Amherst County Gears Up for Wine and Garlic Festival

Amherst Co., VA - One of the largest wine festivals in the state is returning to Amherst County this weekend.

Preparations are already underway at Rebec Vineyards for the 22nd Annual Wine and Garlic Festival.

Andrew DeMarco and the crew packed up their shucker shack and left Matthews, Virginia at 5:30 Friday morning.

"I brought about 5,000 oysters and about 2,000 clams. So hopefully it all goes," DeMarco said.

If what they say about clams and oysters is true, they shouldn't have a problem.

"Clams are supposed to make you live longer. Oysters are supposed to make you love longer," one of his employees said while shucking oysters.

All joking aside, the owner of Rebec Vineyards says the Wine and Garlic Festival can have a serious impact. And he isn't just talking about the 147 vendors that will be out here this year.

"I have read that every dollar spent in Amherst County normally circulates between five and seven times in the local economy," Svetlozar Kanev explained.

But Marge Dyer knows the number of custom made wineglass holders she'll sell has everything to do with the weather.

If everything goes as planned, the festival could break last year's record of roughly 20,000 visitors.

And the Shucker Shack could leave happy as a clam.

"I've had a couple bad shows so I have quite a bit swinging on this event," DeMarco said.

The festival runs from 10-5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. You can pick up a ticket at the door for $25, but be sure and leave your pets and coolers at home. For tickets, go to the Wine and Garlic Festival's website.