South Walton Beaches Wine & Food Festival at Grand Boulevard Apr 28 - May1

April 25, 2016 by SoWal Staff

A dazzling roster of more than a dozen celebrity winemakers, brew masters, distillers, chefs and entertainers, will converge in South Walton to wine, dine, educate and entertain guests as part of the four-day celebration of wine during the 2016 South Walton Beaches Wine & Food Festival held April 28-May 1, 2016 throughout the Town Center of Grand Boulevard at Sandestin.

Building upon 31 years of long-lasting relationships forged by Festival and Wine World Founder Chan Cox with the industry’s top winemakers and distributors, South Walton Beaches Wine & Food Festival is a fundraiser for Destin Charity Wine Auction – a top 10 charity wine auction in the country - which also takes place during the festival.

“To get the pulse of what Americans like to drink, it’s best to spend time with them. South Walton Beaches Wine & Food Festival gives us a chance to have a glass of wine with our readers and with some of the top wineries in the world in an approachable environment that matches the tone of our magazine and digital media,” says Jay Spaleta, vice president of publishing for Wine Enthusiast magazine, festival co-presenting sponsor with Visit South Walton.

This wine aficionado’s advice for how best to enjoy this year’s festival? “Introduce yourself to strangers and make friends over wine!”

Highlights of the area’s premier signature wine event center on sipping, swirling and savoring more than 800 domestic and imported wines, including more than 200 medal winners. Savor South Walton Culinary Village and Nosh Pavilions showcases a sumptuous array of foods to taste, wines to pair, as well as wine and food seminars.

Celebrity Appearances
Cristina Mariani -May of Banfi Vintners is among the star-studded celebrity roster which includes dozens of winemakers, chefs, craft beer brew masters, master distillers, musicians and other special guests. Ronan Laborde of Chateau Clinet Pomerol, Jeff Mausbach of TintoNegro Wines and Patrick Foley of Foley Family wines are among the featured winemakers who will be mixing, mingling and meeting with festival guests throughout the festival as well as participating in ongoing tasting seminars. This year’s seminar stage is presented by Silver Sands Premium Outlets.

Savor South Culinary Village and Nosh Pavilions
Foodies will delight in the delicious dishes prepared by celebrity chefs specially designed to pair with the impressive roster of imported and domestic wines being poured. Food selections include dishes prepared by festival and Wine World culinary director Gary Serafin, Sushi chef extraordinaire Yoshi Eddings of Harbor Docks, Chef Kevin Korman of Caliza Restaurant in Alys Beach and Chef Ted Morrison, Barefoot’s Beachside Bar & Grill, Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort & Spa. The Festival welcomes Publix Supermarket as this year’s Community Sponsor.

Dishes to taste include Pasta Primavera; Duck and Sausage Cassoulet; Shrimp and Jamon Morunos, Snapper ceviche & marinated yellowfin tuna – pickled peppers, crushed avocado, heart of palm, citrus; Delicate Marcona almonds, artisan meats and both domestic and international cheeses and hand-rolled sushi.

Spirits Row & Champagne Lane
Tapping into the popularity of craft spirits, Spirits Row presents dozens of fine craft spirits and several master distillers including the legendary Jimmy Russell of Wild Turkey, Willie Pratt of Michter’s and Wes Henderson of Angel’s Envy.

Fine Champagnes and sparkling wines can be enjoyed along Champagne Lane while indulging in art demonstrations by South Walton Artists.

Craft Beer & Spirits Jam
On Friday night food & beverage industry “celebrities” representing some of the hottest breweries and happening distilleries from across the country will be pouring more than 100 different kinds of specialty craft beers and spirits samples. Along EATS Street, guests will be able to nibble a smorgasbord of savory small plate menu items prepared by a dozen local restaurants. The Owsley Brothers will rock this event from 6-9pm.

Live Music Showcase
During the Grand Wine Tasting, the top songwriters from Nashville will perform their hit songs as part of the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association’s (FRLA) Endless Summer Songwriters Series. This event is sponsored by FRLA, in conjunction with BMI.

Ticket Prices & Event Times
To purchase tickets and view the full festival schedule visit The event is rain or shine; sorry pets are not allowed in Culinary Village.


South Walton Beaches Wine & Food Festival is an annual food and wine festival held in the Town Center of Grand Boulevard at Sandestin. The festival features a stunning showcase of the best wines the world has to offer. Celebrity wine producers and chefs present fine wine and food pairings from the world’s most famous appellations.

The event is a major fundraiser for Destin Charity Wine Auction Foundation, which benefits children in need in Northwest Florida. The event is rain or shine; sorry pets are not allowed in Culinary Village. For more information, including a list of attending winemakers, and to purchase tickets, visit

For more South Walton wine and food festivals, dinners and events see Dining Guide and Events Calendar. It's all about the beaches. And food/wine!


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