Agriculture has always been the economic foundation of the Shenandoah Valley. As years have passed, the apple and peach orchards have been swallowed up by an increased population of homes but the agriculture industry has not left the valley. Today as part of the state of Virginia’s wine initiative, the Shenandoah Valley is a wine growth center for vineyards. With the coming of Spring, Go Blue Ridge Travel showcases the beginning of the wine festival season that runs from the end of April to late Fall. Road Trips are a great way to see the valley while visiting the wine festivals.
The first festival to “uncork the Bloom” is the Shenandoah Apple Blossom’s Bloomin Wine Fest. With 86 years of festival experience, the Apple Blossom Festival officially kicks off its 86th year with The Bloomin Wine Fest on Friday, April 26th. This two day event provides a traditional wine tasting atmosphere featuring over twenty statewide Virginia wineries. In an effort to make the event more accessible, this year the event will be enclosed in one large open space eliminating the need to walk between wine gardens.
Like many festivals in the valley, music is a big part of the Apple Blossom Festival and the Wine Fest is just one more example. According to Nancy Craun of Go Blue Ridge Travel, two stages will be set up with on-going bands thru out the event. The open and casual atmosphere of the event will allow attendees to stroll between the artisans and culinary vendors.
The Bloomin Wine Fest runs from 3:00 to 10:00 on Friday, April 26th and from 11:00 to 6:00 on Saturday, April 27th. There is a Stay and Play Package available with tickets included to the festival as well as travel packages for the full ten day Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival.
After the Bloomin Wine Festival, the Wine and Trotter Festival is on May 11th at the Shenandoah County Fairgrounds in Woodstock, Virginia. Just off of Interstate 81, an easy one hour plus road trip from the metropolitan DC area, the Wine and Trotter Festival will offer for the first time Harness Racing which normally only occurs with the Shenandoah County Fair in August. This is a small festival featuring eight local wineries who are part of the Shenandoah Valley Wine Trail. Those attending this festival will find this part of the Shenandoah Valley offers vacation home rentals as well as leading hotels and bed and breakfasts near by.
A short distance from Woodstock is Bryce Resort, which offers a stunning mountain retreat weekend getaway far from the hustle and bustle of city life. While the slopes may have been shut down for the season the resort continues to offer a larger variety of activities such as golf, zipline adventures, lake beach and boating, hiking mountain trails, rock climbing walls, and a 340 foot mountain tubing.
Perhaps the oldest of the Spring Wine Festivals at 27 years and certainly the largest is the Virginia Wine and Craft Festival in Front Royal, Virginia on Saturday, May 18th.
The Virginia Wine and Craft Festival is a great day trip to the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Shenandoah Valley. The festival opens at 10 am and closes at 6 pm. The festival takes over the historic downtown Front Royal area with musical entertainment and over 20 Virginia vineyards covering seven blocks.
Artisans and crafters travel to the festival from all over the east coast. From fine handmade jewelry, handcrafted musical instruments, pottery, clothing, original paintings, antiques, there is certainly something for everyone to find that is unique to their individual taste. Food vendors will also be out in full force. Information about the most popular cabins and bed and breakfasts in this area can be found at Go Blue Ridge Travel’s Accommodations.
Spring is the time to enjoy the dogwoods, azaleas and rhododendrons with a road trip to the Shenandoah Valley. Enjoy the wine and relax and listen to local music artists at these wine festivals the end of April and the month of May.