Kick Bacchus and relax this weekend at the 10th anniversary of Shenandoah Uncorked.
From 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. today, anyone can feign being a wine connoisseur by sampling from 14 Virginia wineries.
The annual event is a full-bodied day with 30 craft vendors and various food selections. A kid’s area has a magic show and coloring puzzle activity to guarantee even the little ones won’t feel excluded.
AmRhein’s Wine Cellars is new to the festival lineup this year. Each winery offers samples and either a glass or bottle for purchase.
Jessica Sager, director of marketing and events at Shenandoah Caverns Family of Attractions, said participating wineries often add the event to their annual calendar because of its popularity.
“Our other vineyards have been here in previous years. Most all of our vineyards return year after year because they love this event,” Sager said.
Angela Welsh, a Broadway resident, has been to the festival for over half as long as its been in existence. She said she most enjoys the opportunity to sample a wide selection of wines with her husband and friends.
“I love wine and opportunities to try the different wines from other vineyards. The best way to find out what kind of wine you like is to go to tastings. We make it a fun day and just relax,” Welsh said.
Admission is free, wine tasting is $20 and attendees receive a discount to experience Shenandoah Caverns. Entry to the caverns is reduced from $25 to $18 for adults and from $13 to $10 for children. For Veterans Day weekend, caverns are free with any form of military identification.
Five food trucks will be parked outside of the venue at American Celebration on Parade, including Hog It Up BBQ, El Chilango Mexican Grill and JD’s Chow Line. Wholesome Foods also serves cheese and country ham in the wine tasting area.
Kristen Brown, a Middletown resident, has attended the event for the past four years with her father, Robert, the president of Shenandoah Valley Steam And Gas Engine Association. While her father drives the Ford tractor around for the local agriculture display outside, Brown and her mother explore the event and caverns.
“The wine tasting and spending time with my mom. It’s relaxing, no rush. You go in and enjoy yourself. It’s very nice,” Brown said.
New Market Chamber of Commerce is partnering with Shenandoah Caverns again this year to celebrate the artisans from across Virginia.
Other wine festivals this weekend include the Fall Oyster Crawl on the Chesapeake Bay Wine Trail in Oak Grove and the Harvest Soup & Wine Fest in Bear Mountain, but Shenandoah Uncorked is a long-standing tradition for many folks.
Some wine lovers even travel from beyond state lines to attend the event. Kristin Hayes from Bethesda, Md., has attended over the past seven years. Hayes said she only comes to the Valley once a year for this wine show, which is smaller and more complicated than others, but a favorite nonetheless.
“The admission price is more complex, it’s an indoor event and a little bit smaller, but the wineries at this wine fest is like no other,” Hayes said.
If this week left you feeling merlot, then stop and smell the rosé and say yes to vino at Shenandoah Uncorked, located at 397 Caverns Rd. in Quicksburg.