Cheese with your wine?

Published 8:11 pm Tuesday, March 17, 2015

A new fundraiser for local charities will bring wine, beer and victuals together with a few good causes to create a new signature event for the area.

The Suffolk Business Women group plans the new wine festival to raise money for its scholarship fund as well as the Make-A-Wish Foundation, a camp fund for local Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts and the downtown and North Suffolk Rotary clubs.

“We all like to have a good time for a great cause,” said Emily Brewer, a member of the event committee. “If we can combine the two of those, then we’ve done something.”

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The event is set for April 25 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the old Tidewater Community College campus on College Drive. Tickets are on sale now and are $35 in advance or $40 at the gate.

Event chair Teresa Mullins said the organization aims to make the wine festival a signature event not just for the organization but also for the entire area.

“Our goal is to create the fundraising event that would be considered a signature event not only for the city of Suffolk but also for Suffolk Business Women,” Mullins said.

The group settled on a wine festival because it would support a growing industry in the state.

“Virginia has really been growing the wine industry as well as the craft beer movement,” Mullins said. “We’ve got over 250 vineyards in Virginia, and that’s making us really competitive in the wine industry.”

Mullins said between nine and 12 Virginia wineries, as well as five to six craft beer breweries, will be represented at the event. The price of a ticket gets one-ounce samples of wines, and guests also can purchase wine by the glass or bottle.

Brewer said the group is looking to make the event special by providing a good experience.

“The Suffolk Wine Festival’s goal is to offer a memorable experience,” Brewer said. “Hospitality is going to be one of the cornerstones of our success.”

Visitors will be able to purchase cheese plates to go with their wine and beer.

“I think that’s going to be a unique touch,” Mullins said.

Other food vendors will be on hand, as well.

An artists’ corner will benefit local artisans, and musical entertainment on hand will include 10 Spot and Win Winslow. A red-carpet lounge will be available to table sponsors directly in front of the main stage.

“It’s really going to be an afternoon where you can kick back and have a good time,” Mullins said.

For more information or tickets, visit or the website at Tickets also will be available at select locations, which will be listed on the website.