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

Published: Wednesday, September 19, 2012 at 03:00 PM.

Though in years past the distributors donated their wine to Sandestin, this year they will donate more than 2,400 bottles to the 2013 South Walton Beaches festival. Sandestin says this won’t deter them.

Formerly, Sandestin donated lodging to celebrity vintners and the Linkside Conference Center to be used for the auction, as well as food at cost and a portion of the festival proceeds to DCWAF, which was held concurrent with, but not in connection to, the festival. This was a package, according to Whitney, that if sold would amount to around $140,000. So, part of that money will be used to buy wine outright from the distributors.

“It is $38,000 to buy that wine,” said Whitney. “We’re going to buy that wine … and keep moving.”

The Sandestin Wine Festival will remain at Baytowne, but will add a spirits, in the form of vodka, and caviar tasting at the marina. They will also employ the skills of local young adult culinary students and add a component to aid military families. They also plan to continue to donate a portion of the profits to local charities, though the beneficiaries have yet to be set.

The Sandestin Wine Festival will be held at Baytowne April 18-20. Tickets are available for sale now at SandestinWineFestival.com.

For the South Walton Beaches Wine and Food Festival, the most notable change from years past, according to Cox, will be the incorporation of the Destin Charity Wine Auction Foundation.

“One hundred percent of the proceeds from the festival are going to the Destin Charity Wine Auction Foundation,” said Cox, a key founding member of the DCWAF.

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