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Mount Vernon Prepares for Wine

Estate schedules fall wine festival for Oct. 3, 4 & 5.

Mount Vernon's Wine Festival and Sunset Tour celebrates the history of wine in Virginia with exclusive evening tours of the Mansion and wine cellar, an appearance by "General Washington" himself, and blues music by Bruce Evan and the Solid Senders on the east lawn of George Washington's Mount Vernon home overlooking the Potomac River.

Visitors can bring a blanket and relax on the lawn as they sample wines from 16 Virginia wineries on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 3, 4 and 5, from 6-9 p.m. Tickets are $25 per person and are available at Mount Vernon's Main Gate or through TicketMaster beginning Aug. 15.

To accompany the wine tasting, fruit and cheese boxes are available by advance purchase only ($18 each; serves two). A variety of hot and cold food and desserts, including baguettes, gourmet sandwiches and specialty sweets, will be available on site from the Mount Vernon Food Court Pavilion, Red Hot & Blue Memphis Pit Barbecue, and Firehook Bakery concessions. Outside food and beverages are not allowed.

THE MANSION will be open for candlelight tours. Historic interpreters will discuss Washington's attempts at creating a vineyard and highlight various wine-related items inside the Mansion, like Washington's spirits case and the basement's brick vaults, where Washington stored his wine - an area of the Mansion not open to the public at any other time of the year.

Throughout each evening, guests can sample wines from 16 award-winning Virginia wineries: Afton Mountain Vineyards, AmRhein's Wine Cellars, Burnley Vineyards, Christensen Ridge Winery, Hill Top Berry Farm & Winery, Ingleside Plantation Vineyards, King Family Vineyards & Michael Shaps Wines, Lake Anna Winery, North Mountain Vineyards & Winery, Oasis Winery, Shenandoah Vineyards Inc., Swedenburg Estate Vineyard, Tomahawk Mill Winery, Valhalla Vineyards, Willowcroft Farm Vineyards and Wintergreen Winery.

Guests must be prepared to show identification for wine service. Designated drivers will receive free Coca-Cola soft drinks.

Guests can take home a remembrance of Mount Vernon's Wine Festival and Sunset Tour from the Shops at Mount Vernon, open until 9:30 each evening. Cases of wine purchased at the Festival can be transported by wine valets to the Shops for easy pickup at the end of the evening.