The 34th Annual Virginia Wine Festival - In Review

Hello Friends,

This past weekend, I saddled up and paid a visit to the 34th Annual Virginia Wine Festival at Bull Run Regional Park in Centerville, Virginia. The Virginia Wine Festival is the oldest running wine festival in Virginia, and if my facts are correct, the entire East Coast. Every year, new wine drinkers enter the Virginia Wine Festival and leave Virginia Wine Lovers – mission accomplished, right? You Betcha!

The Glass Says it All!

I attended the festival on Sunday, which I do purposely, because it is typically a more relaxed and laid back day. Don’t get me wrong though, this is a popular festival, and both Saturday and Sunday are always well attended. Saturday is super crowded, while Sunday is just crowded. Nowadays, being familiar with a number of Virginia producers, one of my main missions at these festivals is to seek out new wineries. And, trust me, there is always a new winery in the up-and-coming Virginia wine region.

There Were Over 50 VA Wineries in Attendance

And why is this festival so popular? Well, that is an easy one: it features unlimited wine tastings from over fifty of Virginia’s award-winning wineries, local food vendors (Yummy!), educational seminars, art and craft artisans, and some toe-tapping & finger-snapping live entertainment. And this year, the graceful and beautiful Vine Women, who performed to the classical sounds of the Cherry Blossom String Quartet, were the bomb! Yes, bomb – can you tell that they were my favorite act? But, my favorite vine woman, who was also present at the festival, is Virginia superstar sommelier Mary Watson – if you don’t know what I mean check out the spring 2009 cover of Virginia Wine Lover Magazine.

Dezel Just Loves The Vine Woman - Great Show!

Speaking of personal favorites, some of my favorite producers, based on quality and consistency from vintage to vintage, were present. These include Breaux, Corcoran, and Tarara. As a side note, this is the second straight festival I have attended where Breaux Vineyards Viognier has shown up on the table – get out and try this, friends, good stuff! The Breaux Viognier was a perfect match with my spicy jambalaya lunch. And, speaking of jambalaya, Breaux also has a Jen’s Jambalaya wine (off-dry white wine blend), which would have worked well too. So visit Breaux and check out those wines when you have a chance! Hint-Hint – the fall season is very beautiful and colorful in Loudoun County.

Kick Back, Relax, and Sip Some Wine...VA Wine!

Now, for the new wineries: My new wine find is Mountfair Vineyards. They are located near Charlottesville and specialize in Bordeaux style blends. I personally feel that the red wine blend is Virginia’s best red wine, but consumers favor varietal wines – people love a label with the grape’s name on it, be it Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot, etc. Mountfair’s Composition 2007 blend (CS 60%, Merlot 35%, PV 5%) really impressed. And so did the Stickdog dry Riesling 2008 made by Brad McCarthy. I will be honest, Virginia is one of the last places I look to for my Riesling wines, but Brad did a nice job with this wine, and for $15, it is a great quality-to-price-ratio (QPR) wine for sure. Brad’s Chardonnay is also pretty nice. Another newbie, with very nice and personable owners I might add, is Democracy Vineyards. Their inaugural offerings are a Velvet Revolution Reserve 2007 (red blend) and a Declaration Reserve 2008 (white blend). Be on the lookout for both of these new Virginia producers and be sure to check out Mountfair if you are in the Charlottesville area.
Wine Bloggers Having Fun!

As always, I had a great time attending the Virginia Wine Festival, and more importantly, hanging out and tasting with fellow wine lovers and bloggers, Frank & Acada Morgan and John & Megan Witherspoon. If you missed this year, be sure to put next year's event on your calendar, friends. And remember, with over 50 wineries do not feel shy about using the spit bucket - safety and responsibility should be practiced at these events. In closing, support Virginia wine, and as always, Happy Sipping!


Stay tuned friends ...more to come!

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