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Hilton Head Island Wine & Food Festival

On Hilton Head Island we’re prepping our palates and fine-tuning our tastes buds for one of our favorite annual events, the Hilton Head Island Wine & Food Festival.

Celebrating its 29th year, the festival started out as part of an island-wide promotion to bring visitors to the Lowcountry and kick up our food and beverage sales during a time of year that was typically slow. Back in the day, Hilton Head was mostly a summer beach destination. And as far as being a mecca for food and wine, Hilton Head wasn’t exactly on anyone’s radar. That all started to change when a few wine lovers and local chefs put together their talents and started the first annual Wine & Food Festival.

From its origin as a simple three-hour tasting and food pairing, the festival has flourished over the last three decades into a full week of events. Features of the festival include wine dinners, movie screenings, educational sessions, and the Grand and Public Tastings. Of note is the fact this is one of only a few wine and food festivals throughout the country incorporating an international judging component in its wine competition.

The Festival is more than just a good time, though…it’s for a good cause. Proceeds from the festival’s wine auction at the Grand and Public Tastings support the John & Valerie Curry Educational Scholarship Fund. These funds are available to college students pursuing degrees in the hospitality and tourism field, with scholarships offered to the University of South Carolina Beaufort and the Technical College of the Lowcountry.

The Festival gets started this year with the Wine & Cinema Festival Kickoff Event on March 10th. The event features a screening of “SOMM the Documentary,” and attendees will be able to nosh on hors d’oeuvres and sample a few award winning wines. At the public tasting held on Honey Horn Plantation, guests can sample more than 250 wines and pick up some gourmet goodies from premier restaurants around the Island. Did you know this is the largest tented outdoor tasting on the East Coast?

So, if you’re coming to Hilton Head Island in the next week, this is your opportunity to be a part of the largest public outdoor wine tasting event on the East Coast! We’ll be sampling more than 400 wines, grooving to live entertainment, and getting some fresh flavors from our local restaurants. as well as live and silent auction. One event NOT to miss is the Outdoor Gourmet Pavilion, which features cooking demonstrations by local chefs and gives you a chance to taste the best of local Lowcountry eats.

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