Area wine enthusiasts got a chance to taste a variety of wine samplings Saturday at the E’town Wine Fest held at Freeman Lake Park.

Wineries set up under tents while visitors got to sample wines, eat from food vendors, listen to music and gather with friends.

“Wine Fest was amazing,” said Sarah Vaugh, Elizabethtown events coordinator.

Officials still are working on final ticket counts but she believes there were around 1,400 people in attendance — a record for the event.

“We can’t wait for next year,” she said.

Because of this year’s attendance, there are plans to add more wineries to the festival next year, she said.

Attendees enjoyed their time at the lakeside festival.

“We came last year and had a great time and found some great wines we liked,” Renae Riggs said. “We like doing stuff like this together to get out in the nice weather.”

She was there with her friend Meredith Linscott. Both are high school teachers on Fort Knox.

“I like the wine,” Linscott added while sampling cotton candy flavored wine. “We’re school teachers, we need the wine.”

At the festival, Riggs said you get up to eight chances to try different wines and might find one you want to buy. It brings out a variety of wineries and there were a few they hadn’t heard of. Riggs said it saves a trip to the winery to try a few things.

Last year, the friends found a winery they didn’t know about and it has now become one of their favorites. They even met people last year and had nice conversations while eating from one of the food vendors.

Adam Hollon was at the event representing Purple Toad Winery of Paducah.

“The festival is a way to get the product straight to the public and let them try what we are offering,” he said.

He said it’s a good way to interact with customers to help the company see what people like and to show attendees wines they might want to fit their individual taste.

The winery, he said, started about 20 years ago and is a family owned business. He said they try to offer fresh ingredients and they try to go to many wine festivals to let people try their brand.

The festival also draws in visitors from out of town.

Karen and Garry Reynolds, and their friends Karol and Rock Showlater, came in from Bullitt and Jefferson counties. It was their first time to try the E’town Wine Fest.

They happened upon the festival on the internet and thought it would be something fun to do, Karen said. They had been to a wine festival in Bullitt County and thought this one may have the same wineries.

Garry said he has a friend who lives in Hardin County and while visiting him this summer he went to Freeman Lake. When he saw the wine festival was happening at the lake, he knew it was a great place to go and decided to come out to it.

Karen said the reason they go to festivals is to sample wines and find out if there’s something they’d like to purchase, as well as find out about Kentucky wineries they may not have heard of.

“Wineries are popping up all over the place that we had never heard of,” Karol said.

Karen said it was a nice area with great weather for the event.

“We didn’t bring our dogs or lawn chairs but we could have,” she said. “You couldn’t ask for a better day.”

Becca Owsley can be reached at 270-505-1416 or bowsley@thenewsenterprise.com.

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