“Wine a bit, you’ll feel better”
It’s no secret that in Hampton Roads, we love our wine. The past month hosted two of the region’s wine-centered events, the FestEvent’s Town Point Virginia Wine Festival and Chesapeake Wine Festival, both great successes.
For those of you questioning why two such afternoons happened in one month, here are the differences: the Town Point festival occurs on the waterfront in downtown Norfolk, while the other takes place at Chesapeake City Park. The Norfolk event has been around over two decades and the younger, Chesapeake event, for two. Despite its young age, the Chesapeake festival attracts a great crowd, even given the awful weather we saw this year, and hosts wines from all over world, rather than the Virginia-only focus of Town Point.
At the Chesapeake wine festival, you can try many of those mysterious bottles you’ve seen sitting on the shelves but not wanted to pay for, and the pours tend to be heavier, but less frequent. With the Virginia vineyards, you’ll, more often than not, receive small tastes of each red, white, rose etc. that their grapes produce. There is something to having the sommelier experience with the people who work on the land, but also nice to pick only the types of wines you know when tasting.
This year Town Point lucked out with some fabulous weather. A light breeze off the river and lots of bright sunshine made what should have been a cold rainy day perfect for an outdoor afternoon. The addition of more food tents and a beer hut for those non-wine enthusiasts seemed much appreciated, and the private chalets hosted corn hole games, lovely lunches and private wines. On the chalet note, Chesapeake had tables in the middle of the festival for companies to reserve, though given the dreary day, they were not as packed as I imagined. That said, Chesapeake had a great turn out, even the occasional “Halloweener” all ready to go in costume.
If you haven’t already been, plan to get out next year for these wonderful events, and please let us know if there is an additional festival we should add to the list.
Megan C. O’Reilly is the manager of government relations with the Hampton Roads Partnership and has an M.A. in Global Communications from The American University of Paris and a B.A. in Public Relations from Belmont University, Nashville, Tennessee.
Photo credit: top wine tasting by FestEvents. Bottom group shot by Megan.