October 7, 2003
The state of Virginia has about 85 wineries, and more than half of them show up for Vintage Virginia, where they bring their wares to show off and sell to the hordes of people who come out for the day.
Situated in tents, the winemakers will pour you samples of many different wines. It's a good place, for example, to taste all the Viogniers from the different wineries back to back; you can ask for a taste of just one wine or many. In addition to the wineries, who set up in large tents, there is a large contingent of other vendors, including a number of gourmet food vendors, wine related furniture, glassware, even clothing.
Dozens of food vendors provide complementary fast food in great variety, and live bands provide music.
A small number of seminars are also provided, with information on wines, winemaking, and how to taste lessons are usually given.
Tickets range from $13 to $20, depending on how far in advance you purchase, whether you are a designated driver (who will receive unlimited soft drinks for the duration), or a drinker. When you check in you receive a wine glass with a "Vintage Virginia" design, and this is the glass you will walk around tasting from. There are several water stations where you can clean the glass out.
If you don't have a designated driver, there is a bus for an additional $10 from the Vienna metro station.
Vintage Virginia is a great way to learn about the Virginia wine industry.
Vintage Virginia's older sibling, the Virginia wine festival, is held in mid August at the same location. Their website is here.
From journal Wining and Dining in Virginia Hunt Country