The 30th Annual Sandestin Wine Festival takes place April 14-17. The event is the longest running and most established in Northwest Florida and is presented by Coastal Living magazine.
The Sandestin Wine Festival at Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort has become a tradition over the years and widely renowned as the “Kentucky Derby of Wine Festivals.” The thoroughbreds for the festival have always been the daily Grand Wine Tastings in The Village of Baytowne Wharf. The tastings will feature the pouring of hundreds of domestic and international wines on Friday, April 15, from 5 to 8 p.m. and Saturday, April 16, from 1 to 5 p.m.
The festival uncorks all the fun 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 to 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 noon to 3 p.m. Friday, April 15. Enjoy a special dockside reception at Baytowne Marina, and 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 his or her favorite wines without ever having to leave the event.
Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort also provides the convenience of having accommodations that are steps or a convenient complimentary tram ride away from the festival. Packages with discounted accommodations and tickets are available with savings up to 25 percent off (code WINE16). Call 866-91-BEACH to talk to a reservation specialist.
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.
For more information about tickets and a full schedule of events, visit www.SandestinWineFestival.com.