Words by Ashley Locke
The 2022 Destin Charity Wine Auction Foundation’s Harvest Wine and Food Festival experienced another incredible year—it’s sixth to be exact—bringing together wine and food lovers to benefit Northwest Florida’s children in need. The event, moved from November to October, was the festival’s most successful year to date.
From October 13 through 16, 30A filled up with festival guests who were excited to discover new wines and enjoy delicious food all weekend long. The festival kicked off on Thursday with the Virtual Auction, with bidding lasting through the weekend. By the auction’s close, DCWAF had raised over $100,000 from the auction alone, benefiting 17 different local children’s charities.
The Virtual Auction was not the only hit of the weekend. The Winemaker Dinners sold out well in advance of the festival, and they were a highlight for all who attended. There were four dinners on the festival’s opening night, and two the following night—each pairing fantastic winemakers with some of the South’s best chefs.
Good Grit Magazine’s Women With Grit dinner presented by 360 Blue was held on Friday, October 14th. The dinner hosted chef Kristen Farmer Hall from Birmingham’s The Essential and Bar La Fête, whose three-course meal was paired with wines from Saint Helena Winery. With dishes like mouth-watering red wine braised short ribs and wines like the delightful 2019 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, there was so much to savor!
Saturday, October 15th featured the main event—The Grand Tasting. The sold-out event took place in Cerulean Park in WaterColor, with tents offering libations and bites lining the streets alongside the live oaks. Guests strolled from tent to tent, tasting delicious wines, spirits, craft beer, and coffee and sampling culinary delights from across the Southeast.
This year the festival added an extra fun event—the Grand Tasting afterparty. Guests closed out Saturday at The Wine Bar in WaterColor, enjoying live music, livelier conversation, more wine, and incredible food from Beach Camp BBQ.
The last event of the weekend was the Agave Road Trip Brunch. Hosted by Lou Bank and Chava Peribán of the popular Agave Road Trip podcast, this event featured a delicious brunch prepared by Chef Phil McDonald of Black Bear Bread Company paired with agave-inspired craft cocktails by Better Together Beverage.
From the time DCWAF was founded in 2005 through 2022, the organization has been able to donate over $28 million to charities supporting 100,000 of Northwest Florida’s children. This wouldn’t be possible without each person involved, from winemakers to chefs to attendees. Visit https://www.dcwaf.org/harvest-festival/ to learn more about next year’s event.