Virginia loves its founding father origin myths, and the wine industry is no exception: spend a little time Googling and you’ll undoubtedly run across mentions of the House of Burgesses (for you out-of-town folks, that’s the state legislature, which in 1619 made each landowner plant grapevines in the name of King James) and devout oenophile Thomas Jefferson. Still, with over 250 wineries across the state, Virginia is squarely on the map for wine destinations. If you’re a wino and enjoy buying local, or want an introduction to Virginia’s growing wine industry, head to Norfolk’s Town Point Virginia Fall Wine Festival. There you’ll find 25 of the Commonwealth’s best wineries pouring and selling over 200 fine wines, as well as food and other wine-related vendors.
The biannual festival takes place in Town Point Park, where a large green space and red brick walking paths look out over the Elizabeth River and the adjacent Waterfront Marina. Speaking of–if you’re a fancy pants yacht enthusiast (or wear Sperrys and enjoy pretending to be rich for a day), the Boater Package ($225) gets you a reserved dock space, festival admission, and tasting privileges for four guests. No word at the time of this writing on the musical lineup, but rest assured, someone will be playing smooth sipping chord progressions.
Some words of Yelp wisdom: popular wines can go fast, so previous attendees prefer Saturday over Sunday (you’ll get the cru of the crop, so to speak). And the festival gets busier in the afternoon–arrive before lunch time to avoid tasting booth lines.
If you’re looking for something else to do, check out the Nauticus, a maritime discovery center (featuring the last US battleship) right next to Town Point Park.
- Recent attendance numbers are not available for this festival.
- Tiered tickets abound. Saturday’s tasting ticket costs $40 in advance, $45 week-of, and $50 at the door. Sunday is slightly cheaper: $35 in advance, $40 week-of, and $45 at the door. If you’d like to attend but don’t want to drink, GA tickets are available as well.
- Check out Fifty Grande’s guide to Virginia here.
What’s the best way to get to and from Norfolk?
Fly into Norfolk International Airport (ORF), located about 10 miles from downtown.
What time does the Town Point Virginia Fall Wine Festival start and end?
Gates are open from 11AM to 6PM each day (Saturday and Sunday).
What can I bring? What should I leave at home?
Sun hats encouraged. No glass or outside alcohol (duh). Additionally, this isn’t a family-friendly event: no pets or people under 21.
What about accessibility?
Town Point Park is fully accessible to people with disabilities. If you need special accommodations, call the Norfolk Festevents office at 757-441-2345.
Which wineries will be at the Town Point Virginia Fall Wine Festival?
AmRheim Wine Cellars, Homeplace Vineyard, Bright Meadows Farm Winery, Burnley Vineyards and Daniel Cellars, Castle Glen Winery, Cobbler Mountain Cider, Horton Vineyards, Lake Anna Winery, Mattaponi Winery, Mermaid Winery, Prince Michel Vineyard and Winery, Rebec Vineyards, Rockbridge Vineyards, Vinter’s Cellar Winery, Williamsburg Winery, Eastwood Farm and Winery, Notaviva Vineyards, Stone Mountain Vineyards, Barboursville Vineyards, Chateau Morrisette, Zoll Vineyards, Philip Carter Winery, Rogers Ford Farm Winery.