VWE Tips and General Info

Safety First

  • Although you will have an opportunity to taste hundreds of wines 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 event, 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. We will have taxi/UBER information available for you at the event. 

Tickets and Combo Deals

  • 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 late September, 2016.
  • To save money and for a special weekend culinary experience, we strongly recommend the COMBO TICKET DEALS.  These packages can be found on the 
  • Tickets can only be purchased in advance at VirginiaWineExpo.com.
  • 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 there is not a sell-out in advance, tickets for Burger Blast, SMOKED! and the Walk-Around Grand Tastings will be sold at the Ticket Office on the ground floor, next to the main entrance to Exhibit Hall A in the Greater Richmond Convention Center during the following hours:

Friday, March 10, 3:00 P.M. – 7:00 P.M.
Saturday, March 11, 9:00 A.M. – 4:00 P.M.
Sunday, March 12, 10:00 A.M. - 3:00 P.M.

  • If an event is sold out, notice will be given on the VirginiaWineExpo.com web site.
  • 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, where it will be scanned at the event entrance by our volunteers.
  • If you lose your ticket, please contact Variant Events and let us know. We will work with Eventbrite, our ticket-provider, to get you a new ticket.  You also have the option of bringing the ticket on your mobile phone.   We can check the ticket on your mobile phone, if necessary.
  • Tickets are not refundable and may not be exchanged.

Sampling and Buying Glasses of Wine / Closing Time

At the Saturday and Sunday Walk-Around Grand Tastings, the privilege to sample or buy glasses/bottles of wine from some of the Virginia winery exhibitors will end thirty minutes before the closing time.  [Full bottles of wine may be purchaed for both on- and off-site consumption.]  However, you will still be able to purchase closed bottles of wine for off-site consumption until the event ends (during the final 30 minutes.].  NOTES: You may buy glasses, bottles or cases of some Virginia wine 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.

Spanish, Portuguese and Sonoma County, CA wine will be for sampling purposes only.   Glass and bottle sales of these wines will not be available.

Food and Beverage

Ticket holders are not permitted to bring any food or beverages into the Greater Richmond Convention Center 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 in the convention center, which may be enjoyed, along with wine, in the Wine Garden.


The Virginia Wine Expo will be held inside the Greater Richmond Convention Center and nearby venues, so weather will not be an issue.

Age and Kids

  • Individuals under the age of 21 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 Greater Richmond Convention Center just outside of the main entrance to the Walk-Around Grand Tasting in front of Exhibit Hall A.


You will have the option to sit down, relax, eat and sip wine in the Wine Garden or at various locations around the Exhibit Hall floor during the Walk-Around Grand Tasting. Also, during the Burger Blast, you will be able to relax in the Wine, Craft Beer & Burger Garden.

Dress Code

The dress code for all events is casual, except we recommend smart casual for the Wednesday night Dinner, Thursday night's A Noodle & Dumpling Affair and Saturday night's SMOKED!.  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 the Burger Blast on Friday night, SMOKED! on Saturday night, and the Saturday and Sunday Walk-Around Grand Tastings. You may check in your coat upon arrival at the entrance of these events. The Wine Check service will be offered at the Saturday and Sunday Walk-Around Grand Tastings to attendees who purchase two or more bottles of Virginia wine.


Parking at the VWE is easy for events held at the convention center. There is a parking deck that is directly connected to the Greater Richmond Convention Center (GRCC). Also, there are surface parking lots and street parking within a few blocks of the GRCC.  Street parking is free after 6PM on weeknights and on weekends.

Handicap Access

The Greater Richmond Convention Center 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.

Busy and Mellow Walk-Around Grand Tasting Sessions

The busiest tasting session is the GENERAL ADMISSION Walk-Around Grand Tasting held on Saturday. The GENERAL ADMISSION Saturday tasting is perfect for you if you enjoy moderate crowds and have some patience when you walk up to a winery to taste wine. 

The VIP/EARLY ADMISSION Saturday Walk-Around Grand Tasting offers 2+ hours of time beginning at 10:00 A.M. where there will be very light attendance. Thus, if you like VERY light crowds, this is the best session to attend.

Sunday’s Walk-Around Grand Tasting has relatively light attendance as well. It is definitely mellower than the Saturday General Admission Walk-Around Grand Tasting. When you walk up to a winery to taste wine, the wait will brief in most cases.

In summary, the Saturday General Admission Walk-Around Grand Tasting is the busiest. The Saturday VIP/Early Admission and Sunday Walk-Around Grand Tastings are less busy, although the Saturday VIP/Early Admission session is the least busy.  

Re-entry Rights

Once an attendee leaves the Exhibition Hall, where the Walk-Around Grand Tastings are 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, located adjacent to the Exhibition Hall, to smoke. This area will be highlighted on the Event Program and Map, which will be distributed to attendees when they enter the Exhibition Hall for the Walk-Around Grand Tastings, Burger Blast and SMOKED!.