Sipping Good Time at the 17th Annual Fredericksburg Wine Festival

Hello Friends,

This past Saturday Dezel hopped on 95 south to attend the 17th Annual Fredericksburg Wine Festival. The festival was presented by Mercedes Benz, a ride built for comfort – not for speed, and took place at the Fredericksburg Fairgrounds under warm and sunny skies. This was my first time attending this particular festival, but, certainly will not be my last. Read on, and find out more about the fun-filled day, friends.

17th Annual Fredericksburg Wine Festival

Admission to the festival was $15 with advance purchase, and $20 at the gate. The price of admission included a souvenir glass and unlimited wine tasting (wink- wink). The participating wineries were Autumn Hill Vineyards, Burnley Vineyards, Gabriele Rausse Winery, Hartwood Winery, Ingleside Plantation Vineyards, Lake Anna Winery, Rogers Ford Farm Winery, and last, but not least, Doukenie Winery. With glass in hand, guests had from 11am to 6pm to indulge in wine tasting, educational seminars, delicious foods, arts, crafts, and live music. Fun…fun…fun!

Hartwood Winery

On the plus side, parking, as well as getting in and out of the festival was a breeze. Additionally, a number of the participating wineries brought along most of their wine selections for sampling, so there were a lot of whites and reds, from dry to sweet to go around – and let’s not forget about the fruit {peach, apple, etc.} wines. Very popular selections at these warm weather Virginia wine festivals. There was also a pretty good selection of food choices to pair with your favorite wine, and some interesting local arts and crafts. The live entertainment was rocking, and as the corks popped and day grew old, the ‘wall flowers’ made their way to the open field to revel in the festivities and boogie-woogie.

Gabriele Rausse, pouring and talking about his tasty wines

As I got around to the tasting tables to sample wines, purple pen stars went out to the following wineries: Ingleside Vineyards Sangiovese 2005 and the Petit Verdot are very good red wine selections and definitely worth a spot in your cellar. The Sangiovese is primed for a hearty pasta meal with a rich tomato sauce right now. Yummy! Although, Cabernet Sauvignon is not consistent here in Virginia, or the east coast for that matter, Doukenie Winery has a nice 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon. Distinct raspberry flavors and cherry notes with a soft toasty frame come to mind when tasting this wine – this is one that will improve with time and get more interesting. The charming Gabriele Rausse was on-hand to pour and talk about his sought after wines. I found favor with a number of his wines including a well done Viognier 2006, Cabernet Franc 2005, and a somewhat pricey ($35), but delicious Cabernet Sauvignon and Nebbiolo 2005 Reserve wines. Savoring more of the reds, I found Autumn Hill Vineyards to have two nice red wine blends. Try the 50/50 Petit Verdot and Merlot blend, as well as the Horizon Rouge, a nicely done Bordeaux style red wine. Both of these medium bodied wines offer good fruit flavors, complexity, ripe tannins, and a nice lingering finish.

Ingleside Vineyards - Grab a bottle of their Sangiovese 2005

There were many other standout wines, even selections that some people consider hot tub wines. I would have to say that Burnley Vineyards offered the best, I guess, hot tub wines. Burnley has a number of off-dry selections with catchy titles like Peach Fuzz, Moon Mist and Somerset that are sure to satisfy on a chilly fall night while keeping toasty in a nice warming hot tub. Sounds good? Continuing with the off-dry selections, Hartwood Winery, located in Fredericksburg had several good French-American hybrid blends made from Seyval Blanc, Vidal Blanc and Chambourcin; perfect backyard, patio, or deck sippers.

What is your favorite hot tub wine? Inquiring minds want to know

In closing, I had a really nice time at the Fredericksburg Wine Festival 2007, and look forward to attending again next year. Festival coordinators, Gary and Michelle Everett did a commendable job orchestrating this big effort. There were no long lines to really deal with, and the festival was well attended. If only we could do something about the persistent traffic on 95 south, but that is another story, right? Be sure to mark this one on your calendar for next year friends; its fun, and goes down as easy, as lets say, a smooth Virginia Cabernet Franc!

  • Stay tuned friends, another Stadium Sip and a new winery visit coming up!

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