We Are Virginia’s Oyster Country

experience the oyster resurgence

Oysters are BACK and in a big way due to the work by the watermen and oyster growers of Virginia’s River Realm. In our waters, Crassostrea virginica (that’s their biological name) has made a comeback, any one sports team would be envious of. We’re shipping worldwide so come and taste what the fuss is all about.

31commercial oyster farms

VRR’S OYSTER
TASTING ZONES:

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  • Sweetwater oysters with a light cream taste.
  • Lightly salty with easily distinguished cream or butter and a pleasant slight minerality.
  • Mild saltiness moving to a sweet finish.

$4 Million

WORTH OF OYSTERS
SOLD ANNUALLY

1/2 Million

POUNDS OF OYSTERS
SOLD ANNUALLY

92%

OF ALL VA’S OYSTERS
ARE HARVESTED HERE

5 Ways To Experience

THE OYSTER RESURGENCE IN VRR

 1

Oyster Festivals

Get your festival groove on with oysters all year long. River Realm has seafood festivals, oyster roasts old school style with plywood tables (you bring your own oyster knife) to more formal affairs. Lots of these are planned for months in advance so get your tickets early. The year culminates with Virginia’s Official Oyster Festival the Urbanna Oyster Festival, 2 days of nonstop oyster goodness. Now in its 60th year, November 3-4, 2017.

Deltaville Maritime Museum

Oyster Roast & Dance

Gloucester

Wine Festival

Guinea Jubilee

Urbanna

Wine & Oyster Stroll

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Chesapeake Academy
Community Oyster Roast
OCT. 14

Holly Point
Art & Seafood Festival
OCT. 14

Bay Seafood Festival
OCT. 21

Urbanna
Oyster Festival
NOV. 3-4

Chesapeake Bay
Wine Trail Fall Oyster Crawl
NOV. 11-12

Shuckin’ & Jivin’ on the
Green Oyster Roast
NOV. 11

Taste by the Bay
NOV. 18

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Chesapeake Academy
Community Oyster Roast
OCT. 14

Holly Point
Art & Seafood Festival
OCT. 14

Bay Seafood Festival
OCT. 21

Urbanna
Oyster Festival
NOV. 3-4

Chesapeake Bay
Wine Trail Fall Oyster Crawl
NOV. 11-12

Shuckin’ & Jivin’ on the
Green Oyster Roast
NOV. 11

Taste by the Bay
NOV. 18

2

Eat Like a Local

Right here where they are harvested are the places to have your oysters-fresh from the water. Try out something new or simply natural, raw on the half shell, we have lots of choices especially when you pair with our local wines. Merroir meets terroir!

3

Taste-Touch-Learn

The Virginia Oyster Academy was created so visitors could experience the culinary delights of the oyster, the heritage of working watermen and the ecology of the Chesapeake Bay. Academies will feature a variety of oyster topics and are held throughout Virginia’s western coastal region. Each academy has a unique approach-rugged and gritty behind the scenes tour or a more refined boat ride and culinary demonstration. Expect an up close and personal experience of how your seafood reaches your table.

“Rough & Gritty”

Urbanna Seafood & RawBar

FALL DATES: September 9, 16, 23

TICKETS: $99/person, $69/child

“Elegant & Refined”

The Tides Inn

FALL DATES: Sep. 30 – Nov. 26

TICKETS: $155/person

4

5

Watermen Heritage Tours

Experience the Chesapeake Bay with an authentic working waterman as your personal guide. These Captains have created on-water tours relating to the ecology of the Bay, how seafood is harvested, our waterway history and general site seeing. They even create customized tours for families. Join them for a life changing experience as you get out on our rivers and creeks to explore the River Realm. Tour sizes determined by size of each Captain’s vessel.

Meet the captains

David Rowe, Lottsburg
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Danny Crabbe, Heathsville
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William Saunders, Irvington
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J.C. Hudgins, Mathews
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Forrest Dameron, Heathsville
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Trey Sowers, Port Haywood
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Brian “Wes” Marks, Deltaville
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Gene Edmonds, Irvington
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Tom Narron, Urbanna
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Richard Moncure, Farnham
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Meet the captains

David Rowe, Lottsburg
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Danny Crabbe, Heathsville
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William Saunders, Irvington
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J.C. Hudgins, Mathews
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Forrest Dameron, Heathsville
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Trey Sowers, Port Haywood
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Brian “Wes” Marks, Deltaville
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Gene Edmonds, Irvington
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Tom Narron, Urbanna
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Richard Moncure, Farnham
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OUR virginia oyster country tasting zones

Oysters, like wine, have a taste all their own and specifically from the waters they grow in. Virginia has 8 growing regions for oysters, that range from the salt laden waters off the Atlantic Ocean to the inland creeks that feed the Potomac, Rappahannock, York and James Rivers. Learning about oysters is practically a lesson in Virginia’s geography! The River Realm encompasses regions 4, 5 & 6.

region 4: Upper Bay Western Shore

From the mouth of the Rappahannock River north along the
Northern Neck shore and west into the Potomac River.
Tasting Notes: Sweetwater oysters with a light cream taste.

region 5: Middle Bay Western Shore

From the Rappahannock River and south along the mainland shore
to about midway along the Middle Peninsula.
Tasting Notes: Lightly salty with easily distinguished cream or
butter and a pleasant slight minerality.

region 6: Lower Bay Western Shore

From about midway along the Middle Peninsula south along the
mainland shore to, and including, the York River.Tasting Notes: Mild saltiness moving to a sweet finish.

Watermen’s way

Watermen’s way is a public art project honoring the Watermen and Waterwomen of the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries. These oversized, fiberglass boots are iconic items for the men and women who make a living on the water – and now a perfect addition to your scrapbooks!
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Learn more about VRR oyster stories

“October Festival Guide in Virginia’s River Realm” Read
“Three Ways to Get Up-Close and Personal to the Oyster” Read
“Four Places to Enjoy the Virginia Oyster” Read
“Shop Art, Fashion & More Inspired by the Oyster” Read
“If you can eat oysters, then you can help clean the Bay!” Read