Nearly two decades have passed since the first Charleston Wine + Food festival kicked off in South Carolina in 2005. Nineteen years and hundreds of popped bottles later, the 2024 iteration of the annual celebration, like the wine and spirits served to attendees every year, has only improved with age.
The 2024 gathering will take place next spring from March 6 to 10, building on what made the 2023 fête the place to enjoy high-quality Lowcountry fare and introducing new and additional ways for guests to have their wine and sip it, too.
Charleston Wine + Food was founded to shine a spotlight on the fact that the American South — specifically the Lowcountry of South Carolina — has a lot to offer in the realm of luxury dining and drinking experiences. The organization’s mission statement proudly boasts that the festival was created to “celebrate, educate, enrich, and promote the Lowcountry’s diverse culinary + hospitality community through world-class experiences.”
Though not every chef, sommelier, brewer, and winemaker who breaks bread at Charleston Wine + Food is a South Carolina native, the Lowcountry is dutifully represented, and the others appreciate the recognition the state has carved out for itself in the food and drink realm. That appreciation culminates in the festival’s Culinary Village, a creative playground of diverse flavors and community.
Located at North Charleston’s Riverfront Park, sitting pretty by the water’s edge, the Culinary Village invites guests to sip, savor, and play during the last three days of the festival (single-day and weekend tickets are available). Guests looking to wine and dine at the Culinary Village get to do so in style for four hours. They can indulge in cuisine from local chefs, have their pick of beers, wines, cocktails, and non-ABV beverages, dance along to a silent disco, shop the wares of local artists and authors, consider larger dishes for purchase, watch cooking competitions, and enjoy comedy sets on a demo stage.
And to keep the day hassle-free, getting to and from the Culinary Village is made easier thanks to a dedicated shuttle service, available for $35, between downtown and Riverfront Park. Outside the Culinary Village, festival attendees have their pick of Brunches + Lunches, Beverage Workshops, live music, and some new offerings that already promise 2024 will be the best festival yet.
For the first time since the festival’s inception, sobriety will play a key role in offerings to attendees. A dedicated zone for non-alcoholic drinks at the Culinary Village, dubbed the Zero Proof Garden, will be available for those who choose to pass on imbibing. The rise of mocktails and non-alcoholic cocktails at bars and restaurants has been substantial over the last few years, showing that alcohol isn’t the only way to have a great time at the festival.
For guests who do feel like imbibing, the return of the Rosé Garden will be a welcoming surprise. Not to forget the countless bars, tents, and dedicated beverage stations highlighting the top wine, spirits, and beverage talent from around the world.
For guests who want to live just a bit more lavishly, they can do so with the Culinary Village’s CV Pass, available not just as a single-day and weekend option but also as a Weekend PLUS+ option. Being a CV VIP gets you everything included in general admission, plus add-ons like one-hour early access to the Culinary Village, an exclusive lounge with food samples, a complimentary bar experience with mixologists, a complimentary round-trip shuttle from downtown Charleston, and more.
Between the Culinary Village, Bar Takeovers, Signature Dinners, and Brunches + Lunches, the number of wine offerings available has increased since last year’s festival.
Guests get to step into the shoes of a beverage expert during the 2024 Beverage Workshops, which will feature in-depth presentations like VinePair’s Gin from Around the World, The New Face of American Wine, and The Next Wave of Craft Whiskey.
Signature Events, next to the Culinary Village, remains one of Charleston Wine + Food’s most enticing offerings, allowing guests this year to indulge in Spanish tapas, wine, and sangria or to sip whiskey and kick back with BBQ done the Lowcountry way or slurp on freshly shucked oysters while also enjoying your favorite beer, wine, or spirit.
This article is sponsored by the Charleston Wine + Food Festival.
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