The Hilton Head Island Wine & Food Festival began as a part of an island wide promotion to bring visitors and help stimulate the island’s tourism industry.
Hilton Head Island was mostly known then as a summer beach and golf destination. A group of devoted wine enthusiasts along with some great island culinary talents started the tradition of the annual Wine & Food Festival. With the help of many hands, the festival grew from it’s origin as a one-day, 3-hour tasting in a parking lot, to today’s full week of events throughout the island. This year’s Festival will consist of exceptional wine dinners, the Sip and Stroll, Stay Gold plus the traditional Grand Tasting and well-loved Public Tasting. Our signature event, the Public Tasting has moved to Celebration Park across from Coligny Beach.
The International Wine Competition is held a couple months prior to the Festival with Certified Wine Educators and Advanced Sommeliers. The judging takes place over 3-days with over 250 different wines. Gold and Silver medals are awarded and those wines are featured throughout the festival events along with other winters choices. Wines are judged in various categories and at all price levels. The Double Gold winners are featured at the Stay Gold event, which has become a cornerstone of the festival.
The Festival is an event produced by the non-profit corporation Hilton Head Wine & Food, Inc. The proceeds from the festival’s wine auction at the Grand and Public Tastings support the John & Valerie Curry Educational Scholarship Fund for college students pursuing degrees in the hospitality & tourism field. Scholarships are currently offered at the University of South Carolina Beaufort and the Technical College of the Lowcountry. In the last eight years we have provided $94,000 in scholarships to deserving students.