The DC Area’s Hottest Wine Event

by Joe David / Dec 24, 2010 / 0 comments

February 12 -13, 2011
At the Westfields Marriott Hotel, Chantilly

The Virginia Wine (and Food) Showcase, the premier winter wine event on the East Coast, moves to a new home in 2011 to celebrate its fifth anniversary. The dramatically elegant Westfields Marriott Conference Center, just west of Washington DC, has been chosen as the site for this exclusive wine event, scheduled for Valentine’s weekend, February 12 and 13, 2011.

"The beaded-crystal and brass chandelier ballrooms of the Westfields Marriott will provide the perfect setting for discovering Virginia's fine wines,"
explained Carl Henrickson, a director of the event's hosting organization, Farm Wineries Council, Inc. “What makes these fine wines so special,” Henrickson continued, “is the farm wineries of Virginia handcraft their products in ways that are just not possible in large industrial operations.”

By producing wine in small batches at vineyards strategically planted in the appellations of the Blue Ridge and Piedmont regions of Virginia, winemakers are able to oversee personally the cultivation of the wine from bud break through the wine-making process. This results in a wine that is noticeably special in taste.

As a result of this intimate cultivation of the wine, the Virginia wine industry has grown from an oddity to a world-class industry in just a matter of a few decades. Nearly 170 wineries and 300 vineyards now dot the Commonwealth landscape. Virginia is being touted as “America’s most promising, emerging wine region” by Wine Spectator Magazine, “One of the Top 5 wine regions in the world to visit now” by Travel and Leisure Magazine, “a lot better looking than Bordeaux” by Attache Magazine, and “comparable to some of the better wines of the world” by Washington Post.

Wine lovers attending the Virginia Wine Showcase will have the opportunity, not only to meet and talk with the local winemakers, but also the opportunity to enjoy a variety of culinary sessions during the two-day event. Seminar sessions include basic wine-tasting tutorials, a special tasting of artisan wines from all over the United States, chocolate, olive oil and tea tastings, and the Farm Wineries Council’s exclusive “Virginia Versus The World™” session, in which Virginia wines are pitted against wines from around the world in a blind taste test.

The Showcase is one of four annual Virginia wine events, which the Farm Wineries Council sponsors each year locally. Each event has been designed to attract an upscale and serious-minded crowd, committed to fine food and wine. Although the focus is primarily Virginia wines, there will also be a strong culinary representation to give it a tasty balance. 

New this year: guests will be able to taste their favorite varietals side-by-side. Special varietal tasting sessions will include Viogniers, Cabernets, Chardonnays, exotic varietals and Bordeaux-style blends.

Overnight accommodations are available at the Westfield Marriott Hotel for festival guests. The Marriott will be featuring special wine pairing menus for dinner and Sunday Champagne brunch during the Wine Showcase, making this event the ultimate wine lovers Valentine's Day destination.

This year's gala Virginia Wine Showcase will provide visitors with unlimited wine tastings of over 300 world class local wines, ranging from dry and semi-dry table wines to sparkling fruit and dessert wines. By offering such a broad selection of wines, wine lovers will have the opportunity to familiarize themselves with the large variety of award-winning, locally grown wines, all in one place, all in one day. Tickets per person run $45 at the door, $36 online, and $20 for non-drinkers..

Tickets are available now on the event web site at


Joe David is our Gourmet Getaways Editor. He is the author of five books, including The Fire Within and Teacher of the Year. His latest, Gourmet Getaways,
takes readers on a journey to over fifty gourmet getaways around the
country, introducing them to the chefs, foods, facilities, and much
more. His writings have appeared in numerous publications, including
U.S. Airways, Chile Peppers, and The Christian Science Monitor. You can
find him at