Once an industrial powerhouse that helped drive America’s rapid growth through the 19th and 20th Centuries, Pittsburgh is a can’t miss destination featuring architectural masterpieces, diverse cuisine, and ample outdoor activities. Travelers who appreciate historic architecture can take guided tours hosted by the Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation, which highlights a variety of historic buildings from different neighborhoods each month. The city’s natural setting between the Monongahela and Allegheny Rivers and an extensive network of trails make it optimal for an outdoor adventure. Outdoor enthusiasts will love biking on the Three Rivers Heritage Trail, kayaking, and canoeing on the Three Rivers Water Trail, and golfing at one or more of the 500 local public golf courses.
The Pittsburgh Wine Festival has been delighting oenophiles since its inception in 2002, and it will take place May 5 at Heinz Field. This event is the most extensive wine event in Western Pennsylvania, and it will feature more than 500 wines from some of the world’s top wine producers such as Silver Oak, Château Lynch Bages, and Château Montelena. Attendees will be able to enjoy unlimited samples while having the opportunity to interact with winemakers and fellow wine enthusiasts. People can also participate in various tasting seminars that are informational, interactive, and fun. This year’s edition will include a special guest appearance by Pandora Vanderpump, who will showcase her famous specialty wine, Vanderpump Rosé. In addition to the wine samples, patrons can also sample some light snacks and treats from some favorite local vendors. A portion of the event’s proceeds will go the Pittsburgh Institute for Neurodegenerative Diseases. We interviewed Event Representative, Alyssa Keil, to learn more about this Steel City wine showcase.
RAL: How long has the event been running?
AK: The event has been running since 2002 and is held every year at Heinz Field. When the event started, there was nothing like it in the area. Pittsburgh is now a city with chic wine bars and many wine-focused celebrations, but the Pittsburgh Wine Festival is the largest and longest running.
RAL: How many annual attendees do you draw?
AK: There are between 2,500 and 3,000 attendees, each year.
RAL: What demographic does your event attract? Children? Families? Couples?
AK: The event attracts people between their 20s and 60s, with most attendees being in their 30s and 40s.
RAL: What makes this event unique?
AK: The Festival is the largest of its kind in Western Pennsylvania, featuring over 500 wines from national and international winemakers. It’s the only event in Pittsburgh or the region where you can try so many wines in one place.
RAL: Take me through a day at the event. What can I expect as an attendee?
AK: Guests can enjoy unlimited tastings of wines, as well as some light fare. Guests will be able to speak to winemakers and meet other wine aficionados.
RAL: Will there be any guest appearances?
AK: This year’s event will feature Pandora Vanderpump and her specialty wine. For more about this famous personality, follow the link.
RAL: What dining options will attendees encounter?
AK: There will be light fare available to accompany the wine.
RAL: Tell us about the overall atmosphere?
AK: Heinz Field offers beautiful views of downtown and elegant, vast interior spaces.
RAL: Our travelers seek out unique and boutique accommodations, where can they find these in your area?
AK: Pittsburgh is home to some exciting lodging spaces. Distrikt Hotel is a great option. This trendy, chic hotel is downtown and convenient to the festival. The Ace Hotel, a boutique hotel with locations in eight cities, has also recently appeared in Pittsburgh.
RAL: What does this event mean to the community?
AK: This event provides a space for amateurs, hobbyists, seasoned wine lovers, and sommeliers to taste wines from around the globe. The event is an opportunity for guests to sharpen their palates, discover the latest trends in winemaking, find new wines, and rediscover old favorites.
RAL: Does this drive business to your local economy?
AK: The event drives business to restaurants and hotels in the area. This year we will also feature a trade hour for local restaurateurs. Flower City Printmakers and CorkGuru, a local print shop and tech startup, will sponsor the event.
RAL: Does the event support a particular cause in the community?
AK: Proceeds from the Pittsburgh Wine Festival will partially benefit Pittsburgh Institute for Neurodegenerative Diseases (PIND). An Institute at the University of Pittsburgh, PIND takes an interdisciplinary approach to study neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Multiple Sclerosis and ALS.
For more information about the Pittsburgh Wine Festival, please visit the event website.