For the third year in a row I headed out to the Vintage Virginia Wine and Food Festival out in Bull Run. Unfortunately, the weather has never cooperated — first year super hot, second year rainy, this year super hot. Oh well, wine. This is a fun event especially if you can get a group of friends and set up a tent, as walking around for hours in the hot sun sipping wine can get surprisingly tiring. I was spent by 4pm!
Most of the VA wineries that show up are the smaller ones, making the festival a good opportunity to stray off the beaten path. Some of my personal favorites, Trump and Cardinal Point, were also there. The tastings are quick and impersonal — they have to be, given the volume of people. It’s definitely not an event for careful consideration of different wines — small sips, rapid fire descriptions, and on to the next one. That’s fine if you already travel to some of these places, but I’m sad this is the only interaction a lot of folks have with local wineries. Honestly, it’s much more of a social event that a classic foodie or wine event. Nothing wrong with that, as long as you know what you’re getting into.
And don’t forget the food — dozens of food tricks from throughout the DC show up, offering a wide variety of chow. I went with a crabster sandwich from the “Feeling Crabby” truck, which was really superb. Pricey, but good.
If you do go, give a good amount of thought on transportation. Parking is plentiful, but obviously if you’re going to spend a whole day drinking in the heat, driving is not a good idea. We’ve always taken the festival-supplied buses that can pick you up in Reston and Vienna. They have always been reliable until this year — they were 45 minutes late and people had to cram in (including standing) to get on. Hopefully they sort that out, as its very convenient.