Coming Together for a Cause

Coming Together for a Cause

The 5th Annual Harvest Food & Wine Festival is living out its mission to make an impact in Northeast Florida

Words by Paige Townley

It’s hard to imagine an event being better than one pairing great wine with great food while also being hosted at a beautiful coastal location. But the Destin Charity Wine Auction Foundation (DCWAF) found a way to take it to a whole new level with its Annual Harvest Food & Wine Festival.

The festival brings together people with a penchant for great food, great wine—hosting them at a sought-after location on Florida’s 30A—but it does so with one greater mission in mind: to raise money to help children in need in Northwest Florida. Since the foundation began, it has donated more than $25 million to a variety of local charities, which have helped approximately 100,000 at-risk youth with services ranging from medical care to food security. The Annual Harvest Food & Wine Festival is one of the major ways the foundation seeks to raise money for its mission, and this year, the event is bigger and better than ever before.

The 5th Annual Harvest Food & Wine Festival will be held in South Walton on November 4 through 7 in the WaterColor community. The scheduled line-up features a wide range of wine dinners to please the palette of wine and culinary enthusiasts alike. Celebrity chefs within the industry like Chef Adam Evans of Automatic Seafood & Oysters and Chef Maricela Vega, Culinary Director at Chico and a James Beard Rising Star nominee, will be putting together amazing menus that will be highlighted by wines from top wineries around the country, from Stonestreet Estate Vineyards and CAST Wines to Purlieu and Roy Estate. Favorite cocktail brands like Black Sheep Tequila and Better Together Beverage, a Florida-based business, are also part of the weekend experience and prominently featured as well.

Particularly special to this year’s festival—which is already officially sold out—is that the Grand Tasting will once again be part of the weekend. Scheduled for Saturday, November 6, at Cerulean Park, the Grand Tasting will include tasting stations of wines from around the world, fresh-caught local seafood, barbeque, and other provisional stations manned by celebrity chefs from some of the best restaurants along the Gulf Coast.

Also on tap for the weekend is the grand finale—a Sunday brunch at a 360 Blue Private Home on 30A—and the silent auction, which has been expanded to include a virtual option for anyone who would like to bid but can’t make their way to 30A.

With so many events planned over the course of the weekend, the foundation is hoping for the festival to not only build upon and encourage the close-knit community on 30A, but also find a way to benefit more children than ever before. And with everyone involved with the festival focused on that mission, hopes are to soon be raising a glass to successfully accomplishing that cause. 

Though the festival is officially sold out, anyone can still help children in need by participating in the virtual auction, which will be live throughout the festival weekend.