3 Reasons to Experience the Spanish Wine Festival
By Joseph Boles, president of the St. Augustine Spanish Wine Festival Board of Directors
The St. Augustine Spanish Wine Festival began in 2012 as part of St. Augustine’s 450th anniversary in an effort to unite St. Augustine with its Spanish history and heritage. The festival has now become a lasting, much-anticipated tradition in America’s first city, and it will be here once again on February 28 and 29, 2020. On behalf of the St. Augustine Spanish Wine Festival Board of Directors, I invite you to join us for another memorable festival that will go down in the history books!
This year’s two-day festival kicks off on February 28, 2020, with the Cava Reception and Dinner at the Flagler College Solarium, 74 King Street, from 6:00 to 10:00 p.m. The Solarium, perched atop Ponce de Leon Hall, is a stunning, uniquely domed, Gilded Age venue that overlooks the college and downtown St. Augustine where Henry Flagler’s hotel guests once frequented. During the Cava Reception and Dinner, an elegant dinner awaits, where each course is paired with a Spanish wine.
The festival concludes on Saturday, February 29, 2020, with the Grand Tasting from 2:00 to 5:00 p.m. This longstanding, traditional event at the festival features more than 100 Spanish wines accompanied by hors d'oeuvres. The event will take place at the Markland House, the Crisp-Ellert Museum, and the Allumni House on the Flagler College Campus.
The festival offer something for every Spanish wine enthusiast. It’s an event you don’t want to miss. Here are my top three reasons to experience this year’s St. Augustine Spanish Wine Festival.
1. It’s one of a kind!
St. Augustine is the only destination in the United States that brings together Spanish wine, history, heritage and authenticity. St. Augustine is a city of many firsts, and this is also true when it comes to the St. Augustine Spanish Wine Festival. St. Augustine is one of the first cities in the United States to offer a wine festival where all of the wines served to guests are from Spain. St. Augustine is the perfect location to host the festival because its beginnings are rooted in Spanish heritage.
Did you know that when Pedro Menéndez arrived in Florida and founded St. Augustine more than 450 years ago, the survival provisions onboard his ship included Spanish wine? This is true because water spoiled while being transported on the ship and wine did not.
Now, Spanish wine is just as significant today as it was when the early Spanish explorers came to America. History, heritage and authenticity blend together to make the flavors of the St. Augustine Spanish Wine Festival one of a kind. So, make America’s first city your next destination during the St. Augustine Spanish Wine Festival weekend.
The St. Augustine Spanish Wine Festival is all about Spanish wine! Who doesn’t enjoy a glass or two of fine wine, especially Spanish wine? The festival is the perfect opportunity to taste, test and explore Spanish wine amidst the beauty of old St. Augustine. At the festival’s Grand Tasting, more than 100 Spanish wines will be available to taste as our wine experts share interesting details with you about each wine.
The Spanish wines will be complemented with Spanish-inspired hors d'oeuvres and music. Also, when you find your perfect Spanish wine at the Grand Tasting, you can order that wine by the bottle through Broudy's Fine Wine and Spirits to later enjoy among friends or simply in the comfort of your own home.
3. Giving Back
The St. Augustine Spanish Wine Festival benefits local charities. I am proud to share that since the wine festival began, more than $325,000 has been raised by the festival and donated to local charities. Each year, charities are selected to benefit from the proceeds of the festival, and this year’s primary charitable organization is Flagler College's Hospitality and Tourism Management Program
St. Augustine is the ideal location for Flagler College’s Hospitality and Tourism Management Program. This college program is career-focused, offers a complementary blend of hospitality and business concepts, and is structured around a practical application of hospitality and tourism business principles. The festival will be an educational experience where students within the program will help organize event details and also serve during the Cava Reception and Dinner.
By attending the festival, you have the opportunity to enjoy Spanish wine, while also supporting the valiant efforts of non-profit organizations in our community, so your patronage goes a long way. Thank you in advance for making a difference to those in the St. Augustine and St. Johns County community.
Have I piqued your interest to join us for this year’s St. Augustine Spanish Wine Festival? I sure hope so! To find out more about the festival and to purchase tickets, visit www.spanishwinefestival.com.
See you at the festival. Cheers!
This article was originally written in January 2019 and has been updated for the 2020 Spanish Wine Festival event.
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