VWE Tips and General Info

Safety First

  • Although you will have an opportunity to taste hundreds of wines and spirits at the Walk-Around Grand Tastings, we do not recommend you swallow every drop of wine poured in your glass. We encourage you to master the art of swirling wine in your mouth and then spitting some or all of it out. Spitting is not considered bad manners at the VWE. In fact, we encourage it. If you can’t bring yourself to spit, then limit the amount of wine you sip and pour out the rest of your glass.  Wine buckets will be strategically located throughout the exhibit hall floor.
  • Pace yourself. You are not in a race. Take your time as you make your way through the Grand Tasting. And feel free to partake in free water to cleanse your palate. 
  • If you get hungry during the Walk-Around Grand Tastings, meal-size portions of food will be available for sale for your consumption.
  • Please make plans if you are not able to drive. Reserve a hotel room at one of our partner hotels, take a taxi, find a designated driver or use UBER. 

Tickets and Ticket Packages

  • Buy your tickets in advance. Each event will have a strict limit on the number of tickets available to ensure a high-quality experience.
  • Tickets go on sale in early October.
  • To save money and for a special weekend culinary experience, we strongly recommend the TICKET PACKAGE DEALSDetails concerning these packages can be found on the Ticket Packages page.  To purchase a combo deal, you'll need to go to the bottom of the ticket page.
  • Tickets can only be purchased in advance at VirginiaWineExpo.com.  We will inform you as to ticket availability at the door.
  • If you buy tickets at VirginiaWineExpo.com, you may use MasterCard, Discover, Visa, and American Express.
  • Tickets will be sold in advance until the day before the event unless the event sells out.
  • If an event is sold out, notice will be given on the VirginiaWineExpo.com web site SCHEDULE page.
  • If you buy your ticket in advance, please print your ticket and keep it in a secure place. This ticket must be brought to the event either on paper or your phone, where it will be scanned at the event entrance by our volunteers.
  • Tickets are not refundable and may not be exchanged.

Sampling and Buying Glasses of Wine / Closing Time

At the Saturday and Sunday AFTERNOON Walk-Around Grand Tastings, the privilege to sample ends 30 minutes before the closing time (at 4:00 pm sampling ends but purchases may be made until 4:30 pm).   At the Saturday EVENING session, the privilege to sample ends at 9:45 pm and purchases may be made until 10 pm.  Full bottles of wine may be purchased to go until the very end of each session.  Please note that full bottles of wine may be opened at the Walk-Around Grand Tasting.  If you want to consume more than a tasting size of wine, then you will be permitted to buy full glasses.  NOTES:  Virginia distilleries have the right to sell closed bottles to go but not for on-site consumption.  Only Virginia wineries and cideries have the right to sell glasses or bottles for on-site consumption as well as to go.   The Guest Region wine booths can sample only.  Most Virginia wine booths will be sampling and selling Virginia wine; some will not.   There will be signage indicating which Virginia wine booths are not selling wine.

To reiterate, all non-Virginia wine and spirits will be for sampling purposes only.   Bottle sales of these wines will not be available.

Food and Beverage

Ticket holders are not permitted to bring any food or beverages into Main Street Station during the Grand Tastings or any other ticketed event. At the Grand Tastings, complimentary water will be available to cleanse your palate. There will be numerous specialty food vendors sampling food, but the samples will not be nearly enough for a meal. However, full meals will be available for sale, which may be enjoyed, along with wine, in the Wine Garden.


The Virginia Wine Expo will be held inside the spectacular Main Street Station (MSS) and nearby venues, so weather will not be an issue.

Age and Kids

  • Individuals under the age of 21, including infants and strollers, are not permitted into any events where alcoholic beverages are being consumed, except for the Sunday Walk-Around Grand Tasting.
  • You must bring a valid ID to the event to be admitted.


An ATM is located in the "17th Street Farmers Market" area about a five minute walk from MSS.


You will have the option to sit down, relax, eat and sip wine at various locations around MSS during the Walk-Around Grand Tasting.

Dress Code

The dress code for all events is smart casual or casual - whatever you find most comfortable!  Please wear what you like, including business attire, if you are coming to an event from work.  Further, please wear comfortable shoes!  Also, we heartily recommend wearing black or dark-colored clothing. Red wine shows up much more prominently on white or light-colored clothes.

Coat Check and Wine Check

Coat check services will be offered at SMOKED! on Friday night, the Saturday and Sunday Walk-Around Grand Tastings, Bounty of Virginia on Saturday evening, Rooted in Richmond Sparkling Brunch on Sunday morning and Nightbeat on Saturday night. You may check in your coat upon arrival at the entrance of these events.  


Parking at MSS will be available in numerous parking lots adjacent to or a close walk from MSS.  Most surface parking lots and streets within a 5 to 10 minute walk will have available parking.  Street parking is free in many but not all nearby streets after 6PM on weeknights and on weekends.

Handicap Access

The recently revitalized Main Street Station is handicap accessible.


Pets are not permitted at the event.

Cologne, Hairspray, Aftershave, and Perfume

Please refrain from wearing strong perfume, lotion, hairspray, aftershave or colognes because their scent can interfere with the bouquet of the wine. This detracts from the tasting experience of our guests.

Re-entry Rights

Once an attendee leaves MSS, where the majority of events will be held, re-entry is prohibited. The only exception to this rule is the Smoking Area (please see below).

Smoking Area

Smokers will be permitted to use a special outdoor designated area for smoking during that Walk-Around Grand Tastings, which will be highlighted on the Event Program and Map.  Also, there will be another special area designated for smoking for the other signature events held at MSS, including SMOKED!, Bounty of Virginia and Rooted in Richmond.