Coming in September: Rocktown Wine & Dine Festival

The visionaries behind the Rocktown Beer & Music Festival are partnering with Harrisonburg Downtown Renaissance to bring another unique event to the community. With a slightly different atmosphere and a focus on wine rather than beer, the upcoming Rocktown Wine & Dine Festival will bring local and international wines, food pairings, and music to downtown Harrisonburg on September 8, 2012.

Tim Brady, a graduate of James Madison University and a former assistant brewer at Calhoun’s, has been going to beer festivals since he was 22. The idea to bring a similar festival to Harrisonburg seemed only natural to Tim and co-visionary Aaron Ludwig.

Tim and Aaron originally came up with the idea for the tremendously popular Rocktown Beer & Music Festival together. Their mission was to provide quality beers, book great bands, and cultivate an environment where people would not only enjoy themselves but gain knowledge about craft beer as well.

After the success of the Rocktown Beer and Music Festival, Tim and Aaron felt there was a need for a festival with a similar ethos and a focus on wine. With the coming of the fall season and grape-harvesting about to begin, September seemed like the perfect time for such an event.

The Rocktown Wine & Dine Festival will feature a diversity of flavor profiles, with over 80 hand-selected wines from all over the world, including wines from France, Italy, Argentina, Spain, and South Africa, as well as Virginia and three of our very own Rockingham County wineries. All of the wines will have representatives at each booth to answer questions, recommend food pairings, and make each tasting an opportunity to further explore the vast world of wine-making.

As if having a vast supply of wine available for tasting hasn’t tempted you already, Chef Alex Fitzgerald will also be creating appetizers to pair with each selection of wine. The appetizers will be served with the wine towards the beginning of the festival from 3:00-5:00pm, so plan to arrive early to enjoy these scrumptious delights. Wine service will continue through the night, leaving plenty of time to relish the wines and enjoy the live music.


Tim and Aaron feel it is important to bring in great bands and, just as with the beer festival, this fall will be no different. Chatham County Line, an American bluegrass group from Raleigh, North Carolina, will be headlining the event. With a popular reputation in the U.S., Chatham County Line has also toured in Europe and Canada. The critically acclaimed Woodshedders Trio will also take the stage, with a set full of indie roots Americana.

So get ready for the Rocktown Wine & Dine Festival on September 8 from 3:00-8:00 pm. Be prepared to taste some fine wines with delicious food and dance the night away at the Turner Pavilion & Park!

For more information and to purchase tickets, please visit the Rocktown Wine & Dine website.

And stay tuned for an upcoming post about Bluestone Vineyard and Downtown Wine & Gourmet!   

Kari Owens is the HDR Promotions Intern for Summer and Fall 2012. She is a rising senior Media Arts & Design major and Creative Writing minor at James Madison University.


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