Exciting preparations are underway for Beaufort Wine & Food as this annual celebration of food, drink, and the Crystal Coast lifestyle celebrates a milestone ten-year anniversary on April 23rd through April 27th, 2014. Since its inception, the aim of Beaufort Wine & Food has been to promote tourism in Carteret County and to generate charitable contributions for the Beaufort Historical Association and the Friends of the North Carolina Maritime Museum – two remarkable nonprofits that play critical roles in driving tourism on the Crystal Coast, as well as enhancing the cultural fabric of the Beaufort community. To this end, Beaufort Wine & Food has expanded in scope every year over the last decade and 2014 marks an important turning point in the event’s history.
As always, the seaside town of Beaufort, North Carolina will serve as the backdrop for this five-day celebration of all things related to wine and food. Beaufort provides a quaint and picturesque setting for this unique festival that introduces world-class culinary talent and renowned winemakers to attendees. Beaufort Wine & Food events will be held at a number of locations including area restaurants, homes in Beaufort’s historic district, the NC Maritime Museum Watercraft Center, and the Beaufort Historic Site. Throughout the 2014 festival week, attendees can enjoy a wide variety of events including wine seminars, a Champagne brunch, a fashion show, and the highlights of the event on Saturday – the Vin de Mer Epicurean Village and the Beer, Bubbles & BBQ Party, both being held on the waterfront at Gallant’s Channel. Area restaurants will also play host to sumptuous wine dinners featuring celebrity chefs as well as visiting winemakers and wine principals working in conjunction with the most talented local chefs. In response to the growing interest in craft beer, a beer luncheon and a craft beer seminar/guided tasting have been added in order to round out this year’s offerings.
A new twist this year for Beaufort Wine & Food will be the addition of another waterfront location as an event venue. Liz Kopf, Vice President of Beaufort Wine & Food explains that the expanded role of Front Street Village in this year’s event has been an exciting development in this year’s planning process.
“We have been so lucky to partner with Front Street Village this year. Front Street Village has come onboard as a Sustaining Sponsor for Beaufort Wine & Food for this year and for years to come. The generosity and involvement of Bucky and Wendi Oliver of Front Street Village has provided us with invaluable support. As the Board began to plan events for 2014, it made the most sense to highlight both the natural beauty and the Beaufort lifestyle as much as possible. What better way to do so than to take advantage of the amazing views at Front Street Village? We are simply thrilled that they are willing to host both our Grand Reserve Tasting and Auction this year as well as our Champagne Celebration Brunch on their spectacular waterfront property.”
Nelson Owens, President of BW&F, is enthusiastic about this year’s April event and the other events coming up throughout the year.
“All of us on the Beaufort Wine & Food Board are looking forward to this year’s event and the great changes we have incorporated for our 10-year anniversary celebration. Our newly launched Membership Program is an important addition this year, as it provides a base of support for our event as we grow in the future. Members are also able to gain special perks like reduced ticket prices and early entry to the Vin de Mer Epicurean Village this year. We are also pleased that we have been able to expand Beaufort Wine & Food beyond just one weekend in April. The success of our “A Thirst for the Sea” Reception and Dinner on March 8th really showed us how enthusiastic the local community, as well as visitors who embrace our Crystal Coast hospitality, are becoming about our epicurean events.”
“We anticipate the same enthusiastic response to the diverse selection of events being offered within this year’s Wine & Food Celebration. As always, certain events like Vin de Mer and Beer, Bubbles & BBQ will remain focal events for us with the weekend’s largest number of attendees expected at each of these established events. We have been able to expand the food and beverage offerings at each of these two events this year due to increased participation by our partnering distributors, vineyards, breweries, and restaurants. Obviously, these participants make this event possible every year – and they have all really stepped up to make Beaufort Wine & Food continue to earn our designation as a Top 20 Event by the Southeast Tourism Society.”
“In addition to securing expanded participation from our industry partners, we have also tweaked events like the Historic District Wine Walkabout and the Grand Reserve Tasting and Auction in order to really focus on wine and food – giving attendees the best possible experience that we can. The number of wine dinners that we are hosting this year has been expanded to eight on Thursday evening. We are thrilled to offer a range of dinners sure to suit every palate. These new developments will certainly energize 2014’s Beaufort Wine & Food event as we mark our first decade in one of the most incredible towns in the country. In short, I feel that this will be our best year yet for this annual event and I recommend purchasing tickets as soon as possible so that you will not miss out on one of the best events in the Southeast.”
Wendy Park, owner of Beaufort Grocery and the Beaufort Wine & Food Board member in charge of sourcing visiting wine and culinary personalities, is just as enthusiastic as Mr. Owens.
“This year, I am so proud of the diversity of talent that we were able to bring in for Beaufort Wine & Food. It is amazing to have truly innovative visiting chefs participating like Mike Moore, Executive Chef/Owner of Seven Sows Bourbon and Larder and founder of The Blind Pig Supper Club alongside North Carolina favorite Ashley Christensen of Poole’s Downtown Diner. Ashley has received national acclaim in publications like Garden & Gun and The New York Times, as well as appearing on the Food Network Channel’s Iron Chef America. She was also a 2013 James Beard Award Finalist for Best Chef: Southeast. This year, we are also bringing in some international flavor with visiting chef Katherin Witbreuk of The Black Chook in Beijing.”
Wendy goes on to point out that the visiting winemakers for this year’s Beaufort Wine & Food bring a depth of talent with them that is a truly invaluable asset to a festival like this.
“K.D. Organ of Chateau Ste. Michelle is so passionate about winemaking that she will certainly make attendees love wine and winemaking more than they already do. Steve Peck of J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines is another incredible winemaker we have this year. I just know his gifted palate and comprehensive knowledge about winemaking practices will be truly inspirational for attendees. In short, these are just a couple of the noteworthy wine personalities joining us this April. Every single one of the winemakers and wine principals we have coming this year represents exceptional vineyards and portfolios. The toughest part for folks will probably be choosing which events to attend – every single one is top notch!”
The 10th Annual Beaufort Wine & Food Event is scheduled for April 23rd – April 27th, 2014. Tickets are currently on sale and interested attendees are encouraged to purchase tickets as soon as possible, as some events have already sold out. For more information about Beaufort Wine & Food or to become a Member, log onto www.beaufortwineandfood.com, email [email protected] or call 252-515-0708.