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 BeachAtlanta 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.

Charleston Wine + Food Festival

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.

Mark your calendar for these southern wine festivals!

Attend tastings and expand your knowledge of wine and the vineyards that make them. Image: Charleston Wine + Food Festival

Mark your calendar for these southern wine festivals!

Head to the festival with a friend, and indulge in all it has to offer. Image: Charleston Wine + Food Festival

Mark your calendar for these southern wine festivals!

Signature dinners created by the city’s most talented chefs are some of the festival’s most popular events. Image: Charleston Wine + Food Festival

Mark your calendar for these southern wine festivals!

Groove to live music during the festival’s opening event. Image: Charleston Wine + Food Festival

Mark your calendar for these southern wine festivals!

Yes, there is food and wine, but there are also cocktails! Try creations from local bartenders and pair them with food tastings. You can even enjoy Prohibition cocktails during the Prohibition Cocktail Dinner. Image: Charleston Wine + Food Festival

Mark your calendar for these southern wine festivals!

Beer events abound during the festival. Learn the secrets of pairing craft beer with food, try local beers, discover the taste of barrel-aged brews, attend a beer lunch and pedal for pints. Image: Charleston Wine + Food Festival

30A Wine Festival at Alys Beach

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.

Mark your calendar for these southern wine festivals!

Spend your evening sipping wine under the stars at Alys Beach. Even with last year’s rain, we managed to have a spectacular time!

Mark your calendar for these southern wine festivals!

Sip wine in 30A glasses at the 30A Wine Festival at Alys Beach.

Mark your calendar for these southern wine festivals!

You will be introduced to new vineyards and reminded of old favorites at the Grand Tasting event!

Mark your calendar for these southern wine festivals!

When you aren’t busy drinking, dining and shopping, head to the beach for some rest and relaxation!

Mark your calendar for these southern wine festivals!

Between wine events, stop by Alys Shoppe, a resort lifestyle boutique that carries apparel, accessories and home décor.

Mark your calendar for these southern wine festivals!

Stop by some of Alys Beach’s favorite eateries and watering holes: NEAT, a local bottle shop and tasting room, is a favorite spot for craft cocktails. George’s has been an area favorite since their opening in 2008. Be sure to try their famous grouper sandwich! Fonville Press is home to coffee, snacks and a wine bar. Pay them a visit morning, noon or night. Caliza Restaurant is home to Thursday night’s dinner but will also be open for dinner Friday through Sunday!

Charlotte Wine & Food Weekend

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.

Mark your calendar for these southern wine festivals!

Charlotte Wine & Food Weekend brings together wine makers from around the world! During the three-day event you will have the opportunity to try many different wines. Image: Charlotte Wine & Food Weekend

Mark your calendar for these southern wine festivals!

Local, regional and national chefs will prepare delicious tastings and dinners throughout the event. Image: Charlotte Wine & Food Weekend

Mark your calendar for these southern wine festivals!

Forbes Travel Guide ranked Charlotte Wine & Food Weekend one of the top five in the United States in 2014! Image: Charlotte Wine & Food Weekend

Mark your calendar for these southern wine festivals!

Learn more about wine during this three-day event in Charlotte! Image: Charlotte Wine & Food Weekend

Mark your calendar for these southern wine festivals!

Wineries, local craft breweries, food vendors and chefs will all gather in Charlotte to give you a taste of the best in wine and food. Image: Charlotte Wine & Food Weekend

Atlanta Food & Wine Festival

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.

Mark your calendar for these southern wine festivals!

Can you believe this is Atlanta and not somewhere in Northern California?!

Mark your calendar for these southern wine festivals!

Students in this festival breakout session learned how to properly grill meat … like the whole cow!

Mark your calendar for these southern wine festivals!

Robbie Melvin demonstrated how to make an easy summer go-to: cucumber cream cheese and tomato sandwich.

Mark your calendar for these southern wine festivals!

The tasting portion of the festival includes bites of everything from sweet treats to perfectly grilled meats and hot chicken. Image: Atlanta Food & Wine Festival

Mark your calendar for these southern wine festivals!

Get a taste of the South at this four-day festival! Image: Atlanta Food & Wine Festival

Mark your calendar for these southern wine festivals!

And of course, the wine is always flowing! Image: Atlanta Food & Wine Festival

Cheers to a new year of travel and new adventures in food and wine! 

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