By Jamie Larson
Live music, wine and food, all of the highest quality, enjoyed in a meadow overlooking the mountains…sounds like a dream. It also sounds like the Summertide Festival
from July 7-9, at Cascade Mountain Winery
in Amenia, New York.
It feels a little like the setting of a fairy tale, down a winding dirt road, when Charlie Wetmore’s winery emerges around the bend. But it may feel even more surreal when you leave the quiet wood and emerge into the festival ground dotted with vendors from the best regional wineries, distilleries, breweries, restaurants and farms. And there's a stellar lineup of performers, too, including Sunday evening's headliners Jesse Colin Young
, Jonathan Edwards
, Cole Quest, Kerri Powers and many more.
"It started with wanting to do something special for the winery's 40th anniversary, and it just grew from there," says Wetmore. "We want people to come here and think music."
The first night will even include a fireworks display. Wetmore has clearly put a lot of thought and care into the planning of the event so that it’s balanced, exciting, but still relaxing.
“It’s important to know that the festival is kicking off a whole summer of music,” Wetmore says. “We hope people who come out here for the first time for the festival will see what a great spot this is to sit back with some wine and food we're really proud of, and enjoy some music.”
Summertide, named for the winery's best-selling vintage, opens the season-long celebration of the 40th anniversary. Wetmore began building the winery with his father, novelist Bill Wetmore, when he was just 14. The winery officially opened when he was 18, in 1977, and now he runs the place with his sister, Joanie Wetmore Yahn. The legacy of the winery goes back to a time when New York wine wasn’t really a thing. They were only the fourth in the state and the first east of the Hudson.
The family ran a highly regarded full-time restaurant for many years and still offers high-end meals and relaxed barbecue on weekends. Their culinary acumen will be on full display, along with that of their vendors, during Summertide with a kitchen and outdoor pizza oven helmed by executive chef Maria Laura Quintero. Wetmore's love of lobster, especially Maine lobster, has lead to Cascade Mountain’s must-try lobster roll. They’re also serving up fresh salmon, diver scallops, locally sourced steak frittes, a Hudson Valley cheese and charcuterie board and a lot more. Wetmore encourages festival attendees to try the pizzas coming out of the new outdoor brick pizza oven and anything from the trusty smoker. There will also be food on the festival grounds from Chaseholm Farm Creamery, Old Chatham Sheepherding Co., Jacuterie, Muchachula, Big W BBQ, Lobstercraft and other vendors.
Idyllic as it all seems, it’s the performances that are going to keep folks moving at the festival. Wetmore said getting Young (the voice of “Get Together”) was a real honor and they’re excited for what a draw he will undoubtedly be.
Jonathan Edwards, best known for his angry protest song dressed up in a peppy folk melody, “Sunshine,” will perform, as well. Edwards has a winery of his own not too far away in North Stonington, Connecticut.
Any local business that can pull it off with the quality and grace of Cascade Mountain Winery deserves a great 40th anniversary party. We’re lucky we get to join in on the fun for Summertide...and the rest of the summer.
Summertide at the Cascade Mountain Winery
Friday, July 7 – Sunday, July 9
835 Cascade Mountain Rd., Amenia, NY
Day Pass: $80
Weekend Pass: $150
All-Access Pass: $200
Young Adult Pass (12-21): $40
Under 12: Free