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Epicurience festival arrives in D.C. Wine Country Labor Day weekend

The Epicurience Grand Tasting will be held Sept. 5 at Morven Park in Leesburg. Facebook/Epicurience Virginia
For the third year, thousands will flock to Epicurience in Loudoun County for fine wine, great food and entertainment as the food and wine festival kicks off Labor Day weekend.

“It’s where insiders come to savor award-­winning wines and seek out noteworthy farm­-to-­table cuisine,” organizers say.

Some of the more noteworthy events include:

Thursday, Sept. 3

Loudoun Wine Awards Reception. 7 p.m. Enjoy an awards presentation and buffet dinner featuring tastings of all of the award-­winning wines of the competition. The National Conference Center, 18980 Upper Belmont Place, Leesburg. $60 per guest.

Friday, Sept. 4

Epicurience Virginia Opening Night Chefs Dinner. 6 p.m. Enjoy an idyllic setting with country cuisine, a selection of award-­winning beverages and live music at the "State Fair" event that marks the start of Epicurience Virginia 2015. The Restaurant at Patowmack Farm, 42461 Lovettsville Road, Lovettsville. $150 per guest.

Dozens of Virginia wineries will be pouring at Epicurience. Facebook/Epicurience Virginia

Saturday, Sept. 5

*All events to be held at Morven Park, 17263 Southern Planter Lane, Leesburg, unless otherwise noted.

VIP Cocktail Samplings. 11 a.m. Catoctin Creek Distillery will be offering VIP Guests an exclusive cocktail sampling in the VIP tent all day.

Premier Wine Tastings. 11 a.m. Stone Tower Winery will be offering premier wine tastings to VIP Guests in the VIP tent.

Official Grand Tasting Opening. Noon. Over 40 exhibitors will be sampling and selling Virginia wines and foods. Samples of food and wine are included with festival entry. Each festival attendee will also receive a Schott Zwiesel etched wine glass provided by Founding Sponsor Fortessa Tableware Solutions.

Ultimate Winemaker Experience ­- Session One. 12:30 p.m. DC's Wine Country Tent. The Ultimate Winemaker Experience, hosted by Marianne Frantz, will allow guests to team up with Loudoun Winemakers for a Speed Blending Competition.

Epicurience Virginia Wine Blend Sneak Peek. 12:30 p.m. VIP tent. Get a sneak peek of the 2013 Epicurience Virginia Red Wine Blend created from wines by Bluemont Vineyards, Breaux Vineyards, Sunset Hills Vineyards and Tarara Winery.

VIP Exclusive Beer Tasting. 1:30 p.m. VIP tent. Lost Rhino Brewing Co. is offering VIP guests the opportunity to taste never before released, limited production specialty beers.

Wine Blending Judging Ceremony. 3:30 p.m. Grand Tasting Pavilion. Wine industry professionals will begin to judge the submitted speed blended wines.

Sunday, Sept. 6

Epicurience Virginia Brunch at Salamander Resort & Spa. 9 a.m. ­ 2:30 p.m. Join for the culmination of Epicurience at Salamander Resort & Spa’s signature restaurant, Harrimans. Enjoy numerous culinary selections, including bountiful breakfast choices, a carving station, a seafood tower and decadent desserts. Listen to live music and custom­make your own Bloody Mary with 10 house-­infused vodkas including bacon, cucumber, ­carrot, fresh garden herb and ghost chili along with a Loudoun County sourced garnish bar. 500 N. Pendleton St., Middleburg. $80 per adult, $18 per child (12 and under).

For more information, visit http://www.epicvirgina.com.


Here’s a closer look at the folks behind the food:

Willowsford Conservancy Culinary Director Bonnie Moore has 25 years of cooking experience and a degree in culinary arts from Johnson and Wales University. She has also worked as the executive chef at Global Food and Nutrition and as executive sous chef at the Inn at Little Washington. Moore has also worked as an educator in cooking at Blackberry Farm and Sur la Table. She’s a founding member of Real Food for Kids, which works to improve the quality of food for public school children.


Executive Chef Bryan Voltaggio of Volt and Family Meal has an extensive history in the restaurant business, opening nine restaurants since 2008. His restaurants and cooking style emphasize the use of local ingredients and products. Voltaggio has appeared on both “Top Chef” and “Top Chef Masters”, and attended the Culinary Institute of America. He is the author of two cookbooks, with his brother Michael co-authoring on the first book in 2011.


Jason Lage of Market Table Bistro in Lovettsville has 22 years of restaurant experience, and has served as top chef at locations like the Lansdowne Resort and The Jefferson Hotel in D.C. He studied cooking at Michel Bras and Pierre Gagnaire in France. As owner of Market Table Bistro, Lage developed relationships with local farms to bring fresh local products to his restaurant. His style focuses on letting the ingredients speak for themselves, without the use of add-ons.


Chef de Cuisine Chris Edwards is currently operating out of Salamander Resort and Spa, and received education from Johnson and Wales University. He has worked in restaurants across the world, from Spain to South Carolina. Edwards likes to bring local flavors to his dishes and drawing on international culinary tastes.


Executive Chef Joy Crump, with her full-service restaurant and catering group FOODE, features locally grown foods and focuses on organic ingredients. Working first at Woodfire Grill in Atlanta, she works with a Southern-style tradition of cooking. Crump participated in and won Culinary Madness, a 30 chef competition featuring chefs from across the state of Virginia. She has worked for some of the most renowned chefs in the South, including Hilary White and Scott Peacock.


Click here for more information about Epicurience 2015 from Sept. 3-6.


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