Celebrity Winemakers, Chefs, Craft Beer Brew Masters and Special Guests

Expect to meet and enjoy wines from the top winemakers in the world. Recent celebrity guests have included Cristina Marini May of Banfi Vintners, Chef Emeril Lagasse, Mark Perrin of Château de Beaucastel, Jean-Charles Boisset of Boisset Family Estates and Peter Mondavi, Jr of Charles Krug Winery.

Wine seminars take place for those wishing for more focused and in-depth tastings.

2017 celebrity winemakers, chefs, craft beer brew masters and special guests included:

    Jackson Family Wines, Hartford Family Wines
    Massolino Wines
    Antica Napa Valley, Antinori
    Sazerac and Buffalo Trace
    Gruet Winery
    Iron Smoke Whiskey

And many more...


2017 Medal Winners


The Food

The Savor South Walton Culinary Village and Nosh Pavilions offer an array of food tastings, food and wine pairings and access to the people who make these amazing dishes. During the festival weekend, enjoy food prepared by South Walton chefs and local favorites including Scott Plumley of Emerald Coast Catering and The Craft Bar, Mona B. McGee, owner of Mac Farms, and the venerable Yoshie Eddings of Harbor Docks.

Chefs and Special Guests Include:

Scott Plumley, Culinary Director, Emerald Coast Catering

Chef Kevin Korman, Roselie Dining & Seafood Bar

Chef Yoshie Eddings, Harbor Docks

Chef Ted Morrison, Barefoot’s on the Beachside Bar & Grill, at Hilton Sandestin Beach

Chef Stephen Bucalo, The Hub

Mona B. McGee, Mac Farms

VIP Tastings

For Saturday’s VIP Tasting, delectable small plates are prepared by the Chefs of celebrity winemakers, who pour their most prized wines. Signature restaurants from Grand Boulevard serving their most popular dishes include:

  • Cantina Laredo Modern Mexican Food
  • Grimaldi’s Pizzeria 
  • Mitchell’s Fish Market
  • P.F. Chang’s
  • Tommy Bahama’s Restaurant
  • Everkrisp
  • Kilwin’s Chocolates & Ice Cream
  • Publix Super Market

Enjoy Scrumptious Cuisine, Including:

Alabama Goat Cheese Fritters, San Marzano Tomato Sauce

Cavatelli with Pork Ragu, Tuscan Kale, Parmesan, Lemon Breadcrumbs

Spicy Lamb Meatballs, Italian Salsa Verde

Dirty Risotto “Jambalaya”

Shrimp & Grit Fritter with Tomato & Pepper Jam

Assorted Freshly Rolled Sushi with Pickled Ginger

Asiago D’Allevo Vecchio – Aged 12 months

Parmigiano Reggiano Extra – Aged 18 months

Provolone Piccante – Aged 12 months


Blood Orange Sorbet

Smoked Chili-Lime Wings

Pickled Gulf Shrimp Ceviche

Garden Fresh Seasonal Green Salads atop Freshly Baked Baguettes Drizzled with House-Made Gourmet Olive Oils and Topped with Shaved Parmesan Cheese and Fresh Cracked Black Pepper




Don Hartford, Jackson Family Wines & Hartford Family Wines
Saturday, April 29
1:15 – 2:00pm

From the most prestigious wineries on the west coast, Don Hartford, Founder and CEO of Hartford Family wines and CEO of Jackson Family Wines, presents a Pinot Noir focused seminar examining the terroir of California AVA’s – American Viticultural Area.

Year after year, Hartford wines rank among the most sought-after collectables from California. Since the 1994 vintage, the Hartford’s have built the winery’s reputation on limited-production, handmade, single-vineyard Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Old Vine Zinfandel from some of Northern California’s greatest vineyards. In addition to their own estate, Hartford harvests fruit from a handful of prized vineyards throughout the Russian River Valley, Green Valley, Carneros, Sonoma Coast and Anderson Valley. These are all high-reputation, low-yielding, sustainably-farmed sites situated in cool-climate sub-regions.

Franco Massolino, Massolino Wines
Saturday, April 29
2:30 - 3:00pm

“A Walk Through Piedmont with Franco Massolino – Experience the Varietals, Terroir, and History of Northern Italy’s Most Prestigious Wine Region”

The history of the Massolino family and their wine became entwined with the history of Serralunga d’Alba in 1896 when Giovanni Massolino founded the estate. Giovanni was the very first person to bring electricity to the village. A few generations later, in the 1990s, Franco joined the family enterprise. His work condenses the experience of an entire family and the ambition of a new generation, determined to make an important contribution to the innovation of oenological and agronomical techniques and to the image of the estate in Italy and abroad. Enjoy the refreshing whites and classic reds of this region while Franco shares his family’s story with you.

Tommy Brunett, Iron Smoke Whiskey
Saturday, April 29
3:30 – 4:15pm

A really special treat from rocker turned whiskey-maker, Tommy Brunett, founder of Iron Smoke Whiskey. As the touring guitarist with Modern English (I’ll stop the world and melt with you – that song!) in the 80s, Tommy played concerts throughout the world. He takes center stage here to take the audience on his adventure from rock n’ roll to award-winning whiskey. A natural raconteur, Tommy still rocks with his band, The Tommy Brunett Band (you can see them mainstage at Friday night’s Craft Beer & Spirits Jam).

Laurent Gruet, Gruet Winery & Jameson Fink, Wine Enthusiast Magazine
Sunday, April 30
1:30 – 2:15pm

“French Roots; American Dreams”

For 2017, the sparkle is back! And by sparkle, we mean bubbly of course! Second-generation winemaker, Laurent Gruet, and the fabulous sparkling wines of Gruet Winery are front and center at this perfect Sunday seminar. Laurent will be joined in by Jameson Fink of Wine Enthusiast Magazine as they explore the Gruet family’s winemaking journey from the Champagne region of France to New Mexico where they craft their award-winning, top-rated sparkling wines. Sip on these delectable bubbles while listening to Laurent tell his family’s story about passionately crafting American sparkling wines in the traditional French method.

Laurent and Gruet Winery will be featured at a special presentation at Champagne Lane on Saturday and Sunday, 2 – 4 PM.

Glenn Salva, Wine Estate Manager, Antica Napa Valley – Antinori, Italy
Sunday, April 30
3 – 3:45pm

“Antinori Heritage Explored through Cabernet”

Enjoy this opportunity to merge stories about two of the historic estates of the Antinori family (Tenuta Tignanello and Tenuta Guado al Tasso) with the wines and history of Antica Napa Valley.

The Antinori Family history is a narrative about devotion to winemaking that is woven through more than 630 years and 26 generations. Six wines will be tasted that will showcase how the Antinori reputation has grown throughout the centuries by making innovative and sometimes courageous choices, always with unwavering respect for the land and for tradition. The Antinori Family winemaking history will be explored through Cabernet Sauvignon from three of their esteemed wine estates: Tenuta Tignanello (Tuscany), Tenuta Guado al Tasso (Tuscany), and Antica Estate (Napa Valley).

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