As the cultural center and largest city in Kansas (389,000 residents), Wichita offers visitors unique live entertainment venues, exciting attractions, and can’t miss community events. Those in search of live entertainment will find that the city delivers in spades. From live music and comedy performances at The Cotillion to Broadway-quality musicals at the Music Theater Wichita, the city has it all. Every traveler should make time for the Museums on the River District. This beautiful riverfront area is home to Mid-America All-Indian Center, Old Cowtown Museum, and the Wichita Art Museum.
The Midwest Winefest has been the premier spring wine tasting event in Wichita since its inception more than two decades ago, and it will take place April 26-28. This year’s event consists of three parts: Old Town Walkabout & VIP Venue 244, The American Institute of Wine & Food (AIWF) Wine Dinners, and Grand Tasting Stroll. At the Old Town Walkabout (April 26) attendees will have the opportunity to stroll through the historic Old Town District while visiting various businesses, each with unique wines and appetizers for sampling. The AIWF Wine Dinners (April 27) are exclusive pairing events hosted by industry professionals. Patrons will have the opportunity to sample unique wines with a gourmet meal while learning about the wines and foods they are consuming. Last but not least is the Grand Tasting Stroll (April 28). Here attendees will have the chance to browse a variety of wine, food, and vendor spaces, each representing a different country or region. In total, people can sample more than 350 wines from across the planet. Attendees of the Grand Tasting will also have access to live and silent auctions featuring a variety of valuable items. All of the event’s proceeds go to the Guadalupe Health Foundation, which provides necessary medical assistance to those in most need in the Wichita community. ResortsandLodges.com interviewed Event Chair, Andrie Krahl, to learn more about this can't miss showcase of food and wine.
RAL: Tell me a little bit about the event.
AK: Our three-day food and wine festival, the Midwest Winefest (MWWF), is celebrating 23 years in 2018! Funds raised from Midwest Winefest have totaled more than $4.6 million, all of which go directly toward supporting the Guadalupe Health Foundation and in turn are used to support their primary beneficiary, Guadalupe Clinic.
RAL: How many annual attendees do you draw?
AK: We expect around 3,500 people.
RAL: What demographic does your event attract? Children? Families? Couples?
AK: Our attendees primarily consist of adults over 21+, couples, girlfriends, social clubs, sister groups, singles, and wine connoisseurs.
RAL: What makes this event unique?
AK: MWWF is the best food and wine festival in the region. It brings people to Wichita who wouldn’t otherwise know how much Wichita has to offer. Wichita has a rich wine culture and has connections to vineyards around the world.
RAL: Take me through a day at the event. What can I expect as an attendee?
AK: A typical day consists of people gathering in the evening to spend quality time with friends and loved ones. The festival is an excellent opportunity to cultivate relationships in an exciting, informative, and fun atmosphere. All three days offer a variety of events running the gamut from formal to casual. You can expect excellence from the Wine WalkAbout, Wine Dinners, and Grand Tasting. Attendees will enjoy three days of wine-themed fun!
RAL: Will there be any guest appearances?
AK: Yes, John Williams of Frogs Leap Vineyard will pour his wine in the Reserve Room, Joe Spellman of Justin Winery will appear at a Wine Dinner at YaYa’s Eurobistro, and Jennifer Graycheck, National Manager for Pahlmeyer Winery, will appear at a wine dinner held at Siena Tuscan Steakhouse featuring Pahlmeryer wines.
RAL: Tell us about the overall atmosphere?
AK: It’s a fun and relaxing environment, where patrons can learn from industry professionals and mingle with fellow wine and food lovers.
RAL: What can an attendee expect to find for local lodging?
AK: We have great hotels including Marriott, DoubleTree, and Hyatt. All are very nice and feature newly renovated restaurants. Make sure to mention Winefest when making reservations.
RAL: What does this event mean to the community?
AK: The event is hosted by the Guadalupe Health Foundation which funds the Mission of Guadalupe Clinic. The clinic provides access to necessary health care for those in need and works for social justice in health care. The church and other people of goodwill in the community work closely together to see these efforts come to fruition.
RAL: Does this drive business to your local economy?
AK: This is a regional event which has a tourism draw and brings travel revenue to Wichita, all while allowing business people to learn why Wichita is ideal for conferences, sports, social events, and employment opportunities.
RAL: Does the event support a particular cause in the community?
AK: The Mission of Guadalupe Clinic is to provide access to necessary health care for those in need, work for social justice in health care, and call upon the entire Church and other people of goodwill to join in these efforts.
RAL: Why should people come to your event?
AK: Our food and wine festival has all the allure of any significant wine event in a larger city, with the accessibility and feel of a suburban vineyard experience. It’s an exclusive, comprehensive event, in proximity to surrounding states which makes for ease of travel and is well worth the drive time.
For more information about the Midwest Winefest, please visit the event website.