WALNUT SHADE — As most fall festivals fade with the approach of the winter holidays, two Ozarks outposts pull together to celebrate autumn in the mountains one last time before leaves are off the trees.
On Nov. 17, Bear Creek Wine Company and Copper Run Distillery will celebrate the season with the Wine and Shine Fest.
Mandy Bonzer, who runs Bear Creek Wine Company and Lodge, says the idea was inspired by the mountains in which the two Walnut Shade companies are located.
“We just wanted to do some kind of good festival with our neighbors and fall is just so beautiful out here,” Mandy says.
Perched on a ridge above Bear Creek, for which the winery and bed and breakfast is named, the buildings take advantage of the views of the Ozarks countryside.
Guests are welcome to camp out on the porch at Copper Run or take a seat in any of the numerous areas at Bear Creek. There are several outdoor seating options and the tasting room and reception hall take great advantage of the views.
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Guests at Wine and Shine can look forward to live music kicking off at noon at both venues and food and beverages. Wine and liquor samples will be offered at Bear Creek and Copper Run and food such as rustic pizzas and charcuterie plates will be available. Other beverages such as mulled wine and hot cider also will be offered. A free shuttle will run folks back and forth between venues.
Mandy says once the event is behind them, things will only get more hectic for the growing Bear Creek compound. On the first three Saturdays in December, the winery will offer holiday brunches with Santa, with reservations.
And sometime around Christmas time, Mandy’s mom and Bear Creek owner Rebecca Tate hopes to have the new brewery up and running.
“We hope we’ll be settled in by the end of December and have beer by spring,” Mandy says.
In the meantime, Mandy says she’s staying busy with their biggest wedding season yet and looking forward to another great Wine and Shine Fest.
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Want to go?
• Wine and Shine Fest 2018
• When: 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 17
• Where: Bear Creek Wine Company, 1320 Keithley Road, and Copper Run Distillery, 1901 Day Road, both in Walnut Shade
• Cost: Free
• Information: Event Facebook page or 417-443-0036
• About: The annual event features beverages from both venues, local beer, mulled wine and more. Food such as pizza and charcuterie plates will be available, and live music will be playing all day at each venue. A free shuttle will ferry folks back and forth between the two Walnut Shade venues.
For more information about accommodations or group packages for weddings and other retreats, go to bearcreekbedandbreakfast.com. For those interested in a day trip to sample wines or enjoy a light meal, the tasting room is open 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Saturday and 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday.
Tasting opportunities are also available around the corner at Copper Run Distillery, which makes small-batch spirits including whiskey and moonshine. For more information, call 417-587-3456 or go to copperrundistillery.com.