An annual Independence event this weekend highlights Missouri wines and raises tens of thousands of dollars for a variety of local causes.
The Independence Uncorked Wine Festival is from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday on the grounds of the Bingham-Waggoner Estate, 313 W. Pacific Ave.
Tickets are $25 in advance and $35 the day of the event. Go to independenceuncorked.com or, between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., stop by the shop at the Bingham-Waggoner.
Admission includes a wine glass and, for the first 2,000 attendees, a four-bottle wine bag. The event includes art, music, wine and beer, food for sale and wine classes. Bring a lawn chair. No outside food or drink allowed.
Jodi Krantz, one of the event’s chief organizers, said ticket sales are running ahead of last year. She says it’s one of the largest wine festivals in the state. Twenty-five Missouri wineries and one distillery will have samples on hand, showcasing the industry’s products.
“It’s just a great part of tourism and agriculture and history,” she said.
Krantz notes that before Prohibition, Missouri was one of the nation’s leading producers of wine. The industry has rebounded sharply in recent decades, and it has organized ten regional wine trails.
“It’s really fun,” Krantz said. “You meet a lot of interesting people, a lot of nice people.”
The festival is a major service project for the Rotary Club of Eastern Independence. This the festival’s fifth year, and the aim is to raise $50,000 to $60,000. The event in its first four years has raised approximately $150,000, benefiting dozens of local organizations including schools, the Special Olympics, Baby Grace, the Community Services League, JobOne, Hope House, the all-inclusive playground at McCoy Park, and the Great Plains SPCA animal shelter in Independence.