Local winemakers will go for the gold in something other than winemaking Wednesday at the third annual Winemaker Olympic Festival at . Representatives from more than 10 local wineries will compete in a number of competitive events, with food, wine and casual games available for members of the public. Tickets are still available and can be purchased online or at the door.
The event’s goal is to raise awareness and funds for Heartbeat Serving Wounded Warriors, an organization that provides assistance to wounded service personnel and their families, said Emily Janssen, spokeswoman for the event. Covington Cellars, which is helping put on the event, is owned by David Lawson, a member of the Naval Reserve. His passion for the armed forces was likely a factor in choosing the charity, Janssen said.
Not all are participating in the games, but more than 25 local wineries are contributing to the fundraising efforts, she added.
There won’t be any shot putting or pole-vaulting at this Olympics, with the games geared toward the profession of the competitors. Each competing winery will furnish a team of four or five players, and the teams will slug it in a variety of wine-related events that are sure to be entertaining, Janssen said.
Some examples? A barrel roll, where one competitor must hop inside a hollowed-out barrel rolled by teammates, and a bung pass, where players must relay a barrel cork using only their chins.
“That should be pretty funny to watch,” Janssen said.
And there’s the messy event — a wine balloon toss, which is exactly what it sounds like.
“They’re going to risk getting all wine-stained,” Janssen said.
With winemakers encouraged to dress up, and their participation in events that are sure to have a healthy embarrassment factor, it’s a chance to see local figures in a way perhaps you never have before.
Tickets for the event are $49 in advance or at the door and include admission, 10 wine-tasting tickets, one food ticket and a commemorative tasting glass. Food will be provided by Veraci Pizza, Marination Mobile, Skillet Street Food and Custom Kettle Korn.
Parking is available next door at for an additional $5, with proceeds also going to Heartbeat Serving Wounded Warriors.
For a full list of participating wineries, you can visit the event's website.