Harvest season is right around the corner, which means it’s time to start planning which food- and wine-themed festivals you’re going to pop by this year. Whether you want to taste the best culturally diverse cuisine in the region or sample one of 100 local wines without vineyard hopping, make sure to hit up these food and wine festivals.
Aug. 6–7 and Aug. 13—14, 9 a.m.–5 p.m.
Celebrate peak peach-picking season at Great Country Farms in Bluemont. Kick off the morning with a pancake breakfast (topped with peaches, of course) to prep you for an afternoon of picking fresh fruit. There will also be a peach pie eating contest, peach pit spitting contest, peach cider at Henway Hard Cider, peach sangria at Bluemont Vineyard, Dirt Farm Brewing’s Som’ Peach Ale, peach ice cream at Knead It Bakery, and much more peachy fun. Great Country Farms, 18780 Foggy Bottom Rd., Bluemont
Aug. 13, 5–10 p.m.
Spend an evening exploring all the flavors of Leesburg. Enjoy fan-favorite bites from local restaurants, food trucks, and farm markets while you sip something special from area breweries, wineries, cideries, and meaderies. Once you’ve had your fill (or not!), walk the streets and jam to the beats of live music, or do a little shopping. Admission to the event is free. Wristbands for unlimited tastings of beer, wine, and cider are available for purchase online. Market and King streets, Downtown Leesburg
Aug. 27, noon–6 p.m.
Explore the world through wine at this summer festival in Centreville. Guests will have the chance to sample wines from Italy, Spain, France, and California, as well as homegrown Virginia varietals. There will also be a special area pouring local beers and craft spirits. A “tasting theater” will have wine and food seminars, complimentary with admission. Tickets are $42 for general admission and $75 for VIP, which includes early entry to the event and a special Champagne lounge. Bull Run Special Events Center, 7700 Bull Run Dr., Centreville
Aug. 27, 11 a.m.—7 p.m.
Spend an afternoon on Alexandria’s waterfront tasting national dishes from around the world. With only one restaurant selected to participate per country represented, the festival will offer attendees the best of the best from each nation, from Peru and Jamaica to Italy, Turkey, Japan, and Lebanon — among many others. In addition to diverse dishes, the free event will have a folk show featuring global singers and dancers, as well as shopping from artisans and crafters from all over the globe. Oronoco Bay Park, 100 Madison St., Old Town Alexandria
Sept. 4, 2–9 p.m.
It’s a backyard hangout for a great cause. This all-day jam fest raises money for talented musicians in Loudoun County to purchase equipment that’ll help them further their careers. More than 25 musicians are scheduled to appear. Enjoy local wine from host 868 Estate Vineyards, along with beer and food. Tickets are $20. Kids under 16 get free entry but still need a ticket. 868 Estate Vineyards, 14001 Harpers Ferry Rd., Hillsboro
Sept. 10, 11 a.m.–6 p.m.
This year’s event has a little something for everyone, with more than 150 vendors, but the star of the show is the chili cook-off. Arrive early to taste as many chili recipes as you can stomach, then vote for your favorite. Or consider entering the competition yourself. (There’s no cost to enter.) The festival is free and will also have two stages with music and entertainment, along with activities for the family. Stonebridge Town Center, 15201 Potomac Town Pl., Woodbridge
Bands, Brews & Barbecue will return to Historic Manassas for its 11th year. The event will feature live music from area bands, beverages from local breweries and distilleries, and plenty of mouthwatering barbecue. Talented pitmasters will also face off in a heated barbecue competition — so come hungry. Manassas Museum Lawn, 9101 Prince William St., Manassas
Oct. 1–2, noon—6 p.m.
Vendors will be pouring more than 100 Virginia wines from the state’s top wineries, shucking fresh Chesapeake oysters at the VA Oyster Pavilion, and serving up an eclectic mix of food truck fare. Tickets cost $39 for general admission or $69 for VIP, which includes early entry to the event, tastings of select reserve wines, and a private tented area. One Loudoun, 44600 Freetown Blvd., Ashburn
Oct. 7–9, 6–9 p.m.
Enjoy an evening on the East Lawn of George Washington’s historic estate sampling wines from Virginia producers. Concessions by the Mount Vernon Inn will also be available for purchase. If you’ve never seen the mansion, take advantage of the opportunity to check out the first and second floors and cellar after-hours (and away from tourists), as well. Daily ticket prices range from $43 to $53 for members and $53 to $63 or nonmembers. George Washington’s Mount Vernon, 3200 Mount Vernon Memorial Hwy., Mount Vernon
Oct. 8, 4–9 p.m.
Ignite your senses at this outdoor celebration of whiskey, wine, and fire-kissed barbecue. There will also be food trucks, s’mores, live music, fire-breathers (yes, fire-breathers), shopping, and educational seminars. Each guest gets a souvenir glass to enjoy an “all-you-care-to-taste” sampling of whiskey and wine. Tickets cost $59 for general admission or $89 for VIP, which is limited to the first 400 guests but includes early entry, complimentary bites, a bottle of wine, and a special seating lounge. Bull Run Special Events Center, 7700 Bull Run Dr., Centreville
Oct. 30, 11 a.m.–4 p.m.
This event is 100 percent vegan and free to the public. Whether you’re already living a vegan lifestyle or are interested in learning about how you can incorporate more plant-based foods into your daily routine, Loudoun Veg Fest is for you. The one-day festival will feature food vendors, live music, exhibitors, and speakers discussing eco-friendly topics like diet, animal welfare, and the environment. Hillsboro Old Stone School, 37098 Charles Town Pk., Purcellville