DALLAS — The Dallas Wine & Music Market took place under perfect weather conditions on Saturday, in a break between roasting hot temperatures and smoke blowing in from the east.

Though the first-year event was quickly organized by the Dallas Area Visitors Center — and with COVID safety measures in place — it attracted a healthy crowd to downtown Dallas to taste wine and hear music.

“This is our first opportunity to get out and mingle with the community,” said Lindy Rickert, with Salt Creek Cider House, which opened a year ago this month outside of Dallas. “It’s neat to introduce ourselves and make connections with other wineries.”

Rickert, who had three cider varieties available for tasting and for sale, said her booth had been steady throughout the day.

“It’s been good to engage with other businesses and winery owners and to see us all get together and do something neat for the community,” Rickert said. “It been fun to work with other wineries.”

Wine, beer and cider tasting had a soundtrack provided by Nathan Myers starting at 11 a.m., followed by The Boondock Boys and Edge.

Danielle Blanchette, the guest services coordinator for Van Duzer Vineyards, said the atmospherewas relaxed and fun.

“I think they’ve got a great start,” Blanchette said. “Definitely, they’ve done the social distancing really well. The music is wonderful and I just ordered food. I haven’t tried it yet, but it was smelling fabulous the minute I walked over here, It’s just nice to see everybody come out on a beautiful day.”

Van Duzer won the inaugural Dallas Wine & Music Market wine contest with its 2017 Willamette Valley pinot noir. The wine is a blend of pinot noir grapes from the vineyard’s estate outside of Dallas and other growing locations in the valley. Blanchette said the wine is a good ambassador for wines grown in Polk County.

“It has a food friendly, more palate-pleasing quality,” Blanchette said. “People who may be white wine fans will end up liking it because its a little easier to drink. But you’ve got your red fans who really enjoy it because it still has that oomph on it. I’m a big fan. I like the quality of it.”

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