September 25-26, 2021 • Mariners Landing • Smith Mountain Lake, VA

Each year the SMLRCC Executive Committee looks for ways to continuously improve and enhance the guest experience at the Smith Mountain Lake Wine Festival.  The decision to elevate the festival was an easy decision for the committee to make.  By relocating the festival to a premier resort, adding national & regional touring bands, and reducing the number of tickets sold will make this festival one for the record books!  With an extra year of planning,  the Chamber has taken the time to precisely focus on every detail that creates a wonderful experience by providing a gathering space that sets the standard for all festivals yet to come.

vip experience

With the move to Mariners Landing Resort, a true VIP Experience awaits.  Upon arrival, you will have a separate entrance that will lead you directly into the festival.  Once you receive your credentials you will gain access to our VIP lounge area, complete with indoor and outdoor seating, amazing catered meals from The Landing Restaurant including Bruno’s Lake Lager and Hand Selected Wines, full access to our special VIP viewing area, as well as indoor restrooms that can only be accessed by VIP Guests. 

Festival FAQs

Thank you for your interest in attending the SMLWF. Mariners Landing Resort, located on the shores of Smith Mountain Lake in Huddleston, Virginia is the new home of the SML Wine Festival. With the move to Mariners Landing the logistical operations of the festival have changed. We are creating an elevated event with an amazing waterfront resort location, including higher quality food, wine and artisan vendors. There will be a reduced capacity for this event-please make sure to buy your tickets now so you do not miss your opportunity to attend this highly anticipated festival. Space is limited so act fast.

Does my ticket include wine tasting?

You are welcome to sample wines from all participating wineries. Once you’ve found your favorites, we encourage you to purchase wine to enjoy throughout the day and additional bottles to take home.

Is wine pickup available?

Yes, wine pick up will be conveniently located on the way back to the parking area

Will there be food vendors?

Yes, the Mariners Landing Restaurants lead by Chef Bruno Silva will provide multiple sites with a wide variety of options.

What are the hours of the festival?

Saturday 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Is the festival 21 and over?

Yes

Do I need to print my tickets?

You may print your ticket to present at the gate. You may also show, on your mobile device.

Do you offer refunds?

Refunds will not be issued. Please be aware the festival is a rain or shine event.

Are masks required?

Per VDH and CDC guidelines, masks will only be required for attendees who are not fully vaccinated.

How much does it cost to park?

Automobile and golf cart parking is FREE for all ticket holders. For those who prefer to boat to the festival, there are also a limited number of day docks available to rent, which you may do when you purchase tickets.

Do I have to walk from the parking area to the venue?

You may walk if you prefer, but shuttles will be running on a regular schedule throughout the day.

Is there a discounted designated driver ticket?

No. All tickets are general admission.

Are pets allowed?

No.

Are bags allowed?

Yes. However, please be aware that all bags will be subject to search upon entry. No firearms are permitted. 

Are tents allowed?

No, we have a climate controlled Relaxation Hall open to all attendees.

If the festival rain or shine?

Yes, please dress appropriately and be aware umbrellas are not allowed.

What is a chalet?

Our private chalets include a 10-x-10-foot covered tent with one table, six chairs and situated in prime viewing of the stage. No admission tickets are included. 

Do I have to bring a photo ID?

Yes!  Virginia law requires us to check the ID of everyone who enters the festival, regardless of age. Don’t forget your photo ID!

Are chairs allowed?

No, however blankets are allowed, and chairs are available in designated areas.

Are coolers allowed?

No.

Festival History

The first Smith Mountain Lake Wine Festival took place in 1989 on the grounds of The Manor at Taylor’s Store B&B near Burnt Chimney. The event was the brainchild of Taylor’s Store owner Lee Tucker and Phil Hager, a local insurance agent and wine enthusiast.

Both men were frustrated with the lack of access to Virginia wine in the area. Hager, an active member of the organization that would become the Smith Mountain Lake Regional Chamber of Commerce, also was looking for ways to bring more visitors to the lake area after the traditional tourist season ended. Read more here.

Over the past 30 years, the festival has grown from a relatively intimate gathering into Smith Mountain Lake’s largest and most popular annual event. The early years featured a grape-stomping booth and educational talks about wine tasting, drew crowds of 800-1,200, and barely broke even.

The Chamber took over the festival in 1992 and moved it to Bernard’s Landing, a more spacious and scenic venue right on the shores of Smith Mountain Lake. When space became an issue again the event moved to LakeWatch Plantation. In 2016, the 50th anniversary of SML, it found a new home at Crazy Horse Marina. In 2020, Mariners Landing Resort will host the Wine Festival, which is now the Chamber’s largest non-dues fundraiser with proceeds used to grow and develop programs to promote tourism and business in the lake region. It takes year-round planning by a dedicated corps of staff members and volunteers to pull off an event with such complicated logistics. Awesome wine, craft and food vendors and amazing music and breathtaking views of Smith Mountain Lake makes for the perfect way to spend a fall afternoon. We have a great time while getting the job accomplished. In 2019, we had 300 volunteer positions filled over the two-day event. Unfortunately, in 2020, the event was cancelled due to COVID-19.