The Washington Post

Sip and savor the cool weather at these beer and wine festivals

(Richard A. Lipski/For The Washington Post)

But why drive hours to taste just a few wines when there are festivals that will let you taste the goods from several wineries and breweries in one go? Here are a few upcoming festivals worth checking out, starting this weekend:

The Virginia Craft Brewers Fest

Take advantage of the cooler weather this weekend and zip down to Nelson County for this inaugural fest celebrating Virginia’s booming suds scene — featuring a number from NoVa, including Lost Rhino, Port City and Corcoran Brewing Co. General admission to Saturday’s festival is $10 in advance; for tastings, packages start at $35.


Showcasing Maryland vineyards, including Sugarloaf Mountain Vineyard, Elk Run and Linganore, Uncorked is an annual tradition in downtown Rockville (blissfully, it’s not far from the Metro). It returns Saturday, and $15 buys tastings from the wineries, but admission to the festival, which also has live music all day, is gratis.

Twisted Vines Backyard BBQ and Wine Fest

If you’re in search of an intimate festival (is there such a thing?), you can find it at this cool Arlington wine bar on Saturday, when it pours up to 18 wines at a cookout in its parking lot. Tastings and a plate will run you just under $40 a person.

Kegs and Corks

Blob’s Park should make a fine setting for the two-day Kegs and Corks festival, which is heavier on the kegs. Saturday and Sunday’s brewers include Port City, Starr Hill, Old Dominion and Philly’s Yards Brewing (plus a bevy of the German stuff on tap from Blob’s, a revered local beer garden). Tickets are $25 in advance, and $30 at the gate for one-day admission.

Herndon’s Labor Day Festival

Who knew Herndon had a cool little wine and beer festival each year? The fest expanded in recent years to include microbrewers, and this year, the lineup is stronger than many of the larger festivals: Barboursville, Horton and Notaviva top the list of 12 wineries at the Sept. 3 event, and brewers will include DC Brau, Lost Rhino and Port City. Admission plus tastings are $20; admission without tastings, $10

Great Grapes Reston

The traveling wine festival Great Grapes lands at Reston Town Center on Sept. 8 and 9, and brings together several good Virginia wineries, including Horton, Philip Carter and Potomac Point. The number of participating wineries isn’t huge, so expect to spend a good chunk of time pursuing the crafts market or checking out the bands. Admission is $20 in advance, $25 at the gate, and includes a glass and unlimited samples.

Vintage Crystal

Mark your calendars for Sept. 16, when Crystal City’s urban, Metro-accessible festival returns. The festival has taken on a curious Latin/Spanish theme in recent years, so expect tapas and tequila tastings in addition to the wine.

Lavanya Ramanathan is a features reporter for Style.


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