Insights, Recommendations & Policies
Welcome to the 2023 Virginia Wine Expo presented by Publix! Please join us February 25-March 5, 2023, in Richmond, Virginia.
Below you'll find insights, recommendations and policies which will help you plan your itinerary to our event.
General Insights & Recommendations
Wine and spirits enthusiasts and novices will thoroughly enjoy our curated events. Owners, distributor representatives, senior winery representatives, and knowledgeable volunteers will discuss the wines, spirits and ciders you are tasting. If you are interested in a reserving a hotel room, please check out our partner hotels for good deals.
The VIP/Early Saturday Afternoon Walk-Around Grand Tasting on Saturday, March 4, begins 90 minutes before the General session and offers attendees highly-regarded wines unavailable to General Admission attendees! The VIP/Early SMOKED! session on Friday, March 3, begins one hour before the General Admission session.
- Events are all-inclusive - you will not be charged separately for wine or food (if it is a food event) unless you are purchasing Virginia wine, spirits or cider to take home.
The best deals are the ticket packages, which feature two or more events and offer signifcant discounts. Combo deals are perfect for personalizing your craft beverage and culinary experience.
BUY EARLY! The Expo has dramatically enhanced the events to make them higher quality and less crowded, which will limit the number of available tickets per session compared to previous years.
- Admission into our events without the privilege to consume alcohol or food (if food is included), is available. Please scroll down to the bottom of the ticket page to find these ticket options.
- If you purchase wine, spirits or cider, there will be a wine-check service that hold your items for you until you leave.
- There are no limits as far as how much wine, spirits or cider you purchase, except if the winery or distillery does not have enough supplies on-site to satisfy your order.
- Expo events begin promptly. If you are late, we can't refund or replace your tickets. Also, refunds are not available for lost or misplaced tickets. However, it is easy for us to resend lost or misplaced tickets.
- Please wear comfortable shoes and we heartily recommend business casual or casual attire - especially dressing in dark colors!
- Please arrive at our events early, especially concerning Main Street Station (MSS).
- Please drink responsibly.
Additional Insights, Recommedations & Policies
- Although you will have an opportunity to taste hundreds of wines, ciders 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 at each exhibitor table pouring alcoholic beverages and elsewhere 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 alternative plans if you are concerned about drinking and driving. Reserve a hotel room at one of our partner hotels, take a taxi, find a designated driver or use Lyft or Uber.
- THERE IS NO RE-ENTRY. You may not be permitted to come back to the Walk-Around Grand Tasting or other events after leaving, with one exception - you will be permitted to enjoy the food trucks located adjacent to Main Street Station. You may reenter the building from the food truck area. Alsom you may bring the food you purchased from the food trucks inside Main Street Station and into the event.
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.
- We reserve the right to raise or lower prices on events depending on supply and demand.
- To save money and for a special weekend culinary experience, plus getting the most bang for your buck, we strongly recommend reviewing the ticket packages.
- Tickets can be purchased in advance at VirginiaWineExpo.com or on the day of the event IF tickets are still available.
- If you buy tickets at VirginiaWineExpo.com, you may use MasterCard, Discover, Visa, and American Express.
- Tickets will be sold in advance until the minute before the event opens, 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 on 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 all of the Saturday and Sunday Walk-Around Grand Tasting sessions, the privilege to sample ends 15 minutes before the closing time.
- Full, closed bottles of Virginia wine, spirits and cider may be purchased to go until the very end of each session (closing time).
- Full bottles of wine and cider (not spirits) 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 of wine or cider from Virginia wineries and cideries.
- 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 will be for sampling purposes only. Bottle sales of these wines will not be available per ABC law.
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 unless the food was purchased from a food truck at the artisan food truck court.
- At the Walk-Around Grand Tastings and SMOKED!, complimentary water will be available to cleanse your palate. There will be numerous specialty food vendors sampling food at both events, but the samples will not be nearly enough for a meal. Full meals will be available for sale, which may be enjoyed, along with wine and cider.
- The Virginia Wine Expo will be held inside the spectacular Main Street Station 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 Main Street Station.
- You will have the option to sit down, relax, eat and sip beverages at various locations around Main Street Station during the Walk-Around Grand Tasting.
- 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 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, and the Saturday and Sunday Walk-Around Grand Tastings, You may check in your coat upon arrival at the entrance of these events.
- Wine Check (includes bottles of spirits and ciders too) will be available at all three Walk-Around Grand Tasting sessions. This service permits you to leave your beverage purchases with our team and then pick them up (downstairs) as you exit the building.
- Parking at Main Street Station will be available in numerous parking lots adjacent to or a close walk from Main Street Station. 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.
- The recently revitalized Main Street Station is handicap accessible.
- Pets are not permitted at the event
Cologne, Aftershave, Hairspray and Perfume
- Please refrain from heavy use of cologne, aftershave, hairspray and perfume, as it may interfere with other attendees enjoyment of the wine
- 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 at SMOKED!, which is also held at Main Street Station.
NOTE: ALL TICKETS TO THE VIRGINIA WINE EXPO ARE NON-REFUNDABLE.