The great grape: Boar's Head festival honors vintners

Who knew that Virginia would become such a boon to the viticulture industry? For the last 20 years or so, vineyards have sprouted (so to speak) exponentially across the state, producing on a regular basis some award-winning wines. The very soil conditions and weather patterns that can sometimes ruin a home garden have proven year after year to work wonders on grapes.
To celebrate this industry in true Virginia style, the Boar’s Head Inn once again hosts the annual Monticello Wine and Jazz Festival. Inspired by Thomas Jefferson’s interest in wine, members of the Jeffersonian Wine Grape Growers Society have presented this festival for 22 years as an ongoing tribute to the “fruits of their labors.”
Sixteen local wineries will set up tents for tastings and will present seminars on all topics relating to wine. Some participants include Oakencroft (medal winner for a 1983 Seyval Blanc), White Hall (continual award winner since 2000), Veritas, Stone Mountain, Autumn Hill, Barboursville, Mountain Cove, Kluge Estates, and the list goes on.
To further complement Virginia Wine month, there will be live music from locals Michael Mulvaney (a powerful blend of rhythm and blues with a folk influence) performing Saturday, and Terri Allard (gutsy, soulful Americana) on Sunday.
Four stations will offer delectable gourmet foods to buffer the wine and several local craftspeople will sell their wares. A portion of the proceeds will benefit Worksource Enterprises and Breadworks. Admission includes unlimited wine tastings, a souvenir wine glass, entrance to all seminars, visits to all exhibits, and free parking.
Even if this kind of festival isn’t your cup of tea (or glass of wine, so to speak), there are myriad reasons other than wine-sipping to attend. Picnickers are welcome to enjoy the lake and the grounds of the Inn while at the Festival.
Hobnob with the hoi polloi while gaining knowledge about a very successful local agri-business that continues to make waves in the grape-growing world.

The Monticello Wine and Jazz Festival will be held October 5 and 6 from 11am-5pm. Rain or shine. Advance tickets are $10 per person per day and are valid for either day, $15 on the day. Food available at an additional cost. Tickets for people under 21 and those not drinking are $2. For more information, call 296-4188, ext. 21.