Charity Wine & Food Festival April 25-28

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SOUTH WALTON, Fla. – With more than 800 wines, culinary creations, spirits and craft beers, the South Walton Beaches Wine & Food Festival will give attendees a weekend to remember. Presented by Visit South Walton, this top-quality event will benefit Destin Charity Wine Auction Foundation to support 14 charities working to improve the lives of children in Northwest Florida.

The same group that founded and directed the Sandestin Wine Festival for more than 26 years is bringing this fantastic festival to a new location with a new name. The event will celebrate some of the most highly acclaimed wines and winemakers from around the world April 25-28, 2013, in Grand Boulevard at Sandestin.

“This event is tailor-made for our guests and Grand Boulevard at Sandestin is the perfect location to host this festival that celebrates the diversity of what our area has to offer,” said Jon Ervin, director of marketing & communications for the South Walton Tourist Development Council. “Fans of South Walton and all things culinary will remember this event for years to come,” Ervin added.

Coordinated by Chan Cox of Wine World, the four-day charity event will feature renowned winemaker Peter Mondavi Jr., co-proprietor of the Charles Krug vineyard in Napa Valley. Mondavi will participate in events throughout the weekend, including the VIP event, the Grand Tastings, and bottle signings.

The Savor South Walton Culinary Pavilion will feature eight tasting seminars with delicious food and wine pairings. South Walton locals Jennifer and Andy Mac of Mac Farms, will present dishes made with their local, hydroponically grown produce.

Three of Florida’s most famed chefs will be participating in the Vibrant Rioja exclusive wine and food pairing event. Chef Norman Van Aken of James Beard’s “Who’s Who of Food & Beverage in America” is the “Founder Father” of New World Cuisine and will introduce his concept of “fusion” to festival attendees. Chef Giorgio Rapicavoli, 2011 winner of Food Network’s “Chopped,” who has recently been nominated for a James Beard “Rising Star Chef of the Year” 2013 award and opened the popular Eating House restaurant in his home town of Miami will also participate in the demonstrations. Chef Brian Siebenschuh will showcase his extensive culinary talents during the event. He is the creator and co-owner of Restaurant Orsay in Avondale, Fla., and is well-known for blending French and American cuisine.

The festival is pulling out all the stops by creating Spirit’s Row, which will showcase the art of distilling spirits. Festival attendees will have the chance to participate in several seminars including Artisan Whiskey presented by Hudson Whiskey, Artisan Kentucky Bourbon and classic single malt scotch. Grey Goose vodka will also conduct a seminar featuring three easy-to-make cocktails such as the “La Poire Sparkler,” “Walton Berry Punch” and “Berry Lemonade.”
For the craft beer fan, there will be tastings and presentations from Cigar City Brewing of Tampa and Saint Somewhere Brewing Co. of Tarpon Springs. Brewmasters from both will share their most popular and seasonal beers.

Every festival needs live music and some of Nashville’s finest will be performing during the Grand Tastings for everyone to enjoy. Part of the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association’s Endless Summer Concert series, Nashville songwriters will perform their hit songs written for nationally recognized artists including Vince Gill, Rascal Flatts, Faith Hill and many more. Local legends Dread Clampitt are scheduled to entertain at the After-Party Party and Concert where grilled Kobe beef burgers dressed with artisanal cheeses will be served.

For more information on the South Walton Beaches Wine & Food Festival or to purchase tickets, visit

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