30th Annual Sandestin Wine Festival-April 14-17
Affectionately called the “Kentucky Derby of Wine Festivals.”, the Sandestin Wine Festival is a picture perfect event complete with white tents, flowing wine, food, ladies strolling in hats, and live music. The weekend is one of the best of the year and draws thousands of people to the Village of Baytowne Wharf at Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort. Take part in Sandestin wine tastings showcasing more than 800 domestic and international wines. The Sandestin Wine Festival allows wine novices to learn more about wines and sample from a comprehensive selection including the finest appellations from all major producing countries in all varieties, styles and price ranges. Wine aficionados enjoy meeting winemakers, asking detailed questions and acquiring hard-to-get selections.
The festival uncorks all the fun on Thursday, April 14 with the official Sandestin Wine Festival Kick-Off Party at Rum Runners located in the Village. The event starts at 5 p.m. and is presented by Mercer Wine Estates and 30A. Enjoy paired appetizers, live music and delicious wines from the brand new 30A collection. Rum Runners will also host a special seminar upstairs – Uncork the Bottle with Will Mercer, from 6-7 p.m. The education seminar will feature Mercer Reserve and 30A wine selections paired with heavy hors d’oeuvres and a meet and greet with Will Mercer, General Manager for Mercer Wine Estates. Each night, the wine festival will also showcase special wine dinners from quality Village restaurants.
Friday and Saturday Grand Wine Tastings will feature vineyard representatives from around the globe and will provide a rare opportunity to learn about the finest appellations from all major wine producing countries in terms of varieties, styles and price ranges. The Savor South Walton experience will highlight chefs from the area including Chef Jim Shirley, Chef Javier Rosa, Chef Dan Vargo, and Chef Gio Filippone, among others. Village Merchants will also feature delectable appetizers to pair with wines.
Friday and Saturday ticket holders have the opportunity this year to enhance their grand tasting experience and enjoy an exclusive VIP lounge area presented by Coastal Wine and Spirits. Located at the Terrace Amenities Deck in the Village, the area will feature exclusive wines and hors d’oeuvres from Marlin Grill.
The weekend events for the Sandestin Wine Festival start with a twist, plus some postures and poses. The Mind. Body. Beach. event cleanses the spirit, if not the palette, with a special yoga on the beach session presented by Spa Sandestin. Starting at 9 a.m. Saturday, April 16, enjoy yoga and beautiful white sand beaches of South Walton all capped off with mimosas to start the day.
Back by popular demand this year is the Champagne & Seafood Voyage aboard the Solaris from 12-3 p.m. on Friday, April 15. Enjoy a special dockside reception at Baytowne Marina, then board the vessel for the 3rd Annual Champagne & Seafood Voyage. Enjoy a four-course seafood menu prepared by Solaris chefs as experts from Coastal Wine and Spirits pair the savory selections with premium champagnes.
Cap off the festival with a real treat and amazing views. The Sandestin Wine Festival Brunch on the Bay takes center stage 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Sunday, April 17 at Baytowne Marina. Guests can choose from a wide variety of fresh, seasonal brunch items, live music and free flowing specialty drinks.
The ABC Fine Wine & Spirits Retail Tent will be open daily throughout the festival and located at the entrance of Baytowne Wharf. Anyone can enter to purchase their favorite wines without ever having to leave the event.
Proceeds from the event will be donated to The Fisher House, a worthwhile organization that provides free or low cost lodging to veterans and military families receiving treatment at military medical centers and Sandestin Foundation for Kids, making a meaningful and positive difference in children’s lives.