Stratford Hall’s Wine & Oyster Festival is the Northern Neck of Virginia’s premier wine and oyster festival. Expanded to a two-day event, the event has continued to grow in the number of participating wineries, exhibitors and attendees.
In addition to the featured oyster growers and wineries, this year’s festival will feature a wide variety of distinctive arts and crafts, specialty foods, wine education, demonstrations, and an antique car show on Sunday. A special Preview Dinner is held on Friday night featuring the best of both wine and oysters.
The festival site is located on the Oval directly in front of the Great House, an expanse of over six acres of level land lined by trees.
Stratford’s 8th Annual Wine & Oyster Festival
September 20 & 21, 2014. Saturday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sunday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
This is the second year Stratford
Hall has partnered with the Tidewater Oyster Gardeners Association (TOGA), and will be featuring six oyster
companies in addition to 13 wineries and a craft brewery. Each of the oyster companies will be offering a wide variety of oyster offerings for purchase. Activities include Great House tours, colonial chocolate making, an antique car show on Sunday, educational
seminars, and demonstrations.
Tidewater Oyster Gardeners Association will provide a demonstration about oyster aquaculture in the Chesapeake Bay. The Crassostreavirginica, the Chesapeake Bay oyster, was once a preeminent contributor to the ecology of the Bay. A filter feeder, it was instrumental in maintaining water quality and its erect, living reefs provided protective habitat for its own babies and a vast array of other marine species, many of them filter feeders. The combined impact of over harvesting, introduced oyster disease and habitat destruction severely diminished the number of oysters in the Chesapeake Bay. Today, TOGA works reverse this trend by partnering with oyster farmers in the Chesapeake Bay region.
Deborah Pratt, an Oyster Shucking Champion, will be demonstrating to festival attendees the art of shucking oysters. Deborah was won the Virginia State Oyster Shucking Championship, the National Oyster Shucking Championship, and competed in the International Oyster Opening Championship and can shuck twenty four oysters in less than three minutes.
Robert Brantley is a cook with The Department of Historic Foodways at Colonial Williamsburg. He will demonstrate 18th century chocolate production, celebrating Stratford’s history of chocolate making during the Lees’ time. Rob completed his Historic Foodways apprenticeship in 2002 after eight years of study and practice in Colonial Williamsburg’s Historic Area kitchens. He’s made a special study of ice cream, beer-making, and colonial chocolate, but you can find him preparing a full range of 18th-century dishes in the kitchens of the Governor’s Palace and the Peyton Randolph house.
The Memory Lane Car Club will
be showing over 75 classic cars at the festival on Sunday, September 21, from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. The “Memory Lane Car Club” was formed in 2011 for the express purpose of owners of antique, classic and even exotic motor vehicles to get together, enjoy operating, working on, exhibiting and driving the machines.
Tickets: Sold online and at the gate. Wine taster ticket is $25 in advance, and $30 at
Packages: Wine Preview Dinner Inn Package for Friday, September 19, includes dinner, lodging at the Inn at Stratford Hall and tickets to the festival. Wine
& Oyster Festival Package includes tickets to festival and lodging at Stratford Hall on Saturday or Sunday night.
Attendance: In 2013, nearly 5,000 people attended the festival from seven states and Washington, D.C. The states included Illinois, Mississippi, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina.
Attendees from Virginia came from the following areas: Arlington, Alexandria, Falls Church, Luray, King George, Norfolk, Manassas, Chesapeake, Fredericksburg, Springfield, Reedville, Mechanicsville, Montross, Richmond, Weems, Dumfries, Woodbridge, Chester, Sterling, Reston, Virginia Beach, Stafford, Midlothian, Glen Allen, Colonial Beach, McLean, Charlottesville, Williamsburg, Newport News, Spotsylvania, Staunton, Monterey, Annandale, Ashburn, Dahlgren, Gainesville, Warsaw, Powhatan, Lottsburg, Leesburg, Locust Grove, Yorktown, Walkerton, Jamaica, Callao, Bowling Green, Kinsale, Oak Grove, Matthews, Goode, Partlow, Tappahannock, Morattico, Chantilly, Hague, Henrico, Ashland, Montclair, Berryville, Centreville, Doswell, Heathsville, Port Royal, Luray, Suffolk, Mount Holly, Hopewell, Bealeton, Carson, Stanardsville, Madison.
Wine & Oyster Festival Preview Dinner
September 19, 2014
The Wine & Oyster Festival Preview Dinner will feature an oyster demonstration by celebrated Assistant Chef Pete Woods of Rappahannock River Oysters and Merroir Tasting Room while guests enjoy cocktails, hors d’oeuvres and half shells. A four-course gourmet dinner will follow featuringStratford Hall and Northern Neck sourced ingredients with Virginia wines paired by Virginia wine expert and author Richard Leahy.
Cost: $350 per couple
Ticket includes a four course dinner for two, two taster tickets to the Wine & Oyster Festival and a $100 tax-deductible donation to Stratford Hall.
Packages: The Wine & Oyster Festival Preview Dinner Inn Package $750 Includes a one night stay for two at the Inn at Stratford Hall, champagne reception in the historical Great House, a four course dinner for two, two taster tickets to the Wine & Oyster Festival and a $310 tax-deductible donation to Stratford Hall.
Chef Pete Woods is the Assistant Chef at Rappahannock River Oysters and Merroir Tasting Room. Previously at Richmond’s River City Diner and Graffiti Grill, Woods has years of experience working with oysters. In March, Wood’s Oyster Stuffing Cakes were featured in the Recipes section of the New York Times.
Richard Leahy is a wine professional based in Charlottesville, VA
and coordinates the conference program for the Eastern Winery Exposition, a leading wine industry trade show in Lancaster, PA. He has been writing about wines of Virginia and the East since 1986, and in May 2012 his book Beyond Jefferson’s Vines was published by Sterling Epicure to high praise from reviewers. In 2007 he organized the Virginia Wine Experience in London which brought the top 64 Virginia wines there for leading British wine media and trade to taste. He was a regional editor for Kevin Zraly’s American Wine Guide, and was Mid-Atlantic and Southern Editor for the Oxford Companion to the Wines of North America.