Epicurience Virginia, a showcase of Loudoun and regional wines, spirits, brews and agricultural products, is hitting a number of firsts in its fourth rendition—a new location, new time frame and new management.
For the first three years, the event was held on the majestic grounds of Morven Park in Leesburg. The $200,000 needed to support the event was funded each year by the county government, with money coming from tourism funds generated by hotel stays.
This year, the event will now be held only on one day—Saturday, Oct. 15—from 1 to 7 p.m., and will move east, to Ashburn to the striking timber barn at One Loudoun. It also has new management—instead of Visit Loudoun, the culinary and wine/beer festival from now on will be produced by Hype Promotions, owned by Kristina Geske.
Visit Loudoun President and CEO Beth Erickson praised Geske’s company, which has more than a decade of experience in producing successful food, beverage and music festivals on the East Coast.
Earlier, Erickson said, “We built a brand of what’s valuable in the county, and established Loudoun as a premier East Coast destination.” She is particularly pleased with the move eastward, noting that having the festival at One Loudoun opens up an entirely new demographic.
Jackie Saunders, vice president of marketing at Visit Loudoun, praised Hype Promotions’ work at the new location, citing the Made in Virginia offerings of oyster shucking, mixology and wine tastings, plus bringing in some new chefs—Matchbox and Purcellville’s West End Wine Bar & Pub—or exhibitors including Ford’s Fish Shack in Ashburn and South Riding, the double exhibit by Tarara Winery and the Wine Kitchen, and the wine education relating to Virginia wines as a whole.
Hype Promotions managed the Americana Beer & Music Festival at Morven Park in June, and Geske said this week she is looking forward to managing the event in Ashburn. “We produced craft beer fests for years, and we’d done lots of hospitality consulting,” she said, although wine is newer to the company.
General admission to Epicurience is $75 in advance ($95 day of), with a combination price of $149 available for those who also attend the Loudoun Wineries Association’s Wine Awards dinner the night before. A VIP ticket costs $125 in advance ($150 day of), with special parking, exclusive tastings, VIP lounge access, golf cart shuttles, demonstrations, special guest appearances and a swag bag.
The Barn will be the premier viewing area for the chefs’ demonstration lineup, which will be headed by Top Chef Masters alum Bryan Voltaggio. He will be joined by Executive Chef Jim Drost of Matchbox, Chef Jason Lage of Market Table Bistro and Chef Chris Edwards of Salamander Resort & Spa, among others.
Visit Loudoun will be the presenting sponsor, joined by Integrus Holdings and its subsidiaries Sterling Restaurant Supply and Fortessa Tableware—that will host the popular Chefs Demonstration stage.
One Loudoun Managing Director and Miller & Smith Vice President Bill May, welcomes the event to its new home and said the historic barn would be a perfect backdrop for the festival.
Several One Loudoun restaurants and bars will showcase local libations and other special menu items as a tie into the festival. For example, Old Ox & Friends will be at One Loudoun’s World of Beer from 6 to 9 p.m.; Burgers and Bourbon produce their sought-after mini burgers and a bourbon nip for $5 to anyone with a festival wristband; Hail & Hog from 7 to 11 p.m. will feature two custom pairing menus—a burgundy (reds) menu and a gold (whites). Catoctin Creek Distillery will have a 7 p.m. “happy hour” at Sense of Thai with $10 Dealer’s Choice personal cocktails highlighting its Roundstone Rye and Watershed Gin. And Voltaggio will introduce his latest concept—Aggio—from 8 to 10:30 p.m. in which patrons can enjoy special dessert and beverage pairings. The next day, Aggio will produce a brunch prepared by Voltaggio, for $35 per person.
For more information or various discounts, volunteer opportunities or to purchase tickets, go to epicvirginia.com.