Virginia Wine Festival Set for Sept. 14-15

The beginning of Autmn can only signify one thing: the continuation of year-round wine season! It’s time again for the Virginia Wine Festival at Great Meadow Event Center (5089 Old Tavern Road, The Plains, Va.).

The festival boasts a who's who of more than 40 wineries including Barboursville, Veritas, Rosemont and Hill Top Berry Farm & WInery. Ready yourselves for free wine tastings, live music, local music and educational viticulture seminars.

In addition to all of the usual festival fun, this year will also include a "You Be The Judge" tent for festival-goers to compare and judge wines with local wine veteran Neil WIlliamson, acting as the ever-wise wine introducer/emcee.

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The tent, which we have just dubbed "Judgment Day," or JD for short, will give you an outlet for your inner wine-swishing guru to judge wines based on appearance, aroma, attack, mid-palate and finish. A new wine will be poured every eight minutes and a new varietal every 25, so feel free to take your time savoring every sip.

To help wash down all that grapey goodness, private food pairings will also be available. The menu, provided by Grapevine Greek and Italian Restaurant, will include tiropita, Greek salad, baked manicotti and sauteed shrimp and scallops topped with black olives and feta cheese, served over spaghetti. Private event tickets can be purchased here.

Beause there is nothing better than easy listening after a long day of wine and vendor food, relax hillside and let the sounds of jazz fusion band Inner Rhythm Quartet, blues band Johnny and the Headhunters, indie folkers Glory on the Floor, and Jr. Cline and the Recliners take you away.

The festival will run Sept. 14-15 from 11a.m.-6p.m. To purchase tickets, see full schedules, and to see full list of included wineries, visit their site.

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