Sandestin’s Wine Festival Uncorks Spring

Northwest Florida’s  Emerald Coast, home to Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort, is also home to a five-star spring wine event which has become known as the Kentucky Derby of wine festivals.

They don’t have horses.

However, the Sandestin Wine Festival has everything else: white tents, live music, fabulous food, ladies in big hats strolling around swigging wine—and even seminars, if you insist on being educated.

photos courtesy Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort
this is why they call it the Kentucky Derby of Wine Festivals

The festival, now in its 26th year, kicks off April 26th at Sandestin’s charming Village of Baytowne Wharf, a pedestrian-friendly neighborhood on the shores of Choctawhatchee Bay. Leading Village restaurants, including the Marlin Grill and Bistro Bijoux, will offer special dinners which pair wine with food. On Friday, April 27th, wine seminars—including one on the wines of Bordeaux—will give guests an opportunity to gain insight from some top wine producers.

Saturday and Sunday feature the big event—the Grand Wine Tasting. More than 600 different wines from all over, and—because you should really eat something—an expanded Culinary Pavilion with a Mediterranean theme. Guests can expect to snack on cassoulet, paella, and of course a multitude of cheeses. Meanwhile, celebrity chefs will be presenting cooking demonstrations moderated by Julia Rutland, Senior Food Editor of Coastal Living Magazine.

photos courtesy Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort
Visitors to the festival can enjoy 600 wines from around the world

After sampling to your heart’s content, head for the Retail Tent to purchase wines that have caught your fancy.

This year for the first time the festival is offering a Sandestin Wine Festival VIP ticket which includes valet parking, a reception and catered lunch, a Specialty Reidel glass and access to rare wines not available at the Grand Wine Tasting.

Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort comprises 30 charming neighborhoods, whose accommodations include vacation rentals, condominiums, villas, townhomes and hotels—and special rates are available for Wine Festival attendees. The resort occupies 2400 acres including seven miles of sugar-white beaches and pristine bayfront, all conveniently located on US Highway 98 near Destin, Florida. A member of Visit South Walton, the resort offers four championship golf courses along with tennis courts, swimming pools, a marina, a fitness center and a spa. For more information on Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort, and the Sandestin Wine Festival, visit the website at or

photos courtesy Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort

Kathie Farnell
Kathie Farnell
Freelance writer Kathie Farnell lives in Foley, Alabama, ten miles inland from the Gulf of Mexico, with her husband, photographer Jack Purser, and a flock of cats. She has written travel articles for print and web publications since 1992, and also produces programming for public television and radio through her nonprofit corporation, Artemis Media Project. The couple enjoy exploring off-the-beaten-path destinations and spending time on the Gulf beaches.

Related Articles


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

- Advertisement -spot_img

Latest Articles