By Sara Reese
Toasting 33 years of fine wines, and charitable efforts, the Sandestin Wine Festival returns to The Village
of Baytowne Wharf in mid-April. The extended weekend includes a kick-off party with a local distiller,
wine dinners, the grand tasting events, culinary treats, yoga on the beach, and more! The highly
anticipated festival is the preferred event for over 7,500 wine aficionados and novices, as well as locals
and visitors alike. Tickets are already selling for The Sandestin Wine Festival Weekend of Thursday, April
11 to Sunday April 14, 2019.
The festival weekend opens at Rum Runners in Baytowne Wharf in conjunction with local spirit maker,
Timber Creek Distillery. Timber Creek will highlight its award-winning vodka, gin, and bourbons.
Featured craft cocktails from the distillery will compliment tasty passed small bites like prime-rib sliders
and crab cakes. The welcome party is a popular event and usually sells out quickly.
The Sandestin Wine Festival offers a Friday Grand Tasting on April 12 from 5 to 8 p.m. as well as a
Saturday Grand Tasting on April 13, 1 to 5 p.m. With wine and food tents spread from one corner of
Baytowne Wharf all the way to The Grand Sandestin Hotel, a full day of sipping and nibbling can be
enjoyed. Throughout the festival you will enjoy live music ranging from jazz, popular hits, and New
Orleans style. The “Bubbly Boozy” tent will return during both Grand Tastings. Sparkling wine devotees
will enjoy their favorites side by side. You will also find a selection of bourbons, vodkas, gins and more
from spirit and liquor distributors.
VIP options are available for both Friday and Saturday Grand Tastings. These limited tickets allow you
early entry to the festival, special gathering areas, and access to exclusive wine and spirit tastings.
The weekend offers many unique opportunities to enjoy The Sandestin Resort, culinary treats, and wine
in every way you could imagine! On Friday, step on to the Solaris at The Baytowne Marina for a three-
course seafood and champagne lunch cruise. Look forward to culinary features paired with favorites
from Moet-Chandon and Veuve Cliqcout. Wake up Saturday for Mind.Body.Beach, a morning of
rejuvenating yoga right on the beach. Your commitment to fitness will be rewarded with gulf-side
mimosas following the practice. Seminars will dot the weekend for unique opportunities to more deeply
explore the world of wine, regions, varietals, and more.
The weekend closes on Sunday with Brunch at Slick Lips Seafood & Oyster House in Baytowne Wharf where limited
diners will enjoy a five-course brunch appropriately paired with sparkling wines and champagne. Past
years’ celebrity chefs have included Chef Jim Shirley, famous for Seaside’s Great Southern Café, among
Find favorites from the weekend at The ABC Fine Wine & Spirits retail tent. With hours Friday, Saturday,
and Sunday you will have many opportunities to stock up your wine cellars and refrigerators. A fun
photo booth will be on site to record all the good times from an action packed weekend.
The true highlight of the event is the over $65,000 in charitable contributions made to Fisher House of
The Emerald Coast and The Sandestin Foundation for Kids. This collaborative effort draws the support of over 500 volunteers who work throughout the event to help raise money to assist military families and
children, local and abroad.
As one of South Walton’s longest running wine festivals, tickets do sell out every year. Visit
www.sandestinwinefestival.com to purchase tickets, discover lodging specials, and stay current on any
updates as the festival draws near. Volunteer opportunities are also linked through the website. The
Grand Tastings take place in The Village of Baytowne Wharf, located at 9100 Baytowne Boulevard,
Miramar Beach, within The Sandestin Resort. Questions can be directed to
Photos by Michelle Farnham