The Vintage Virginia Wine & Food Festival, held annually on the first weekend of June, is one of the largest and longest-running wine events on the East Coast. In 2018, it's on June 2 and 3; times are noon to 6 p.m. on June 2 and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on June 3. The event in Centreville, Virginia, features tastings offered by more than 20 wineries including more than 200 award-winning Virginia wines, children’s activities, food, and live entertainment.
The NOVA Wine Run begins at 9:30 a.m. June 3 at the Bull Run Regional Park Concert Pavilion. Proceeds from the 5K will benefit the Spirit of Hope Children’s Foundation, a non-profit organization that promotes education for children and adults with a mental and physical disability.
Although wine is the highlight of the event, there is also plenty of great food available at Vintage Virginia. Don't miss regional delights like Maryland crab cakes, Giovanni’s Italian, artisan breads, gourmet cheeses, and an array of roasted nuts, spreads, and sweets. And you'll also find an array of Washington food trucks for trendy eats.
The festival takes place at Bull Run Regional Park in Centreville. The park has 1,500 acres of natural space and recreational facilities that include miles of scenic and historic hiking trails, picnic shelters, and waterslides at Atlantis Waterpark. So you are sure to find fun stuff to entertain the kids.
From Interstate 495, take I-66 west 12 miles to exit 52 (Centreville exit), then go south two miles on State Route 29, turn left onto Bull Run Post Office Road, and follow the signs to Bull Run Park.
You can also take a free Vintage Virginia Shuttle from the Vienna Metro Stop so no one needs to be a designated driver and all can enjoy the wine tastings.
On Saturday, the shuttle departs the Vienna Metro Stop on the hour from 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and leaves the wine festival on the hour from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. both days. (The shuttle will add an extra pickup at 8:30 a.m. on June 3 for those doing the wine run.)
On Saturday, you can also ride the party bus from various locations in the metropolitan Washington area. The all-inclusive package, which includes transportation, admission to the wine festival, wine tastings, and musical entertainment at the festival, leaves at 11 a.m. and returns at 6 p.m. from Ireland's Four Courts in Arlington, the Madhatter and Public Bar in Washington near Dupont Circle, and Eggspectation in Silver Spring, Maryland.
Some of the wineries offering tastes in 2018 are Rockbridge, Morais Vineyards & Winery, Prince Michel Vineyards & Winery, Jefferson Vineyards, Barren Ridge Vineyards, Cross Keys Vineyards, Horton Vineyards, Rosemont of Virginia, Rebec Vineyards, Cobbler Mountain Cider, Chateau Morrisette, WW, Narmada Winery, AmRheins Wine Cellars, Hill Top Berry Farm & Winery, Glass House Winery, Bold Rock Hard Cider, and Oak Crest Vineyards & Winery.
Vintage Virginia, sponsored by the Virginia Wineries Association, has been highlighting Virginia's wines since 1982. The wineries association is a non-profit trade association that acts on the behalf of the wine industry.
The VWA promotes viticulture and vintner practices, provides a multitude of wine resources and benefits to its members. The association also hosts a wine competition, the Governor’s Cup.
What to Bring
Take along a blanket or chairs to sit on. Some vendors might take credit and debit cards, but it's a good idea to have plenty of cash in your wallet. You can bring non-alcoholic drinks and snacks, but the container will be searched. And if you've bought a wine-tasting ticket, you'll need a government-issued photo ID with your birthdate on it to prove you are of legal drinking age.
What Not to Bring
You can't bring the family dog or cat on this adventure; only service animals are allowed. Leave all weapons at home, along with alcoholic beverages and illegal substances. All bags and coolers are subject to search.