Wine festival this Saturday

Published 8:45 pm Monday, April 20, 2015

With less than a week to go until the inaugural Suffolk Wine Festival, organizers say they are approaching their limit on ticket sales.

Suffolk Business Women members have sold about 1,500 tickets, said Emily Brewer, communications chair for the festival. But Rotary members also have been helping sell tickets.

“We know they’ve done very well, so we’re thinking that number is a little closer to 1,850,” Brewer said.

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The initial cap was 2,000 tickets. But with a few more wineries signed on, “we could increase if need be up to 2,500, but that will be our ultimate cap,” Brewer said.

But Teresa Mullins, chair of the Suffolk Wine Festival, noted that the group will not sacrifice the experience for those who are there just to get more people in the door.

“The whole point of this is to make it where everyone comes in and has a great time and has the opportunity to try everything,” she said.

Set for this Saturday at 7000 College Drive, the former Tidewater Community College site, the festival will feature 11 wineries and six craft breweries. Tastings will come with the cost of a ticket, with the opportunity to purchase larger helpings of beverages individually.

In tribute to Suffolk’s sister city of Oderzo, Italy, some of the wines will hail from Italy, Brewer said.

Homemade cheeses will provide accompaniment to the libations, and an array of food vendors on site will give guests the opportunity to have lunch or an early dinner on site. Local restaurants such as Suffolk BBQ Co., Mason’s, The Hearth and Chick-fil-A will be among them.

Local favorites 10 Spot, Win Winslow, Don Hamlett and Brian Sewell will provide entertainment.

Local artists will be selling their wares at the event also. Downtown’s All About Virginia and More store will be featured.

Proceeds from the event will benefit both Suffolk Rotary chapters, Boy Scout and Girl Scout camp funds, the Make-A-Wish Foundation and the Suffolk Business Women scholarship fund.

Gates are open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., with tastings from 11:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Tickets are $35 in advance and $40 at the door, if they are available at the door.

Brewer said buying online is “definitely advantageous” because it will guarantee entry and make the process go more quickly.

Tickets are available for purchase at or at the following locations:

  • Suffolk Visitor Center, 524 N. Main St.
  • Title Quest, 114 N. Main St.
  • Bon Vivant Wine Shop, 1901 Governor’s Pointe
  • Vintage Tavern, 1900 Governor’s Pointe
  • River Stone Chophouse, 8032 Harbour View Blvd.

Featured wineries include: Chatham Vineyards, Delfosse Vineyards, Lake Anna Winery, Lovingston Winery, Rockbridge Vineyard, Rosemont Vineyard, White Hall, Williamsburg Winery, Castle Hill Cider and Athena Vineyards.

Featured breweries include: Devil’s Backbone, St. George, Bold Rock Cider, Smartmouth, Young Veterans and O’Connor.