Visualize the Ann Arbor Art Center’s WineFest as the Châteauneuf-du-Pape of fundraisers.
The annual wine-and-food extravaganza, on tap May 6 through 8, bears a surprising resemblance to the multi-grape assemblage of the flagship wine from France’s southern Rhone, blending supporters of the century-old arts institution with a panoply of local glitterati out for some innocent merriment, plus a dollop of area wine cognoscenti keen to sample and acquire some hard-to-find bottles.
So it’s a good fit that Honorary Chair Laurence Féraud, the first French winemaker to chair WineFest, comes from first-tier Châteauneuf winery, Domaine du Pegau.
And just as some Châteauneuf producers (but not Pegau) have adapted their wines to changing customer preferences for early-drinking, more fruit-driven styles, so the 28th annual WineFest sports a different look from years past.
“We’ve thrown everything up in the air and had it come down in a new format,” says Art Center president Marsha Chamberlin. “It’s going to be this bright, colorful upbeat format in a very stylish location. We’re trying to make this an event that people can enjoy on lots of different levels.”