Stars, culinary delights highlight Wine Festival

Wine, charity and fun converge during Northwest Florida Beaches Ultimate Wine Week

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A dazzling roster of celebrity winemakers, brew masters, distillers, chefs and entertainers will converge in Miramar Beach to wine, dine, educate and entertain guests as part of the four-day celebration of wine during the 2017 South Walton Beaches Wine & Food Festival held April 27-30 throughout the Town Center of Grand Boulevard at Sandestin.

“South Walton keeps upping their game every year and this year we are thrilled to again be a top sponsor of this great event. It’s a professional party that does a lot of good and makes South Walton a yearly destination for our audience,” said Jay Spaleta, vice president of publishing for Wine Enthusiast magazine.

Celebrity Appearances

The star-studded celebrity list includes winemakers, chefs, master distillers, craft beer brew masters and other special guests who will be available to meet and discuss their crafts with festival guests. They include: Don Hartford, founder/owner Hartford Family Estates/CEO Jackson Family Wines; Glenn C. Salva, wine estate manager, Antica Napa Valley; Erik Saccomani, Marchesi Antinori Wines; Thomas Houseman, winemaker, Anne Amie; Franco Massolino, winemaker, Massolino Winery; Andrew Holloway, winemaker, Rombauer Winery; Laurent Gruet, winemaker, Gruet Winery; Scott Plumley, culinary director of the festival and Wine World restaurants; Chef Kevin Korman, Roselie Dining + Seafood; Chef Stephen Bucalo, The Hub on 30A; Chef Ted Morrison, Barefoot’s Beachside Bar & Grill at Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort & Spa; Chef Yoshie Eddings, Harbor Docks; Mona B. McGee, Mac Farms; Tommy Brunett, founder/owner, Iron Smoke Whiskey; James C. “Jimmy” Russell, master distiller, Wild Turkey Distillery; Carlton Grooms, Papa’s Pilar Rum; Fred Parent, Hendrick’s Gin; Robert Ryan, Tullamore D.E.W.; Harlen Wheatley, master distiller, The Sazerac Company/Buffalo Trace Distillery among others.

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 mixing and pouring more than 150 different kinds of specialty craft beers and spirits samples. Along EATS Street, guests can sample savory small plate items prepared by numerous South Walton and Destin restaurants. Beers will be poured by, among others, Abita Brewing Company, Cigar City Brewing Co., Oskar Blues Brewery and 3rd Planet Brewing and local breweries Idyll Hounds, Grayton Beer Company, Destin Brewery, Nivol Brewing and others.

Ticket Prices & Event Times

The event is rain or shine; sorry, children and pets are not allowed in Culinary Village. To purchase tickets and view the full festival schedule, visit

Partnership Support

Presented by Visit South Walton and Wine Enthusiast Media, the festival offers the ideal backdrop for a beach getaway. The festival is made possible by the generous support of the following sponsors: Silver Sands Premium Outlets, Publix Super Market, GPL Landscaping, Vino-Venue, McCaskill & Company, VOSS Water, Emerald Coast Magazine, Fisher Brown, Coastal Accounting and 654-LIMO. Festival Founding Partners are Destin Charity Wine Auction Foundation, Visit South Walton Tourist Development Council, Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association and VISIT FLORIDA, Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort & Spa, Wine World of Northwest Florida and Grand Boulevard at Sandestin. ResortQuest by Wyndham Vacation Rentals is the official lodging partner of the festival.