VIRGINIA BEACH, July 2, 2018 – Hampton Roads residents and wine enthusiasts everywhere are invited to experience the Chesapeake Bay Wine Classic. Celebrating its 28th year, the Wine Classic is one of the largest charity wine auctions in the Mid-Atlantic, benefiting nonprofit organizations that support educational programs for young people in Hampton Roads.

Totaling more than $9 million over the last 27 years, the Wine Classic funds are donated to the Access College Foundation, which helps students attain higher education through counseling, assisting with SAT preparation, and securing or providing scholarships. Funds from the Wine, Women, and Fishing event go toward Eastern Virginia Medical School’s breast cancer research.

David Jester, president of Marylyn Development, is the president of the Wine Classic and Gold Key I PHR is the title sponsor this year. The Grand Auction will be held at The View at Rudee Inlet generously donated by Cheryl McClesky, after being hosted at Bob and Eleanor Stanton’s home for the past 27 years.

Wine Classic events officially kick off on Aug. 13 and continue through Nov. 10. The festivities include:

Varia Italian Wine Dinner – Monday, Aug. 13: New this year, and not to be missed! Join Fabio Capparelli, executive restaurant chef, and Bethany Morris, sommelier at Varia, at The Main in Downtown Norfolk for a one-of-a-kind, way-off-the-menu, multi-course meal, and wine pairing. The cost is $400 per person.

Wine, Women & Fishing Weekend – Aug. 17 – 19: One of the most colorful and fun events of the Wine Classic, Wine, Women & Fishing (WWF) weekend includes a Friday fete, fishing tournament, and dock party. The event has raised a total of $670,000 for breast cancer research at Eastern Virginia Medical School. Tournament entry is $700 per team.

  • East Meets Western Country Kick-Off – Friday, Aug. 17: Savor spectacular wines from female vintners, enjoy an amazing dinner prepared by the multi-talented Bill Dixon, and dance the night away to the country western tunes by Garyoke Times DJ. Special guest Jane Gardner, a breast cancer survivor, and former local news reporter, will be honored. Tickets are $195 per person and will take place at Southside Marina located at 416 Southside Rd.
  • Awards Ceremony and Dock Party – Sunday, Aug. 18: After a long day of fishing, the boats return to Rudee Inlet for the Dock Party. Enjoy wine and bourbon tastings as the ladies vie for the “Craziest Crew” prize. Dinner and live music by Guava Jam begins at 7 p.m. Tickets are $75 in advance or $85 at the door.

Becca Wine Dinner – Monday, Oct. 15: Another new addition! Whet your appetite with a multi-course meal and wine pairing by Dan Elinan, executive chef, and Sara Basham, sommelier, at The Cavalier Hotel. The cost is $500 per person.

Grand Auction – Saturday, Nov. 10: New year, new location! After 27 years at Bob and Eleanor Stanton’s home, the Grand Auction will move to the oceanfront at The View at Rudee Inlet. The event will feature wine tastings from many of the world’s top wineries, samples from dozens of the area’s best restaurants, and the opportunity to bid on the best in wine, travel, and food experiences. Tickets are $400 per person.

Industry Tastings – The Hilton Norfolk Main and The Cavalier Hotel will host various wine tastings and seminars throughout the year to introduce a younger audience (25 to 35 years old) to the world of wine. Dates are forthcoming.

For more information about events, participating wineries and restaurants, and a complete listing of sponsors, visit