Great wine, food, view highlight Lost Colony Wine Fest

By on October 10, 2017

Around 500 guests enjoyed the festival. (Milepost Portraits)

The first Lost Colony Wine and Culinary Festival was an event to be remembered for great weather, fantastic food from Outer Banks restaurants and a variety of beer from local brewers.

And most importantly, some very good wine from local wineries and the four corners of the globe.

Held at The Waterside Theater complex at Fort Raleigh National Historic Site on Sept. 30, the main event was indoors at the Sound Stage Theatre.


A spacious wooden structure overlooking Roanoke Sound provided plenty of room to sample any of the more than 80 wines, as well as to try some of the food local chefs had prepared.

Wine is such an individual taste, that it’s difficult to select one that stands out.

Virginia Dare Winery, a prime sponsor of the event was on hand and their wines are excellent examples of the merging of classic European grapes, mostly French, with California winemaking.

The arc of wine-making and flavors, though, is broad. Vineyards on the Scuppernong from Columbia was there with their muscadine wines that range in flavor from sweet to off-dry.


VIP attendees found a spectacular setting on the Roanoke Sound. (Kip Tabb)

Sanctuary Vineyards in Jarvisburg was also on hand, with their wines made from more traditional vinifera grape and very good examples of traditional wines.

However, that is just a small sampling of all the wines that were available. And pairing with the wines and beers was some marvelous food.

Again, it’s all individual taste, although the barbecue sliders from Black Pelican did get very high grades.


For innovation, though, Café Lachine’s Champagne Almond Milk Cucumber Salad with olive oil poached shrimp and muscadine grapes takes the top prize. Very different and very tasty.

Outside there was a small beer garden where local breweries Lost Colony Brewery, the Outer Banks Brewing Station and Weeping Radish were handing out samples of their beers and ales.

The outdoor beer garden among the live oaks. (Kip Tabb)

The view from the Beer Garden was wonderful, and one many people had never experienced. The Beer Garden was set up on the boardwalk leading to back of the main stage, and people could stroll with drinks in hand to the Waterside Theater where Rare Mixx Band was performing most of the afternoon.

“A lot of people have never been back stage,” said Susan Fearing, chairperson of the organizing committee. “A lot of people didn’t realize it was there.”

What really seemed to set this festival apart was the sponsorship and participation of Virginia Dare Winery.

Located in Geyersville, California, the winery is part of the Francis Ford Coppola family of wines. Although the winery is now located in California, the story of Virginia Dare Wines is very much a part of the history of North Carolina.

At one time, Virginia Dare Wines, with its roots in the Old North State, was the largest wine producer in the country, with vineyards spread out across the country, including Roanoke Island.

That was something Rick Toyota, Director of Hospitality Operations, commented on when talking coming to the Outer Banks for the weekend.

“It was my first time out there, and to see the Mother Vine and what that was to the Virginia Dare Wines, it helped me to understand better the history of the wines,” he said.

Rick Toyota of Virginia Dare Winery. (Kip Tabb)

Toyota, who has trained as a sommelier and a wine educator, offered tastings of the Virginia Dare Wines. Much as he did at the Vintner’s Dinner on Friday night, he wove the story of each of the labels into the story of Virginia Dare Wines.

Personal favorite among the wines we tried was the Lost Colony, and blend of Syrah, Malbec and Cabernet Franc that had a berrylike fruit up front with a finish that was just the right amount of dry.

The education, though, was just one part of what made the day so special. What seemed to set the Lost Colony Wine and Food Festival apart from other festivals was how everything seemed to work together seamlessly.

Fearing felt the committees that organized the festival were an important part of its success. “We had really strong committee group,” Fearing said.

She also gave a nod to Cindy McGann of Blue Point for helping to organize the wine tasting.

Ultimately though, the story of the day was people having a great time in a beautiful location, as noted by The Lost Colony CEO Bill Coleman.

“We have a facility that loans itself to large events,” Coleman said. “People just enjoyed the location. People just enjoyed themselves.”

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