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VOL. 133 | NO. 7 | Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Vintage901 Wine Festival Returns in March

By Andy Meek

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A three-day wine festival is returning to Memphis in March, building on its inaugural offering last year and again steering proceeds to the Women’s Foundation for a Greater Memphis.

Vintage901 is set for March 2-4 as a celebration for wine lovers, foodies and music enthusiasts from across the region. Each of the three days will offer its own unique wine experience.

Festival organizer Stephanie Ferreira had dreamed about hosting such an event in Memphis for a few years before its launch in 2017. She helped organize a team of small businesses and other help to pull off Vintage901 also partly as a result of attending other such wine events outside of Memphis and wanting to be involved in one here.

Vintage901, a food and wine festival that launched in Memphis last year, is returning to the city in March, with proceeds to benefit the Women’s Foundation for a Greater Memphis. (Submitted)

“We have a passion for this,” she said. “There’s a group of us, about five women. We want to do things that will be helpful to other people. So the Women’s Foundation was definitely the group we wanted to partner with.

“I would like everyone to be a part of this. That’s what Vintage901 is about. This is about Memphis. I think it’s intentional to do this type of event here, for us to be able to come together.”

As far as what’s on tap this year, a Grand Tasting is set to be held Friday, March 2, at Crosstown Concourse. It will entail an evening of wine tastings prepared by the festival’s Grand Sommelier, Laurie Forster, a leading wine expert and author of the book “The Sipping Point: A Crash Course in Wine.”

Tickets for that portion of the festival cost $65 and will be available at the door. For anyone who wants to buy a ticket to the whole three-day affair, passes for those cost $315 through Jan. 26 – with the code EARLYPASS – and then $375 in advance of the event.

On Saturday, March 3, meanwhile, a “Perfect Pairings” event will be held at Memphis College of Art. Attendees will get to experience a four-course dinner from local chef Kelly English. Forster also will pair two wines with each course, and tickets for that are $250 in advance.

The festival, English said, “is a great event that shows off some incredible parts of our city and lets us show some creativity to a larger group in a tasting menu situation that we would never get to do.”

The “Sparkling Brunch” set for Sunday, March 4, at the FedEx Event Center at Shelby Farms Park will close out the event with a brunch pairing of wines chosen by Forster. Tickets to that are $85 in advance.

About 650 people attended the festival last year. And the demographic is wide-ranging, with the audience encompassing everyone from millennials and young professionals to older foodies and wine aficionados.

The event’s return also underscores the visibility of food culture in the city, which also hosted a similar event – the second annual Memphis Food & Wine Festival -–at Memphis Botanic Garden in October.

For Ferreira, the upcoming wine festival is about celebrating community, while enjoying abundant food and drink.

“We changed up the days this year, and our venues are different to give the attendees an opportunity to go into different places, atmospheres and environments,” Ferreira said. “This is a wonderful cultural festival of food and wine and being social, and I think the best of Memphis coming together. In the way that we would want Memphians to come together.”

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