Until the reclusive Michelangelo Merlot opens his whimsical wine factory with chardonnay waterfalls and ferry rides on sangria rivers, wine festivals will have to satiate our fermentation imagination. Taste the next best thing to champagne that makes you float with today’s Groupon: for $8, you get a one-day admission to the 20th-annual Fredericksburg Area Wine Fest (a $14.62 value), scheduled for Oct. 9–10 at Old Mill Park in Fredericksburg. The event runs from 11 a.m.–5 p.m. both days. Choose between admission for Saturday, October 9, or Sunday, October 10.
This year's Fredericksburg Area Wine Fest promises a full day of tastings from eight of Virginia’s finest wineries, plus palate-cleansing eats and first-class entertainment. With your ticket ($12.50 value for adult, plus a $2.12 service fee), you can spend a sensuous day sampling varietals, which may include the fruity aromas of Autumn Hill Vineyards’ viognier, the mildly tart cabernet sauvignon from Hartwood Winery, or Lake Anna Winery’s Spotsylvania claret, which is as smooth as a Temptation serenading a dolphin. A beer garden will be available for those into other forms of fermentation, while classic-to-modern-rock cover band Right Turn Only will put you in the proper head-nodding action for wine sipping. Browse the long line of vendors—artisans and specialty shops will display their charming glassware, cutlery, home décor, and scrumptious snacks. Kiddies can participate in face-painting and balloon-sculpting, with Nobel Peace Prize–winning Pockets the Clown overseeing the children's entertainment. Adult-aged attendees will receive a souvenir wine-tasting glass at the entrance gate, allowing grape-blood guzzlers to leave their goatskins at home.
No pets or picnic baskets permitted. No outside beverages or food permitted.
Fredericksburg Area Wine Fest
For one weekend each year, attendees of the Fredericksburg Area Wine Fest gather to sip wine, sample various foods, browse craft vendor's wares, and listen to live music. The festival, held along the scenic banks of the Rappahannock River, celebrates seven of Virginia's best wineries, including Autumn Hill Vineyards and Hartwood Winery. Each year, three guest wineries join the cast, and altogether, the winemakers showcase more than 100 kinds of award-winning wines.
The many varietals perfectly complement the festival's food and entertainment. Attendees can drink and munch along the river bank while listening to one of the many music performances. Other activities cater to kids, including face painting, clown performances, and a train ride powered entirely by imagination.