It’s my favorite time of year at the beach, October! That means cooler temps (still waiting), smaller crowds, and lots of festivities!

Following their most successful auction to date, Destin Charity Wine Auction Foundation (DCWAF) has grand plans for the return of Harvest Wine & Food Festival to South Walton October 24-26 at WaterColor!

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A three-day affair, Harvest Wine & Food Festival has been recognized as one of the premier fall festivals in the southeast. Patrons are provided the opportunity to sip and savor over 250 world-class wines paired with the best in regional Gulf Coast cuisine, all while enjoying the beautiful beach town of WaterColor. Special lodging packages are at the WaterColor Inn.

Currently ranked number four “Top Charity Wine Auction in the US” by Wine Spectator Magazine, Destin Charity Wine Auction Foundation (DCWAF) is one of the nation’s premier fundraising organizations, raising money for 16 Northwest Florida children’s charities that assist at-risk youth in the local community by tackling a variety of issues including homelessness, food insecurity, mental health, education, medical care, and much more. In April, DCWAF raised a stunning $3.6 million for its benefiting charities.

On Friday, October 25, the Al Fresco Reserve Tasting held on WaterColor’s Marina Park will offer festival-goers a selection of library wines that feature rare vintages not easily accessible in the marketplace. An array of perfectly paired culinary selections prepared by the nation’s most celebrated chefs and live music set to a breathtaking star-filled sky will make for a memorable and elegant evening.

The Grand Tasting, held from 1 to 4 pm Saturday, October 26 in Cerulean Park is the main event and is designed to highlight harvest season at the beach. Large seafood, barbeque, and provisional stations manned by celebrity chefs from throughout the southeast and complimented by the best restaurants along the Emerald Coast are combined with tasting stations featuring over 250 wines from around the world. Craft beer and spirit tents and an exclusive VIP experience will also be available. Amongst a litany of impressive culinary talent, DCWAF is excited to announce the return of Atlanta-based barbecue gurus Johnathan and Justin Fox of Fox Bros. Bar-B-Q.


“Destin Charity Wine Auction Foundation is well known for our wine events, but great wine goes best with wonderful culinary delights,” Russell said. “Along with the expected line up of wines, spirits, and craft beers, festival attendees will be able to taste their way through every staple of coastal cuisine ranging from freshly caught seafood to farm fresh vegetables and cheeses all the way to traditional smoked barbeque prepared by our friends the Fox Brothers. Last year our festival occurred just 17 days after Hurricane Michael made landfall. While the decision to proceed was difficult, we knew we had a duty to support our benefiting charities in their time of need. Jonathan and Justin understood that. They were generous enough to donate their entire talent fee back to those impacted by the storm, and we’re honored to have them back again this October.”

It wouldn’t be a DCWAF event without the opportunity to bid high and bid often. A silent auction featuring a variety of rare wines, staycations and unique experiences will open Friday, October 25 and will run through Sunday, October 27 at noon. The opportunity to purchase merchandise on-site will also be available throughout the duration of the festival.

 

This year, the festival will present four Celebrity Winemaker Dinners on Thursday, Oct. 24th, each headlined by a high-end winery and hosted at various homes and restaurants throughout the South Walton area on Thursday, October 24 at 6:00 pm. The 3rd Annual Harvest Wine & Food Festival proudly presents the following:

Bodega Catena Zapata with Chef David Bancroft in WaterColor presented by Good Grit Magazine and 360 Blue
Gamble Family Vineyards at Vin’tij Food & Wine
PRIME Cellars at Bijoux Restaurant + Spirits
ROY Estate at Seagar’s Prime Steaks & Seafood presented by RJH & Associates

Tickets to the dinners are $150 at www.HarvestWineandFood.com.

Bodega Catena Zapata’s Brand Ambassador and Sommelier, Marika Vida-Arnold, is teaming up with Auburn’s favorite son and celebrity chef, David Bancroft, to present a beautiful multi-course menu showcasing the Argentinian winery’s diverse portfolio of ultra-premium Malbec, Chardonnay, and other varietals that compliment Nicolás Catena Zapata’s vision of rich, unforgettable wines. Three-time James Beard finalist and winner of Iron Chef Showdown, David Bancroft, is the Executive Chef and Owner of Acre and Bow & Arrow in Auburn, AL. Known for his stylishly modern cuisine with roots deep in Southern soil, DCWAF is excited to welcome Chef Bancroft to Harvest Wine & Food Festival. Presented by 360 Blue and Good Grit Magazine, this dinner will be hosted in one of 360 Blue’s beautiful WaterColor properties.

National Sales Manager, Michael Kasper will represent Gamble Family Vineyards at Vin’tij Food & Wine. Kasper joined the Gamble team in March 2017 and brings with him over 15 years of experience handling luxury wine brands. Napa-based winery, Gamble Family Vineyards was founded by third-generation farmer, Tom Gamble, with a primary focus on Bordeaux varietals in addition to Sauvignon Blanc. All of Gamble Family Vineyards’ wines are produced in small quantities with careful attention to farming.

After working with grapes from all over California, PRIME’s winemaker, Ted Henry, launched PRIME Cellars with the 2005 vintage to focus on a prime piece of Napa Valley called Coombsville. PRIME Cellars team member, Laurence Koross will be pairing the winery’s beautiful portfolio of wines crafted over years of careful focus on the climate and soils of Coombsville with the talented cuisine of Bijoux’s Chef Jack McGuckin.

Presented by RJH & Associates, Harvest Wine & Food Festival’s final Celebrity Winemaker Dinner, hosted at Seagar’s Prime Steaks and Seafood, will feature Founding Vintner Shirley Roy of ROY Estate. A great friend to DCWAF, Shirley and her late husband established ROY Estate in 1999 with the objective of producing the very best Napa has to offer. The result has been two decades of beautifully complex, layered wines with a focus on the purity of the fruit.

Each dinner will showcase highly rated, luxury wines from each respective portfolio, complimented by a perfectly paired, multi-course menu provided by each restaurant. DCWAF staff recommends purchasing dinner tickets early as seating is limited, and they are expected to sell-out.

 

A powerhouse line-up of culinary talent is slated for the 3rd Annual Harvest Wine & Food Festival. Eight award-winning chefs from across the southeast join a roster of iconic GulfCoastRestaurants to provide world-class cuisine to the area’s premier fall wine and food festival.

Festival goers have the opportunity to mix and mingle with the following celebrities throughout the weekend while sampling their famous fare:

Hugh Acheson | Athens, GA
5&10; Empire State South; Spiller Park Coffee; Top Chef Judge

David Bancroft | Auburn, AL
Acre; Bow + Arrow

Rusty Bowers | Atlanta, GA
Chop Shop; Pine Street Market

Jonathan & Justin Fox | Atlanta, GA
Fox Brothers Bar-B-Q

Kristen Hall | Birmingham, AL
The Essential

Sam Jones | Winterville, NC
Skylight Inn; Sam Jones BBQ

Kaley Laird | Asheville, NC
Rhubarb

Pat Pascarella | Atlanta, GA
The White Bull

Friday’s Al Fresco Reserve Tasting will feature all of the listed chefs with the exception of the Fox Brothers and Sam Jones, both of which will be spearheading the barbecue installation during Saturday’s Grand Tasting along with Back Beach Barbecue. Chef Bancroft will also be headlining a winemaker dinner paired with wines from Catena Zapata on Thursday evening, and many of the other chefs can also be found throughout Saturday’s Grand Tasting.

“As one of the most successful charity wine auctions in the country, we have strong relationships in the wine industry that guarantee we will be pouring exceptional wine at any DCWAF event,” said DCWAF President John Russell. “We’ve been fortunate to have the continued support of several iconic Gulf Coast restaurants and are excited to further elevate our culinary offerings by welcoming celebrated chefs from across the nation to the 3rd Annual Harvest Wine & Food Festival.”

Harvest Wine & Food Festival will also feature some of South Walton’s favorite restaurants while also celebrating the return of a few culinary favorites. More restaurants will be announced in the coming months:
Back Beach Barbecue
Clean Juice
Coastal Kitchen Catering
Cuvee Kitchen + Wine Bar
Destin Ice Market 30a
Evans Meats presents Southern Cheese Selections curated by Brian McMillan of Busy Corner Cheese
Jackacuda’s Seafood + Sushi
Maple Street Biscuit Company
Oysters XO Restaurant
Paradis
Seagar’s Prime Steaks & Seafood

A three-day affair, Harvest Wine & Food Festival has quickly grown to be recognized as one of the premier fall festivals in the southeast. Patrons are provided the opportunity to sip and savor over 250 world-class wines paired with the best in regional Gulf Coast cuisine, all while enjoying the beautiful beach town of WaterColor.

Earlier this month, DCWAF announced the festival’s 2019 winery headliners. PRIME Cellars, ROY Estate, Bodega Catena Zapata, and Gamble Family Vineyards will all headline this year’s event. Celebrity attendees from each winery will be pouring at the Al Fresco Reserve Tasting and in the VIP tent of the Grand Tasting.

Currently ranked number four “Top Charity Wine Auction in the US” by Wine Spectator Magazine, Destin Charity Wine Auction Foundation (DCWAF) is one of the nation’s premier fundraising organizations, raising money for 16 Northwest Florida children’s charities that assist at-risk youth in the local community by tackling a variety of issues including homelessness, food insecurity, mental health, education, medical care, and much more. In April, DCWAF raised a stunning $3.6 million for its benefiting charities.

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