Each February, the pedestrian paths and parks of Alys Beach are transformed into centers of culinary celebration as the striking New Urbanist community along the Florida Gulf Coast hosts its signature 30A Wine Festival.
This year, Alys Beach celebrates the 10th anniversary of the festival and will offer both old favorites and new traditions for a five-day event that won't soon be forgotten. Whether by meandering through the town's Bermudan-inspired pathways, sampling wines and pairings from around the country at the Grand Tasting or by gathering with close friends for an intimate themed dinners tucked throughout the property, guests will find enriching and enjoyable experiences at every turn.
A true introduction and a taste of what's to come, the festival will kick off on Wednesday, February 23rd, with a pool-side wine dinner at Caliza. Executive Chef Kevin Cavanaugh will prepare an inspired four-course meal served with meticulously-chosen wine pairings sure to please the palate and delight the senses.
Thursday, guests will have the choice between the highly-acclaimed Oysters & Champagne in Central Park or the new-on-the-scene Flor de Cana Rum Dinner in Papilio Park. Oysters & Champagne will feature a selection of oysters harvested from throughout the Southeast with plenty of bubbly to be enjoyed while live music lifts the spirits. The Rum Dinner will be an opportunity to learn about the spirit through neat tastings and craft cocktails accompanying a four-course dinner, all beneath the canopy of Papilio Park.
Friday's events offer two festival-favorites, the Mixology Seminar and the beloved Bourbon, Beer, & Butts. The Mixology Seminar in Palmera Park allows guests to learn from the masters through hands-on instruction to create three perfectly-crafted cocktails that are sure to impress. The night continues with a bit of rock and roll as guests enjoy a vibrant selection of fine bourbon, craft beer, and the best barbecue around, all under the stars on Kelly Green. Bourbon, Beer, & Butts is a must-attend event as the who's-who of each culinary, brewery, and distillery talent showcases their craft.
On Saturday, South Charles Street transforms from quaint pedestrian path to a vibrant festival event inviting guests to enjoy more than 80 wines from across the globe and small bites from local and regional eateries. The Grand Tasting is truly the centerpiece of the Festival, the event from which the five-day program once originated a decade ago.
After an evening spent strolling through a display of fine wine and food amongst the architecture of Alys Beach, a sweet Sunday offering caps off the weekend. The Gospel Brunch on Gulf Green is not to be missed--with mimosas, Bloody Marys, and coffee cocktails at the ready, a delicious brunch, and the sounds of a gospel choir along the Gulf of Mexico. Just afterwards, be sure to done your finest white attire for the closing event, Rosé and Croquet on Kelly Green. One of the most beloved festival events, Rosé and Croquet features a beautiful brunch spread and a truly epic croquet tournament. Whether you watch from the sidelines, sipping glasses from the elegant selection of rose, or perhaps you partake in the competition, this event each year proves to be the perfect finale for the five-day festival.
This tenth annual 30A Wine Festival, held amongst the exquisite architecture and unparalleled atmosphere of Alys Beach, is sure to be the season's must-do event, not simply because of the fabulous display of wine spirits, and food, but also because the event benefits local charity Children's Volunteer Health Network, an organization dedicated to providing health services to uninsured or underinsured school children in Walton and Okaloosa Counties. While this year's Festival events sold out quickly, stay informed for next year's events at https://30awinefestival.com/ or by following the Festival's social media: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter.
To learn more about the events, or to purchase tickets, visit 30awinefestival.com.