Event Recap: 28th Annual Town Point Virginia Fall Wine Festival
Though the chilly October weather was certainly making itself known this past weekend, that didn’t stop Hampton Roads’ wine lovers from heading to Downtown Norfolk for the 28th Annual Town Point Virginia Fall Wine Festival held along the dazzling Elizabeth River.
Wine was available for purchase by the glass or bottle, but with more than 30 wineries in attendance and 200 wines to sample, a full glass was hardly necessary. While I didn’t get to sample from the full 30, I made it to my fair share of tasting booths before retreating to my picnic. But what’s a wine festival without a tasting companion? My husband, Cody, came along for this wine sampling marathon.
We started at James River Cellars where we sampled their Reserve Chardonnay, Chardonel and Hanover White. They offered their 2013 Chambourcin served both warm—perfect for this brisk day—and chilled, which brought out sweeter notes of this bold red.
Next up was Prince Michel Vineyard & Winery offering their velvety Viognier, a few reds, a Riesling and fruit wines. Though, I have to admit their Rapidan River Chocolate was a favorite. Luscious and mighty smooth, this is a wine I can get behind; I mean...it’s practically drinkable chocolate.
“This wine makes me want some Thai food,” a woman in front of me commented as we walked up to Rebec Vineyards. Now, I had to taste this memorizing wine. Rebec’s Sweet Sofia was infused with a secret mixture of herbs. I found rosemary was the strongest both on the nose and the palate.
Then the Merlot from Chatham Vineyards got me looking ahead to Thanksgiving with its cranberry-esque notes, balanced by black currant and spice.
We were excited to find Lake Anna Winery in attendance. Long story short, last year my husband and I were on our way to Charlottesville until we took an accidental detour, ended up in Lake Anna and wanted to check out the winery. That day the winery was closed, but we gallivanted through their state park, anyway. Thus, Lake Anna wine was finally at our fingertips! Floral and the perfect after-dinner treat, Essensual was their ice wine made with Vidal Blanc. My favorites were their Tannat aged in barrels for two years and Concerto, which is unique with its addition of montmorency cherry juice.
After tasting Mountfair Vineyard's Bonfire red, lovely whites from AmRhein’s Wine Cellars, a delightful Meritage Reserve from Rockbridge Vineyard and fruit wines from Hill Top Berry Farm & Winery, it was time to retreat to our cheese-heavy picnic, which is never a bad situation to be in.
With any wine festival, it’s of course a challenge to visit all of the wineries, but from what I sampled, it’s safe to say that Virginia wine is making a statement, and the locals agree, too.