Indiana, PA - Indiana County

Winery to host local authors

by on April 29, 2013 11:00 AM

Area talent will be showcased Saturday with “Authors of Indiana County and Beyond” at Windgate Vineyards and Winery in Smicksburg.

The event, being held for the fourth year, is a part of Smickburg’s Spring Open House, when the town, “surrounded by the picturesque Amish farming community, springs to life,” said Cay Enerson, winery owner.

“We have acceptances from 26 local authors who will come with their books and sign them from 1 to 3 in the afternoon,” Enerson said.

Authors added to the list this year are Charles Stewart, Joyce Thames, Kitty Scott and Dee Lyle. Most of the authors featured at the event live in Indiana County, while a few live just past the county line in Kittanning and other areas.

Books, with titles such as “Blueberry, Peaches, Red Robin Pie,” and “From Home to Happy Valley,” are all available during the signing.

“The books range through all categories — history books, mystery, romance novels, young people’s books, children’s books,” Enerson said.

Several of the books feature the Amish community. Karen Anna Vogel, Enerson said, has written two books pertaining to the local Amish.

Enerson said that before the event, the authors come and have lunch with the winery owners.

“By 1 p.m. the doors open to the beautiful Vine Room and people can come and talk to them,” she said.

In the past, according to Emerson, the event has been very well-attended, with even bus loads coming to meet the authors and get a taste of locally made wine. “Authors of Indiana County and Beyond” is always held the first Saturday of May, she said.

The first year the event was held, 12 authors attended; last year it featured about 20, and Enerson said the number has continued to grow since. They started the event after realizing local talent should be honored, since they were not yet being recognized in any Indiana County venues, Enerson said.

The vineyard, which opened in the early 1970s, began as a hobby for Enerson and her husband, Daniel, after retirement. At that time, they made and sold wine on weekdays.

Twenty-five years later, the winery produces 30 different kinds of wine. The Enersons hold tourism tasting seven days a week from noon to 5 p.m., excluding major holidays.

Unique wines are produced at the winery, such as Eye of the Buck, named after a deer who ate the vineyard soon after it was planted in 1972; Amish Blush; Le Dolce Vita; and Fort Mahoning Red.

The Smicksburg Spring Open House will also feature events at The Drying Shed (with live demonstrations), The Country Cupboard, Little Mahoning Creek Pottery, Yoder’s Country Living Shop and more.

The winery hosts group tours and tastings, seasonal family festivals, classes and more throughout the year.

Ellen Matis is the digital media coordinator and a staff writer at The Indiana Gazette. She is the person behind the Gazette's social media. A 2012 graduate of Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Ellen has a degree in journalism and public relations. Follow her on Twitter, @EllenMatis, or email her at
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