Wine pairs well with the good life on the Northwest Florida Gulf Coast, especially during the spring season. With beautiful outdoor amphitheaters and open green spaces, warm, sunny weather, and wine-loving Floridians filled with joie de vivre, this coastal area has all the necessary ingredients to orchestrate world-class wine fetes with all the accoutrements.
You’ll find much more than wine places in the Gulf Coast when you attend any one of the area’s major wine events. As if sipping and swirling several hundred domestic and imported vino varietals isn’t enough, today’s event organizers are intoxicating all of the senses with gourmet food tastings, mood-enhancing music and educational seminars — all staged with tantalizing visual fanfare. Here are just a few of the spring festivals near the Gulf Coast you can’t miss for 2018:
30A Wine Festival
Alys Beach, the stunning, alabaster town located on the east end of Scenic Highway 30A in Santa Rosa Beach, is home to the 30A Wine Festival, the area’s first signature wine festival held February 22-25, 2018. It asks its attendees to venture beyond wine by serving up bourbon, beer, barbecue, and a surprisingly competitive croquet tournament.
Sandestin Wine Festival
For nearly three decades, April has been a highly-anticipated month for wine enthusiasts venturing to the Gulf Coast. Nearly every wine lover in the area has the second week set aside for the three-day Sandestin Wine Festival set for April 12-15, 2018 in The Village of Baytowne Wharf. To keep it fresh, Sandestin is serving up more than just wine, enlisting the culinary talents of its executive chef, Javier Rosa. For the past few years, the resort has lured back wine lovers with regional acts from Nashville’s music scene. By popular demand, the festival is reprising the Champagne & Seafood Voyage aboard the Solaris on Friday afternoon and a favorite finale, Brunch on the Bay at Baytowne Marina. This resort even adds another unexpected: yoga on the beach!
South Walton Beaches Wine & Food Festival
Held in Grand Boulevard at Sandestin April 26-29, 2018, South Walton Beaches Wine & Food Festival features a dazzling showcase of more than 800 of the best domestic and imported wines in the world. Festival goers can even meet the celebrity wine producers and master distillers presenting their fine wine and spirits. The Savor South Walton Culinary Village offers a sumptuous array of foods to taste, wines to pair, as well as wine and food tasting seminars. New this year is the Rosé All Day Garden, Spirits Row and Nosh Pavilions. Beyond wine, the event is brimming with live entertainment throughout the weekend.
Destin Charity Wine Auction
Held during the South Walton Beaches Wine & Food Festival, this event benefits the Destin Charity Wine Auction Foundation, which has raised $15 million for local children’s charities since it formed in 2005, placing it at No. 3 on Wine Spectator magazine’s list of Top 10 Charity Wine Auctions in the United States.
Northwest Florida Beaches Ultimate Wine Week
The area has officially designated the fourth weekend in April as Northwest Florida Beaches Ultimate Wine Week. So, you could say that this year, the entire community is pulling out the stops for events near the Gulf Coast — or stoppers, as the case may be.
Yes, the Northwest Florida Gulf coast’s proverbial wine cup runneth over, and once again this spring during “wine season,” everyone from the newbie to the aficionado is poised and ready to drink it all in. If festivals came with directions, they might say: “For best results, pair with family and friends, then sip, savor and celebrate every delicious moment.”
Save these dates and make Gulf Coast vacation plans today by browsing condos and beachfront homes on the Northwest Florida Gulf Coast.