By Sue Moore
Lawton Ridge Winery is the newest vendor at the Vicksburg Farmers’ Market. “We have sought them out for several years,” said market Co-Manager Carol Meyer-Niedzwiecki. “They started as vendors at the Texas Corners Farmers’ Market five years ago, when legislation was passed that allowed sampling of wines at market venues around the state.”
Now, she said, according to Lawton Ridge owner Crick Haltom, “They are at Bank Street Market in Kalamazoo and enjoying great success.”
The rules governing wine selling at markets are strict but easy to follow, Haltom told the Vicksburg manager. Amy Manchester has agreed to be the official representative of Lawton Ridge at the Vicksburg market. She loves good wine and believes that Lawton Ridge has an excellent product after sampling several of its vintages. She and her husband, Rick, have taken several wine tasting trips to increase their knowledge of good wines. She will be answering questions about Lawton Ridge wines and how they taste.
Each week there will be four different wines to sample in one-ounce quantities.
Purchases of the wines can take place at the market but may not be consumed on the site. The samples may not be carried around the pavilion or the grounds either, according to Haltom.
The three wines featured in the photo will be for sale the first two weeks along with one other. Then four others will be offered for the next two weeks, with new ones to follow every two weeks. Lawton Ridge makes at least 18 different varieties so there will be plenty of choice, Manchester pointed out. The Two Handed red wine on the left in the photo and the semi-dry Riesling on the right just won gold medals at the Indy International Wine competition. The grapes are grown near Lawton or sourced in the southwest area of Michigan and may also be purchased at some local grocery stores but not sampled.
Another new vendor at the Vicksburg Farmers’ Market on Friday from 2-6 p.m. each week until the end of September is Garrett Kaltenbach from Kalamazoo. He sharpens knives of all different kinds while a person does their shopping. “He has been increasingly popular,” Meyer-Niedzwiecki said, as “shoppers realize he is right there and can do the work in a short amount of time.”
Fresh fruit and vegetables are the mainstay of the market but it’s nice to have these extra added attractions, Meyer-Niedzwiecki said. ”The weekly Kids Plate program activities invite youngsters to try sampling fruits and veggies which will be offered through a mix of fun projects. The second Makers Mart is scheduled for July 6 when crafters are invited to display their wares.”