it's a nice way to remind people about some of the special farmers, vendors, and business people that we have represented here in the state and put it out in front of people," Stolese said.
And Vermont business owners agree. Scott Prom owns Shelburne Vineyard and says although Vermont isn't quite Napa Valley, festivals like this will only help his business grow.
"We definitely have a sense of place with our grapes. We have plenty of acid in our wines. That and the soils, they do reflect what comes through in the wine," Prom said.
And despite the competition with other local companies Prom says he wants the public to learn about all the wines the Green Mountains have to offer.
"We work the vineyards, we work hard in the vineyards we worked hard to make the wine, but it is a work in progress so it's a good opportunity," Prom said.
"There's just so much going on in the world of wine. That's really our goal is just to have people come and have fun. It's not snobby, it's very comfortable and welcoming event," Stolese said.