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What are you (and the family) doing this Labor Day weekend?

Quite a few of my friends are are opting to stay home this coming weekend.

I get it — the beaches are sweltering, sandy, and super crowded, all the theme parks are overtaken by tourists squeezing in a last weekend of summer fun, the water parks are filled to capacity, and even parks, museums and malls are teeming with people.

If you are food and wine inclined — and loathe the idea of 90 minute waits with thousands of other people to ride a roller coaster, sweating it out on a crowded beach or playing bumper elbows at a museum or mall — consider a spontaneous, last minute trip for one last summer food and wine indulgence.

Epicurience 2015!


Epicurience is a food and wine event held at Morven Park in Leesburg, VA, that brings together chefs, food & wine personalities, local winemakers and local food & wine enthusiasts.  Morven Park offers 1,000 acres of gentle rolling hills and plenty of room to spread out, relax and enjoy music, food and wine.

If you are one of the millions of people that live within a reasonable four hour drive of the Leesburg, VA area (about 45 miles west Washington, D.C. area then YES! you do have time to plan a quick, last minute weekend getaway.

Here are four reasons to stop what you are doing right now and book a hotel in or around the Leesburg, VA area to attend the region’s premier food and wine event:

Wine, Spirits, and Beer
Hangout and taste with Virginia winemakers, distillers, and brewers from Tarara Winery, Breaux Vineyards, Stone Tower Winery, 8 Chains North, Horton Vineyards, Sunset Hills Vineyard, Fabbioli Cellars, Catoctin Creek Distillery, Adroit Brewing Company, Lost Rhino Brewing, and others.

There will be no shortage of culinary treats at Epicurience.  Superstar Chef Bryan Voltaggio will headline the food portion of Epicurience this year.  The Top Chef finalist, owner of VOLT, RANGE (one of my favorites in D.C.) and Family Meal restaurants, Voltaggio will share his skills in the Chef Demonstration Tent along with other notable culinary pros including Executive Chef Joy Crump (seen on Top Chef). Goodstone Inn & Restaurant will be offering delicious bites at Epicurience and renowned Patowmack Farm will serve as host to the opening night Chef’s Dinner.

The Education seminars at Epicurience this year will be emceed by writer, educator, anthonywine and spirit authority, and all around good dude, Anthony Giglio (on Twitter: @WineWiseGuy).  Some months ago I had the opportunity to spend a couple of days visiting Viriginia wineries with Giglio as part of the Virginia Wine Summit panelist tour.  Of all the wine, food, tv-type of personalities that I’ve met over the years, Giglio is one of the most personable and witty.  Attending his sessions in the Education Tent will be worth the price of admission.

Educational sessions include a primer on Virginia Chardonnays, a focus on Rose wines, and exploration of the native grape Norton, and a live how-to butchery demonstration.

Talk and taste with notable local chefs and Virginia winemakers like Jordan Harris of Tarara Winery, Doug Fabbioli of Fabbioli Cellars, Scott Harris of Catoctin Creek Distillery, Jennifer McCloud of Chrysalis Vineyards, Nate Walsh of Sunset Hills Vineyard, celebrated Chef Tim Ma (Water & Wall), Tarver King (of Patowmack Farm Restaurant) and others.  Bryan Voltaggio will have a book signing on Saturday.

Leesburg, VA is an easy drive from all surrounding cities:  4 hours from Virginia Beach, VA, 2 hours from Richmond, VA, ~45 minutes from D.C., 75 minutes from Baltimore, 2.5 hours from Philadelphia, and about 4.5 hours from both Raleigh, NC and New York City.

There are plenty of hotels and Inns in and around Leesburg with availability.

Tickets to Epicurience events can be purchased directly from the Epicurience Virginia site:  http://www.eventbrite.com/e/epicurience-virginia-2015-tickets-16771895190?aff=EpicWebsite