Wine Among the Willows at the Swaner Preserve will showcase 6 Utah-based wineries |

Wine Among the Willows at the Swaner Preserve will showcase 6 Utah-based wineries

Aug. 7 event will include light bites and educational tidbits

Swaner Preserve and EcoCenter will showcase six Utah-based wineries in its Wine Among the Willows tasting on Saturday. Attendees will be able to taste the wines and learn how the wineries grow grapes and make their product in Utah's high and dry altitude.
Courtesy of the Swaner Preserve and EcoCenter

The Swaner Preserve and EcoCenter invites adults to enjoy some wine and light bites in the name of sustainability.

The environmental nonprofit will host Wine Among the Willows, a tasting and pairing event, from 6-8 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 7, at the EcoCenter, 1258 Center Drive.

The evening will feature the wines of six Utah-based wineries, a box of hors d’oeuvres from Hearth and Hill and some educational tidbits by the local winemakers, said Hunter Klingensmith, Swaner’s visitor experience coordinator.

Participating wineries will be the La Caille Winery, I/G Winery, Chanela Vineyards, Bold and Delaney Winery, Zion Vineyards and Water Canyon Winery, she said.

“We’ll have tasting stations set up around the EcoCenter, the back deck and a little bit out in the preserve, so no one will have to walk too far to enjoy the wines,” Klingensmith said. “They will all have tasting stations, and reps will talk about their grape growing practices, and what the grapes need to grow in a higher and dry elevation of Utah. Many people don’t know there are a multitude of wineries in Utah, and we’re excited to give some exposure to that in a fun evening.”

Participants will be divided into groups of up to 10 people, and they will rotate from station to station in 10- to 15-minute increments.

“At each station, groups will be able to hear the winemakers and interact with them without being distracted by other talks, because each booth will be set up with plenty of space for social distancing,” Klingensmith said. “Representatives from the wineries pour the wine with COVID-safe procedures, and people will have a choice of which group they would like to join.”

The event fits into the EcoCenter’s mission to “preserve, educate and nurture,” according to Klingensmith.

“Part of the EcoCenter’s mission is to participate in sustainable practices, and one of those practices is purchasing locally produced products,” she said. “Mostly we talk about that in the food sense and local producers, but buying locally produced wines reduces the amount of distances that out-of-state wines need to travel. And it can mean developing more sustainable growing practices locally, which gives people more opportunities to experience something made right here in Utah. In addition, the event will give us a way to tie in talking about preserving open space and open land.”

The nurturing aspect of the EcoCenter’s mission is getting participants to spend their time on the preserve, Klingensmith said.

“You can nurture yourself by being in nature,” she said. “I think people will enjoy sipping some wine and looking out at the beautiful views of the preserve.”

The evening is a great time to visit the preserve, because a lot of wildlife are active at that time, according to Klingensmith.

“We’ve recently had some baby deer walking close to the deck over the past couple of weeks, and the beavers are active in the ponds,” she said.

The hor d’oeuvres boxes will be made to fit each participant’s dietary restrictions, if any, according to Klingensmith.

“When each person registers, they will have the opportunity to tell us if they are vegetarian or gluten free, and we will make sure to have the boxes available for pick up at the event,” she said. “We knew we wanted to make sure we had some food to go along with the event, and do it in a way to maintain COVID-safe protocols. So the tables where people will be able to enjoy the food will also be spread out.”

Wine Among the Willows is presented in conjunction with the Utah Wine Festival, which will run the first week of September in Cedar City, Klingensmith said.

More information about the festival can be found by visiting

“I was in a meeting with them that discussed winemaking and grape growing in Utah, and it seemed like it made sense to connect with them,” she said. “We’re looking forward to bringing a bit of the festival to our local residents.”

Wine Among the Willows

When: 6 p.m., Saturday,. Aug. 7

Where: Swaner Preserve and EcoCenter, 1258 Center Drive

Cost: $40-$50


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