How to Best Harvest Fest

A guide to Destin Charity Wine Auction Foundation’s Harvest Wine & Food Festival
How To Best Harvest Fest 2

Prepare your palate for the delicious experience of the sixth annual Harvest Wine & Food Festival on Oct. 13-16, 2022. The weekend of epicurean excellence merges refined wines and culinary creations to taste the finer things in life.

The weekend encompasses intimate wine dinners hosted in restaurants and private homes throughout South Walton. The main event, The Grand Tasting, with world-class wineries and culinary stations, concludes with a cocktail brunch on Sunday. Throughout, attendees have access to a silent auction with chances to win premier wines, staycations and luxury travel accommodations.

Produced by the Destin Charity Wine Auction Foundation, each event ticket purchased and auction item bid on benefits 17 local children’s charities that aid with homelessness, medical care, food insecurity and more.

In the spirit of making the most out of your Harvest Fest experience, Kate MacMillan, director of marketing and communications for Destin Charity Wine Auction Foundation, suggests selecting a wine dinner to attend on Thursday or Friday, treating yourself to the VIP tent during the Grand Tasting for access to headlining wineries, and attending the cocktail brunch to round out a complete weekend.

The year 2020 changed the way that the festival proceeded, and in one specific aspect, for the better. With the arrival of smaller, intimate events came an increase in winemaker dinners and the addition of the Sunday cocktail brunch. In two years, both events have been expanded and improved upon.

In 2022, there will be four wine dinners on Thursday and another three on Friday. Thursday’s selection includes Ovid Napa Valley and Chef Fleetwood Covington at Seagar’s Prime Steaks & Seafood; a sensory experience of vinyl records and pasta with Chef Craig Richards of Atlanta and Senses Wines; a multicourse wine dinner at Ovide in Hotel Effie; and a wine-paired dinner at Vin’tij Food + Wine.

On Friday, chef Kristen Hall of The Essential Birmingham will lead a lineup of female chefs in a multicourse dinner highlighting wines from Saint Helena Winery. Mimmo’s new 30A location will host the Reynolds Family Winery with perfectly paired dishes. A wine dinner featuring Tarpon Cellars completes the lineup.

Scenic Cerulean Park will be the site of the Grand Tasting boasting worldwide wines, seafood from our local shores and provision stations manned by the Southeast’s most prized chefs. The VIP tent, presented by Emerald Coast Magazine, will serve elevated eats, boutique wine samplings, live music, a lounge and cocktail bar.

Culminate with cocktails crafted by Better Together Beverage. This year’s brunch will feature the hosts of the podcast Agave Road Trip who will take attendees on a journey through tequila tasting. Brunch will be concocted by Chef Phil McDonald of Black Bear Bread Company.

MacMillan advises purchasing tickets and lodging swiftly, as it’s a highly popular event attracting hundreds to one of the year’s best beach weekends before fall and winter settle in.

“We work hard to create a beautiful weekend in every way — the unbeatable setting of WaterColor, the boutique wines you can’t find in stores, the celebrity chefs from throughout the Southeast and money raised for charity,” MacMillan said. “All of this combines to create an experience that guests want to keep coming back to, bringing their friends each year.”

More than $28 million has been raised by DCWAF to benefit the following local children’s charities:

  • AMIKids
  • Ascension Sacred Heart Emerald Coast
  • Boys & Girls Clubs of the Emerald Coast
  • Children in Crisis, Inc.
  • Children’s Volunteer Health Network
  • Emerald Coast Autism Center
  • Emerald Coast Children’s Advocacy Center
  • Ellison McCraney Ingram Foundation
  • Food For Thought
  • Habitat for Humanity of Walton County
  • Mental Health Association of Okaloosa & Walton Counties
  • Opportunity Place
  • Point Washington Medical Clinic
  • Shelter House of Northwest Florida
  • The Arc of the Emerald Coast
  • Westonwood Ranch
  • Youth Village

To learn more and purchase tickets, visit


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