The annual Virginia Wine Expo is a national destination event celebrating Virginia's extraordinary wines and the Richmond region's culinary, historic and cultural excellence. You'll have an opportunity to meet the chefs behind Richmond's emergence as a foodie destination and enjoy dozens of events, including the legendary Walk-Around Grand Tastings, where you can taste and buy more than 450 bottles of Virginia wine. Numerous other events, including premium dinners, lunches, brunches, seminars, comparative tastings, tours, excursions, a half-marathon and 10k, and more are part of the schedule.
Nowhere else in the nation can you taste and buy as many Virginia wines as you can at the Virginia Wine Expo.
About the Guest Region™
The Virginia Wine Expo (VWE) highlights Virginia wine. However, starting in 2014, the VWE will introduce a new concept called the "Guest Region". The Guest Region is a national (U.S.) or international wine region that will be featured in various components of the VWE - NOT the Walk-Around Grand Tastings - to help keep the event as fresh and as exciting as possible. The Guest Region will rotate to a different region of the world on an annual basis.
In 2014, the Guest Region(s) will be Bordeaux, the Rhone Valley, and Alsace, France.
The Guest Region gives the VWE an opportunity to compare Virginia wines to a different region of the world each year. It also helps guide which restaurants will act as host venues, the foods featured in the seminars, the wines chosen for the comparative tastings, and the general theme and content for some of our special events.
In short, the Guest Region is being introduced to help keep the VWE new, fun and exciting every year. Hopefully, this will encourage you to attend the Expo every year as well!
About How and Why the Virginia Wine Expo® Was Founded
In early 2007, local entrepreneur, lawyer, and self-described food and wine lover, Alex Papajohn, was fed up with travelling back and forth to Washington, D.C. to satisfy his desire to enjoy a classy, major indoor wine and food event during the winter. The drive was a pain, parking was expensive, and the ticket prices were excessive — considering the mediocre quality of the wine and food. He couldn’t understand why Richmond, his hometown, didn’t have its own signature winter wine event.
Finally, on a lark, in mid-January of 2007, Alex picked up the phone and called the head of the Virginia Wine Board, who, at the time, was William Moses. Alex pitched Mr. Moses on an idea: Would the Virginia Wine Board be interested in supporting a major international wine event, which would highlight Virginia wine, held during the winter in Richmond, Virginia at the Greater Richmond Convention Center? Alex pointed out that the Virginia wine calendar was largely empty from December to early March.
Mr. Moses was intrigued enough to invite Alex to pitch his idea to the Virginia Wine Board, which was holding its next meeting in only two more weeks. Alex pitched the idea and, after several months, the Virginia Wine Board and the Virginia Wineries Association decided to support it on the condition that the event only feature Virginia wine. Thus, the Virginia Wine Expo was born.
Now in its seventh year, the Virginia Wine Expo has become the Mid-Atlantic's premier wine event. Attendance is expected to exceed 13,000 in 2014 and reach 17,000+ by 2016. The Expo has grown to include over 35 different events at the Greater Richmond Convention Center and nearby venues.
Please enjoy the VWE and feel free to let us know what you think.