About

About

If there is one event that encapsulates the extraordinary craft beverage and food scene in Richmond - and Virginia - it's the 2022 Virginia Wine Expo presented by Publix.  

The primary focus of the Virginia Wine Expo's 32+ events is to educate consumers and the trade about premium Virginia wine, spirits and cider.  Many of the hundreds of Virginia wines and spirits you will sample at the Walk-Around Grand Tastings - the Expo's most popular signature events - will be available for sale during the event, making the Expo a unique tasting, educational and buying opportunity.

The Expo's signature events will be held at beautiful Main Street Station and other unique and historic venues throughout the Richmond area. In varying degrees, they highlight Virginia wine, spirits, cider, and impeccable local cuisine. They will also feature wines from our 2022 National and International Guest Regions, Napa Valley and Argentina, respectively.

Five Objectives

The Virginia Wine Expo has five objectives: to present a highly curated, informative and educational wine, spirits, and food experience for the public, media and trade; to be a national destination event, which attracts wine and spirits enthusiasts and foodies from across the country and beyond; to offer a unique opportunity to taste - and in most cases buy - Virginia wine and spirits; to present the diverse and extraordinary cuisine of Richmond's flourishing and nationally acclaimed dining scene; and to raise money for charity.

Enhanced Educational Opportunity: Virginia Wine Expo Academy

The educational opportunities available at the 2022 Expo have been enhanced.  In addition to our standard Masterclass seminar schedule, which will be led by an extemely well-qualified faculty, we are introducing the new Virginia Wine Expo Academy (Academy).  

The aim of the Academy is to give consumers and the trade an opportunity to learn more about Virginia wine with an in-depth annual course.  After taking the course, candidates will receive a Certificate and become Members of the Academy, joining an exclusive club whose membership includes discounts on future Virginia Wine Expo events held during the main Expo week and throughout the year.  We hope to introduce additional Academy courses focusing on our Guest Regions, which rotate each year, in the future.

Introducing the Virginia Wine Expo Auction

New for 2022, we are introducing a remote and in-person silent Auction via an online bidding platform. The remote Auction will go live on February 17 and the in-person auction, which will have the same items available to bid on as the remote Auction, will be held at SMOKED! (March 4) and the Walk-Around Grand Tastings (March 5-6) at beautiful Main Street Station.

You will not have to be an attendee to bid on and win auctioned items.  Both the remote and in-person auctions will simultaneously close on Sunday, March 6, at 4:30p.m.

Auction items will cover a wide spectrum of goods and services relating to food, wine, spirits, cooking, culinary experiences, travel, entertainment, art, sports memorabilia and much more.    Learn more about how to participate in the Auctions here.

All 32+ Events Are Curated

We are dedicated to presenting content that is of outstanding quality.   Thus, every event, including dinners, brunches, lunches, thematic wine and food experiences, seminars and more, on our schedule is invitation-only and curated by our team.   We want you to enjoy a great experience - an experience we would cherish ourselves.

Heart of the Expo

The heart of the Expo is the Walk-Around Grand Tasting, of which there are three sessions, where the public, media and trade will be able to swirl, sniff, taste and discuss hundreds of bottles of wine from Virginia and our 2022 Guest Regions, as well as taste dozens of spirits and ciders from Virginia.

One of the most unique aspects of the VWE is the opportunity to taste and in many cases buy Virginia wine, cider and spirits at the Walk-Around Grand Tastings.  The opportunity to meet winemakers, knowledgeable volunteers and distributor representatives, who can educate, enlighten and enrich your understanding of these quality craft products and then buy them at the event to take home is a very special opportunity you won't find elsewhere.

There is no other event in the U.S. like the Virginia Wine Expo.  Please join us!

A World Class Venue

Several of the VWE's signature events, including the Walk-Around Grand Tastings, and the Masterclass seminars will be held in beautiful Main Street Station located in historic Shockoe Bottom in downtown Richmond.  The venue has beautiful stained-wood, cathedral ceilings and big bay windows with panoramic views of downtown Richmond to the West and historic Church Hill to the East.  It is a world-class venue worthy of a great destination wine and food event.

Ticket Packages

The best deals are the ticket packages which allow you to personalize your experience.   There is a dedicated ticket packages page where you can peruse your options.  The packages are actually sold on the ticket page.  These deals offer big savings on the most popular signature events of the Expo.  If you want to save money and enjoy a special weekend culinary experience, definitely check out these deals.

History

In early 2007, local entrepreneur, lawyer, and self-described foodie and wine lover, Alex Papajohn, was fed up with traveling 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 experienced at the event. He couldn’t understand why Richmond, his hometown, didn’t have its own signature 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 through 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 two weeks. Alex pitched the idea and, after several months, the Virginia Wine Board and the Virginia Wineries Association decided to throw their support behind the event. Thus, the Virginia Wine Expo was born.

Now in its 14th year, the Virginia Wine Expo has become a premier destination wine and food event. Attendance is expected to exceed 7,500 in 2022 at more than 32 events held at Main Street Station and nearby venues.

Please enjoy the VWE and feel free to let us know what you think.