Let the Good Times Flow

Let the Good Times Flow

The Village of Baytowne Wharf will be hosting the annual Sandestin Wine Festival

Words by Paige Townley

The Village of Baytowne Wharf has long been a staple for seaside aficionados with its shopping, dining, and entertainment options—not to mention its proximity to the emerald green waters of the Gulf. This April, it will become the epicenter for wine and culinary enthusiasts as well as it hosts the annual Sandestin Wine Festival.

To be hosted April 7 through 10, 2022, the Sandestin Wine Festival is the ultimate opportunity for discovery as it offers four days of unique events and wide-ranging experiences. Over the course of the long weekend, attendees have the opportunity to attend wine dinners with celebrity chefs, take part in wine tastings, and sip on specialty spirits and liquors—all while enjoying live music in the picturesque environment of The Village of Baytowne Wharf. “It’s a really exciting time to be perusing The Village of Baytowne Wharf,” says The Village Events Manager Leighann Elliott. “It’s an amazing opportunity to really immerser yourself in the foods and culture of the Emerald Coast.”

The festival begins on Thursday, April 7 with wine dinners, seminars, and a kickoff party to rival any celebration as this year the festival celebrates its 35th year. “It’s special to be planning the 35th Sandestin Wine Festival,” Leighann adds. “We’re really excited to be celebrating that anniversary, and a lot is going into making this year’s kickoff party better than ever.”

The main events are scheduled to take place on Friday and Saturday: the Grand Wine Tastings. The tastings will showcase more than 500 domestic and international wines over the course of the two days. Besides just tasting the variety and styles during that time, attendees also get the opportunity to learn about wines and chat with vineyard owners and winemakers about their appellations. Specialty spirits and liquors from around the world will be on hand as well. “We’re working to bring in even more wine selections from around the world, especially those that pair well with the food offerings,” Leighann adds.

The culinary offerings are another significant highlight of the festival, as celebrity chefs from the Emerald Coast and beyond will be on hand to cook on-site and treat attendees to gourmet experiences. Tents will be sprinkled throughout The Village for attendees to taste each and every delectable treat, all of which pair with the many wines on hand. The tradition of the Champagne tent will continue this year as well—the tent will be set up on the Sandestin Lawn and feature everyone’s favorite bubbly and desserts.

The festival—which is known as the most established and continuously running wine festival on the Gulf Coast and affectionately referred to as the “Kentucky Derby of Wine Festivals”—will wrap on Sunday with a special brunch. And in addition to an incredible four days enjoying the beautiful backdrop of The Village and partaking in fabulous food and drinks, attendees will be helping a local worthwhile charity: Fisher House of the Emerald Coast, an organization that provides a home for military families when a family member is undergoing medical treatment at a local facility. The organization helps any family that includes someone who has served in any branch of the military for any length of time, included active duty, reserve, veterans, and Wounded Warriors. Because Fisher House never requires a penny to be paid by the families, the organization requires heavily on community support. “Fisher House is an incredible organization, and they make a real difference in our community,” Leighann says. “Helping support the great work they do is just one more reason to attend this year’s Sandestin Wine Festival. It’s truly a can’t miss event.”