Around the country, wine and food festivals attract those with discerning taste buds. Folks gather to sample and savor regional cuisine and national wines and spirits. As we plan our spring vacations, we can’t ignore the opportunity to pay a visit to one of these festivals. With options aplenty, we decided to narrow down our destinations to four Southern wine festivals coming up this spring. Of course, there will be more this summer and even more come fall. But for now, we direct our focus to 30A Wine Festival at Alys Beach, Atlanta Food & Wine Festival, Charlotte Wine & Food Weekend and Charleston Wine + Food Festival. Each of these festivals spans multiple days during which you can fill up your schedule with tastings, pairings, dinners, educational opportunities and lots of wine drinking. We hope to wet your whistle with a quick overview of four festivals we are adding to our must-attend (and must-attend again) list.
When: March 1-5, 2017
Where: Charleston, South Carolina
Tickets: Tickets to individual events start at $40
Since the festival got its start in 2006, folks have been flocking to Charleston for a taste of the low country. This year’s opening night celebration takes place on Wednesday, March 1, with bites from more than 35 local chefs, a selection of wines and live music by JD McPherson. For the next four days, you can choose from a selection of culinary events that range from hands-on cooking classes to an oyster bar champagne brunch. With more than 25 events, the options are almost endless. Celebrate Charleston’s rich culinary culture during the Charleston Wine + Food Festival.
When: March 9-12, 2017
Where: Alys Beach, Florida
Tickets: Weekend passes are $350; tickets to individual events are also available
Head to the breathtaking Alys Beach for this springtime wine festival. In its sixth year, this year’s festival takes place March 9-12. The weekend kicks off with a wine dinner at Caliza Restaurant featuring Aaron Pott of Pott Wines. The fun continues with Bourbon, Beer & Butts, which is an event not to miss. Distillers from across the country offer tastings of their bourbons as barbecue is served. On Saturday, learn a bit about specific vineyards during seminars before heading to the Grand Tasting, where you can try wines from more than 80 wineries as you enjoy captivating ocean views. Feel free to overindulge, but save a bit of energy for Sunday’s Rosé & Croquet. Guests don white attire for the brunch, booze and croquet event. The four-day festival benefits Children’s Volunteer Health Network.
When: April 19-21, 2017
Where: Charlotte, North Carolina
Tickets: Vary by event.
For over a quarter of a century, the Charlotte Wine & Food Weekend has been a celebration of food and wine with proceeds benefiting charitable organizations that support children and their families in the Charlotte community. The 2017 festivities include in-home dinners on Wednesday, restaurant and wine pairing dinners throughout the city on Thursday, and the Big Bottles & Blues event on Friday, which will have the finest in local cuisine, world-class wines, culinary star talent, and a live and silent auction.
When: June 1-4, 2017
Where: Atlanta, Georgia
Tickets: Ticket prices are not yet available.
Each year, the Atlanta Food & Wine Festival has something different to offer. Whether you call yourself a foodie with a knack for wine knowledge or you simply enjoy the taste of something delicious, this event is for you. For four days, Atlanta is transformed to showcase cuisines of the South, and you are invited to expand your knowledge at one of the many learning experiences, taste your way through every tent and sip at pop-up vineyards in the city. Keep your ears open for details about this year’s festival. Till then, read Atlanta SB writer Melanie Preis’ experience when she attended last year here.
Cheers to a new year of travel and new adventures in food and wine!
For more Southern travel ideas, click here.