Check out these wine-centric festivals and special events around the state
COVID-19 Special Message: Please be sure to check with event organizers or venues for any schedule changes or cancelation related to the pandemic.
For the past year or so, wine get-togethers have largely been limited to Zoom calls and socially distanced gatherings of small groups, but plans are in the works for slew of exciting wine festivals hopefully returning to the docket in Virginia for the end of 2021 and beginning of 2022.
One such festival is Poplar Forest’s Thomas Jefferson Wine Festival, which is scheduled take place on November 13 in Forest, Virginia.
“Given the fact that we had to cancel our 2020 festival, we are very excited to welcome visitors back to the grounds to enjoy a day of wine tastings, shopping, and entertainment,” says Elise Paisant, programs and events coordinator at Thomas Jefferson’s Poplar Forest. “With renowned wineries from across Virginia slated to attend, visitors can expect our traditional festival.”
Thomas Jefferson is considered the father of Virginia wine.
“While Mr. Jefferson had a thorough knowledge of wines across Europe, his time in France in the 1780s influenced his palate and he chose to focus on the wines of France and Italy,” Paisant says. “His appreciation for European wines fueled his desire to establish vineyards in America including attempts by Mr. Jefferson to plant vineyards at Monticello, his home in Charlottesville, Virginia. While the vineyards at Monticello may not have been successful in Mr. Jefferson’s lifetime, his attempts helped pave the way for Virginia vineyards to flourish today.”
For more details about this and other upcoming wine festivals throughout Virginia, see listings below.
SEPT. 25-26: 12th Annual National Wine and Food Festival, D.C.
Don’t miss this world-class event featuring over 150 international and local wines, craft beers, and craft spirits, delectable foods prepared by renowned chefs, stunning waterfront views, live music, and much more. VIP tickets grant access to specialty food tastings, an extra hour of sampling, and more. Sat. 12 – 6 p.m. (VIP), $89. Sat. 1 – 6 p.m. (GA), $39. Sun. 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. (VIP), $59. Sun. 12 – 5 p.m. (GA), $39. Eastwood Farm and Winery, Charlottesville. NationalHarbor. UncorktheFun.com
SEPT. 25-26: Smith Mountain Lake Wine Festival
Enjoy delicious wine and food, stunning views, live music, shopping, and top-notch amenities at The Smith Mountain Lake Wine Festival! Sample wines from Virginia wineries and Mariners Landing’s own wine shop, Bottles and Bites, with the option to purchase favorites by the glass or the bottle. $65+. Sat. 11 a.m. – 7 p.m., Sun. 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. Mariners Landing Resort, Huddleston. SMLWineFestival.com
SEPT. 26: 1st Annual Fall Wine Festival
Enjoy wine, cider, mead, sangria, and fall cocktails from Zoll Vineyards, along with selections from Rivah Vineyards, at Zoll Vineyards’ 1st Annual Fall Wine Festival! Shop for local wares, check out two dynamic live music acts, and eat delicious food from Dot’s Dogs & Kathy’s Clam Chowder and Lobster Rolls while you’re there. Souvenir tasting glasses sold at door. $30. 2 – 8 p.m. Zoll Vineyards, Dutton. ZollVineyards.com
OCT. 2: 18th Annual Powhatan Festival of the Grape
Get ready for a Powhatan party! Enjoy beverages from 30+ Virginia wineries, distillers, and craft brewers at the 18th Annual Powhatan Festival of the Grape. Arts and crafts vendors, live entertainment, and regional food favorites will also be on hand. Ages 12 and under, free; 13-20, $20 ($25 at door); 21+, $25 ($30 at door). 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. Eastwood Farm and Winery, Charlottesville. PowhatanWineFestival.com
OCT. 2: Yorktown Wine Festival
Yorktown shares more than just history with its sister cities of Zweibrücken and Port-Vendres – it also shares wines! Enjoy samples of Rieslings and Gewürztraminers from Germany and bubbly from France (as well as wines from Virginia) at the Yorktown Wine Festival! Live music, local foods, wares from talented artisans, and access to samples from the Virginia Craft Beer Garden round out the experience. Ticket prices TBD. 12 – 6 p.m. Riverwalk Landing, Yorktown. VisitYorktown.org
OCT. 2-3: 45th Annual Virginia Wine Festival
Choose your experience for the 45th Annual Virginia Wine Festival—you can’t go wrong either way! General admission includes tasting glass, unlimited wine and cider tasting, and festival access to the VA Oyster Pavilion and all concessions and live entertainment. Opt for VIP to get in an hour earlier, enjoy exclusive wines, and more. Ages 6 and under, free; 7-20, $15/day, 21+, $39/day (GA) or $69/day (VIP). Sat. 12 – 6 p.m., Sun. 12 – 6 p.m. One Loudoun, Ashburn. VirginiaWineFest.com
OCT. 8-10: Fall Wine Festival & Sunset Tour
Enjoy unlimited samples from Virginia wineries after hours at George Washington’s estate! Bring a blanket and revel in the beauty of the Potomac River from the east lawn, and keep an eye out for George Washington himself! VIP tables featuring exclusive refreshments and service are available. Daily tickets starting at $43 for members, $53 for general public. 6 – 9 p.m. George Washington’s Mount Vernon, Mount Vernon. MountVernon.org
OCT. 9: 10th Anniversary Chesapeake Virginia Wine Festival
Support community charities of the Rotary Club of Chesapeake by purchasing a ticket for this fun event! Try wines from over 20 premiere Virginia wineries and from Chesapeake’s International Wine Village. Tasty food, live music, shopping, and seminars are all on the docket, and reserved tables and chalets are available. Ages 21+ only. $30+. 12 – 6 p.m. Chesapeake City Park, Chesapeake. ChesWine.com
OCT. 16: DC Wine Fest! Fall Edition
Elevate your wine experience at the DC Wine Fest! Fall Edition. Sample premium varietals from some of the best wineries across the world while enjoying live music, delicious food, and beautiful art. Choose one of three sessions: 12 – 3 p.m., 3:30 – 6:30 p.m., or 7 – 10 p.m. (Early Admission, $60); 1 – 3 p.m., 4:30 – 6:30 p.m., or 8 – 10 p.m. (General Admission, $35). Dock 5 @ Union Market, Washington, DC. DCWineFest.com
OCT. 16-17: 33rd Annual Fall Town Point Virginia Wine Festival
A fun fall weekend excursion awaits at the 33rd Annual Fall Town Point Virginia Wine Festival! Sample and purchase wines from over 30 Virginia wineries and of over 200 varieties as you enjoy eating gourmet foods, shopping for specialty wares, and listening to live music. $30+ Sat., $25+ Sun. Sat. 11 a.m. – 6 p.m., Sun. 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. Town Point Park, Norfolk. FestEvents.org
OCT. 23: 7th Annual Wine by the River Festival
The Matthew Wayne Wade Foundation is excited to host its 7th Annual Wine by the River Festival to raise money for charity! Enjoy selections from Virginia wineries, craft beers, and a variety of foods as you listen to live music, shop for goods made by local artisans, and support a good cause. $10 non-taster, $15 advance, $25 at door. 2 – 7 p.m. Smith River Sports Complex, Axton. WineByRiver.com
OCT. 30: Wheels, Wine and Wonder
Ring in Halloween with the whole family at Wheels, Wine and Wonder! Ages 21+ can enjoy King Family Vineyards wine and candy pairings, and the whole family can enjoy food trucks, a costume contest, pumpkin painting, live music, and more. Ages 8 and under, $15; 9-17, $30; early bird adult, $100; early bird family, $270 (family of 4 or less). 1 – 4 p.m. King Family Vineyards, Crozet. KingFamilyVineyards.com
NOV. 7: Holiday Wine Festival
After celebrating autumn at their Fall Wine Festival, Zoll Vineyards will be back again for the holiday season! Enjoy samples of their many in-house offerings, which will include special holiday cocktails and popular warm Gluwein. Food trucks, local musicians, and artisan vendors will also be on hand to help you celebrate. 2 p.m. – 9 p.m. Zoll Vineyards, Dutton. ZollVineyards.com
NOV. 13: Thomas Jefferson Wine Festival
Celebrate Thomas Jefferson’s legacy as the father of Virginia wine with tastings from over a dozen regional wineries. Enjoy live music, local food options, and reduced tour rates throughout the day. VIP tickets grant a private audience with Mr. Jefferson himself, along with heavy hors d’oeuvres and access to a private tent. Ages 6 and under, free; GA non-tasting tickets, $15; GA tasting tickets, $25 in advance or $30 at door; VIP non-tasting tickets, $75; VIP tasting tickets, $125 per person or $225 per couple. 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. Thomas Jefferson’s Poplar Forest, Forest. PoplarForest.org
NOV. 20: 10th Annual Kiwanis Wine Festival
Enjoy wine tastings from James River Cellars Winery, Byrd Cellars, Mattaponi Winery, 53rd Winery and Vineyard, Castle Glen Winery, Haley’s Honey Meadery, and Ashton Creek Vineyard. Finger foods will be available. Proceeds will help fund college scholarships. $25 advance, $30 at door. 12 p.m. – 6 p.m. Beacon Theatre, Hopewell. VisitHPG.com
JAN. 15-16: Virginia Fly Fishing & Wine Festival
If you want to combine fine wine and microbrewery beer tasting with top-notch fly fishing instruction, this is the festival for you! Attend lectures and participate in hands-on fly fishing practice at this family-friendly event for fishing enthusiasts of all skill levels. Ticket prices TBD. Sat. 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., Sun. 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. The Meadow Event Park, Doswell. VAFlyFishingFestival.com
FEB. 5-6: COVA Wine Fest
Navigate the Virginia Wine Trail at the COVA Wine Fest! In addition to tastings from Virginia wineries, enjoy beverages from a craft beer garden and a brand new distillery den. Don’t miss the exciting Grape Stomp competitions, local vendors, and live music while you’re there! Times and ticket prices TBD. Virginia Beach Convention Center, Virginia Beach. CoastalVirginiaWineFest.com