The Smith Mountain Lake Wine Festival, one of the region’s longest-running and most popular annual events, is shaping up to be a sellout when it returns after a two-year hiatus on Sept. 17 and 18.
“The weather forecast right now looks great, and I think people are just itching to get back to enjoying festivals and concerts again,” said Andy Bruns, executive director of the SML Regional Chamber of Commerce, which organizes the event. It was canceled in 2020 and 2021 due to the pandemic.
“We’ve sold tickets to people in 21 different states and more than 340 ZIP codes,” Bruns said. “We’re excited to showcase Smith Mountain Lake to this diverse group of travelers and welcome back locals who look forward to the wine festival year after year.”
The event’s organizing committee has revamped the festival – the 32nd edition — by moving it to Mariners Landing, adding wineries beyond Virginia and bringing in nationally acclaimed bands, including The SteelDrivers (Saturday) and St. Paul & The Broken Bones (Sunday) along with other regional and local acts.
“It’s going to be spectacular with the stage set up right along the shore, the water and Smith Mountain in the background,” Bruns said. “The wineries will be scattered around the shoreline along with artisan vendors displaying handmade jewelry, leather goods, clothing, accessories and gifts.”
General admission and VIP tickets are on sale now at smlwinefestival.com. VIP ticket holders will enjoy gourmet meals catered by The Landing Restaurant, complimentary wine and beer, an indoor, air-conditioned space with restrooms and a dedicated area outside for viewing the live music.
“If you haven’t purchased tickets yet, I encourage you to do so soon because we will be capping sales both days,” Bruns said. “It will definitely be a more intimate experience for festival-goers this year.”The Wine Festival is the Chamber’s largest non-dues fundraiser with proceeds used to grow and develop programs to promote tourism and business in the lake region.