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Virginia, Maryland Winery Events for Fall 2009

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Maryland Wine Festival. Sept. 19, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Sept. 20, noon to 6 p.m. Sip the offerings from Maryland's wine industry; take tours of the Carroll County Farm Museum in Westminster, where the festival is held; and watch demonstrations by artisans. Tasting tickets are $20 in advance, $25 at the gate; designated-driver tickets are $20; ages 7 to 20 $5; 6 and younger, free. http://www.marylandwinefestival.org.

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Victory in Wine Celebration. Sept. 19, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Sept. 20, noon to 5 p.m. The co-founder and owner of Tarara Vineyards, the late Ralph J. "Whitie" Hubert, was a quarterback on the Catholic University football team, so there are more than a few references to the sport at Tarara. This festival celebrates the winery's signature red, Long Bomb, as well as the kickoff of football season. Expect: wine tastings, live music, a tailgate competition, quick tours of the vineyard. Tasting tickets, $15 in advance, $20 at the gate; without tastings, $8-$10; 12 and younger, free. 703-771-7100 or http://www.tarara.com.

Virginia Wine Festival. Sept. 19-20, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. This festival, at Bull Run Regional Park in Centreville, is one of the biggest in the area, with live music, vendors of crafts and foods and wineries from across the state (including Breaux, Tarara and Kluge Estate). Single-day tickets are $25 in advance, $30 at the gate; designated drivers and ages 12 to 20 $16, $22; ages 6 to 12 $5, $8; 5 and younger free. 540-745-3378 or http://www.across-the-way.com.

Norton Wine & Bluegrass Festival. Oct 3-4, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Chrysalis Vineyards pulls out all the stops to fete its signature grape, the Norton, an American species from which it makes many of its light-bodied reds. Hear bluegrass, shop for artisanal snack foods and crafts -- but be sure to stop and just take in the views, which are spectacular that time of year. $15 in advance, $20 per person at the door. 540-687-8222 or http://www.chrysaliswine.com.

Old Town Food and Wine Festival. Oct. 9-11, various times. This three-day event features Virginia wine and food pairings, seminars and "Sip'n Strolls," with tastings of Virginia wines in King Street galleries and shops. Tastings and admission to events, $35 in advance, $45 at the door; without tastings, $15. http://www.oldtownwinefestival.com.

The Shenandoah Valley Hot Air Balloon, Wine and Music Festival. Oct. 16, 4 to 8 p.m.; Oct. 17-18, 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. This festival takes place in the countryside of Long Branch Historic House and Farm, just as the trees are alight with color. Expect wine tastings, children's activities, a car show and hot-air balloon launches at sunrise and sunset. Admission at the gate is $5-$15; wine tasting, $10; 12 and younger, free; advance tickets, $8-$32. 877-868-1811 or http://www.historiclongbranch.com.

The Loudoun Farm Color Tour. Oct. 17-18. Every year a dozen or so wineries take part in the self-guided tour of scenic farmland. Go for the views, but make winery-hopping part of your visit. http://www.loudounfarms.org.

Sugarloaf Mountain Vineyard's Grape Stomp. Oct. 17-18, noon to 5 p.m. The Montgomery County winery invites the public to stomp on grapes for prizes; winners get a glass of wine. Also on tap: live music and vendors. $12 in advance, $15 at the door; younger than 21, free. 301-605-0130 or http://www.smvwinery.com/purchase.htm.


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