A TALE OF TWO WINE FESTIVALS: The story behind the ‘divorce'

Special to The Sun
Published: Wednesday, September 19, 2012 at 03:00 PM.

Irreconcilable differences will bode well for wine lovers in South Walton and from out of town.

There will be two wine festivals this April in South Walton — the 27th annual Sandestin Wine Festival and the new South Walton Beaches Wine and Food Festival.

Citing a need to expand, Chan Cox, a founder of the Sandestin Wine Festival, separated from Sandestin and will partner with Keith Howard of The Howard Group, as well as the Destin Charity Wine Auction Foundation to bring the inaugural five-day wine, food and entertainment extravaganza to Grand Boulevard.

“It’s the first year in a sense,” said Chan Cox, owner of Chan’s Wine World. “It’s basically the same event that I’ve been doing for 26 years, I’m just moving it from Baytowne Wharf to Grand Boulevard. I’m taking the distributors with me.”

A grant in the amount of $35,000 was pulled from the Sandestin event and reallocated to the new festival, a decision put forth by the TDC advisory board and Dawn Moliterno and approved at the Tuesday Board of County Commissioners meeting.

The grant, as one of Visit South Walton’s Signature Events grants, was designated in April to be used by Sandestin for the 27th annual event, which is often called the premier wine festival of the Southeast.

Signature events are outlined as events of more than three days for which the TDC expends more than $10,000 in grant funds.

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