Henrico County VA

Swirl and sip

Virginia Wine Festival returns
Whether you’re an oenophile, a Hokie fan or just looking for fun, the Central Virginia Wine Festival is the place to be.

The annual event will be held May 12 at the SnagAJob Pavilion at Innsbrook.

“It’s a fantastic, fun atmosphere,” said Michael Eck, founder and chairman of the event.

This year’s event will showcase 15 wineries from around the Commonwealth, feature live music, food and arts and crafts vendors. And, of course, there will be plenty of Virginia wine (and also beer).

The event benefits the Virginia Tech Alumni Association - Richmond Chapter. “This is our only fundraiser of the year,” said Eck. “It supports scholarships for Richmond area Virginia Tech students.” The festival raises $15,000 to $30,000.

Many of the 14,000 area Hokie alumni will attend, but admission certainly isn’t limited to them, said Eck, a 1998 graduate. “We get a broad group of people.”

Are U.Va. fans welcome?

“Of course,” he said. “Anybody – as long as they’re not wearing West Virginia University gear. No, on second thought, we’d love to have them, too.”

The first festival was founded in 2005. Its most successful year, not surprisingly, was 2007, in the wake of the shootings at Tech. Organizers have moved the event up from June to have cooler weather.

And though there’s plenty of excellent wine to taste, Eck stressed that there also is beer available, as well as non-alcoholic beverages and a family-friendly atmosphere.

“We’ve been there every year since the beginning and it’s one of our favorite festivals of the year,” said Max Abrams, a co-owner of Grayhaven Winery. “It’s a lot of fun for us – and we have some Hokies in the family.”

Musical entertainment includes The Escorts from 12:30 p.m. to 2 p.m., 44 Diesel from 2:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. and Big Enough from 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Wineries represented include: Belle Mount Vineyards, Warsaw; Byrd Cellars, Goochland; DelFosse Vineyards, Faber; Grayhaven Winery, Gum Spring; Horton Wine, Gordonsville; Huntington Creek Vineyards, Trailclover; Lake Anna Winery, Spotsylvania; Lazy Days Winery, Amherst; Peaks of Otter Winery, Bedford; Rebec Winery, Amherst; Sans Soucy, Brookneal; Saude Creek, Lanexa; Stone Mountain Vineyards, Dyke; Veritas Vineyard, Afton; Well Hung Vineyard, Charlottesville.

Virginia wines have become respected throughout the world in recent years and there currently are about 200 wineries in the state producing about one million gallons per year.

How to taste wine
Impress your date and taste wine like an expert with these simple steps:

• Be sure to check the temperature of the wine before opening. After opening, let the wine breathe (for red wines, aerate in a carafe, if desired).

• Pour a small amount of wine into the glass, and hold the glass towards the light to note the clarity of the wine and the depth of color.

• Gently swirl to release the bouquet. Sniff the wine (the smell of wine is called the nose) with your mouth open.

• Take a small sip of wine, allowing it to coat the tongue. Swirl in your mouth for a few seconds.

• Swallow, if you wish, or spit out (there will be a bucket or other receptacle for this). Observe the finish of the wine, or the time it takes to dissolve in your mouth.

If you go
What: The Central Virginia Wine Festival

When: Saturday, May 12, noon- 6 p.m.

Where: SnagAJob Pavilion at Innsbrook, 4901 Lake Brook Drive, Glen Allen, 23060

Cost: Tasting tickets $20 in advance, $25 at the gate; general admission tickets $8 in advance, $10 at the gate. Advance tickets on sale through May 11 at Martin’s or by calling (804) 794-6700

Details: http://www.centralvirginiawinefestival.com
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Community

MADD to host candlelight vigil Dec. 2 at UR

Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) will host a candlelight vigil of remembrance and hope Tuesday, Dec. 2 at 7 p.m. at the University of Richmond, outside the Cannon Chapel. The public is invited to attend and join MADD to honor victims of impaired driving crashes, while helping to remind the community to be safe during the holidays. > Read more.

Tournament supports adoption efforts

Among participants at the Seventh Annual Coordinators2Inc Golf Tournament and awards luncheon Oct. 3 were (from left) Rebecca Ricardo, C2 Inc executive director; Kevin Derr, member of the winning foursome; Sharon Richardson, C2 Inc founder; and Frank Ridgway and Jon King, members of the winning foursome.

Held at The Crossings Golf Club, the tournament will benefit placement of children from Virginia's foster care system into permanent families through Coordinators2. > Read more.

A.C. Moore to host winter craft day for kids

Event will help kick of Marine Corps' 'Toys for Tots' campaign
All 140 A.C. Moore locations will serve as drop-off centers this year for the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation, and all toys collected will stay in the local communities served by the stores in which they are donated.

On Saturday, Nov. 15, the Willow Lawn location will kick off the month-long program by hosting a "Make & Take" craft event for kids. Children ages six and older will be able to make a craft and take it home with them. Representatives from the Marines will be in-store to teach customers about the Toys for Tots program. A.C. Moore team members will be on site to help with the crafts. > Read more.

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Entertainment

Weekend Top 10


The Dominion GardenFest of Lights Grand Illumination takes place tonight at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden! This year’s theme is “A Legacy in Lights: 120 Years from Bicycle Club to Botanical Garden,” which celebrates the Garden’s history. You can also celebrate Thanksgiving again – tomorrow at Henricus Historical Park. More great events – Lavender Fields Herb Farm and Wilton House Museum will both host their holiday open house events this weekend. For all our top picks this weekend, click here! > Read more.

A hero is born

Disney’s ‘Big Hero 6,’ lovable robot Baymax delight
It may be time for Olaf to step down as our nation’s reigning cartoon character. Big Hero 6, the latest animated feature from Disney, contains a challenger to the throne: Baymax (Scott Adsit), another lovably chubby white wonder, who will bring joy to children’s hearts and invade every home in America inside a six-foot pile of Disney merchandise.

Big Hero 6 (based ever so slightly on a Marvel comic of the same name) is the story of Baymax – and also his closest companion Hiro Hamada (Ryan Potter). And then also their four friends, all of whom join together to form the titular superhero team.

At first, though, it’s only Hiro, a young boy and an engineering prodigy, who’d rather spend his time in underground robot fight clubs than do something productive with his gifts. > Read more.

Authentically Italian

Bella’s feels – and tastes – like Italy should
Short Pump is known for its share of chain restaurants and strip malls, but diners looking for something more distinct can certainly find it without heading downtown or to nearby Charlottesville.

In fact, local husband-and-wife restaurateurs Valeria Bisenti and Doug Muir brought a taste of Charlottesville (and Italy) to Short Pump when they took a chance and opened Bella’s second location in the same shopping strip as Wal-Mart and Peter Chang China Cafe. (Bella’s original location is on Main Street in downtown Charlottesville.)

For a local Italian restaurant, Bella’s is as “Mom and Pop” as its gets. Valeria is Mom, and Doug is Pop. Since its opening about six months ago, diners have been eating rich comfort foods and drinking Italian wines. > Read more.

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