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    Wine Wednesday: Blend with the best Aug. 30 at Epicurience

    Want to be a winemaker in Loudoun County?

    OK, well learn to farm. Learn to rise from bed sporadically – literally at any hour of the day – to check on the vines or do prep work for the farmhands. Learn to spend 12-hour days harvesting for a month. Learn to pray – pray that Mother Nature is kind to your land and your fruit. And learn to be patient for any kind of financial return if you're new to the game.

    Perhaps you just want to be a winemaker for an afternoon?

    Well, in that case, join me at Epicurience Virginia's inaugural Ultimate Winemaker Experience and Speed Blending Competition Aug. 30 beginning at 12:30 p.m. at Morven Park in Leesburg, the site of the Grand Tasting the same day (don't worry, you can experience both the Grand Tasting and the Ultimate Winemaker Experience and Speed Blending).

    Here's how it works: Up to 48 Epicurience attendees will participate in one-hour-long blending sessions beginning at 12:30 p.m. During the sessions, the rookie winemakers will work with top Loudoun vintners to create a unique and “ultimate” blend from three Loudoun wines. At the end of each time slot, a winner will be selected and their blend will be entered into the final round of the competition slated to start at 4:30 p.m.

    Members of the Loudoun Winemakers Association, which worked with Epicurience planners to organize the wine-fueled affair, and other VIPs from the community will select one winning participant who will then work with a local winemaker over the next year to create a special wine for the 2015 Epicurience.

    To be considered for the Speed Blending Competition, enter the code “EpicBlend” when purchasing tickets for the Grand Tasting through EpicVirginia.com.

    “We think the Ultimate Winemaker Experience is a unique, entertaining and educational opportunity for Epicurience guests,” said Bob Rupy, winemaker and co-owner of Bluemont Vineyards and a member of the LWA. Rupy added it's “a great way to extend the experience by participating first hand in the winemaking process.”

    Beyond Rupy and his co-winemaker Jennifer Shailor, Loudoun winemakers Doug Fabbioli (Fabbioli), Jordan Harris (Tarara), Carl DiManno (868), Justin Bogaty (Bogati Bodega), Ben Renshaw (8 Chains North), Bill Hatch (Zephaniah) Mark and Vicki Fedor (North Gate) and Kerem Baki (Hillsborough) will lead the blending teams.

    Additionally, a special lover of Loudoun wine will emcee the Speed Blending challenge. (Raises hand.)

    Tickets for the Grand Tasting, which include tastings of dozens of Virginia wines and food, a culinary demonstration tent featuring world-renowned chefs, the Virginia Wine education tent and a Schott Zwiesel etched wine glass, are $85.

    A product of Visit Loudoun, the county's official tourism arm, Epicurience is in its second year. A full list of the event's offerings can be found through EpicVirginia.com.

    Featuring news on the Loudoun County wine industry, the Times-Mirror's award-winning “Wine Wednesday” appears the first Wednesday of each month. Contact the writer at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

    Check out recent Wine Wednesdays below:

    -"Wine Wednesday: Two new wine schools launch in Loudoun" -- July 2
    -"Wine Wednesday: What we talk about when we talk about estate" -- June 4
    -"Wine Wednesday: Sipping for a cause in Loudoun wine country" -- May 7

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