Fifth Generation Winemaker Marc Perrin to Bring Taste of Chateau de Beaucastel Wines, Food and Lifestyle to South Walton Beaches Wine and Food Festival

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Wine, charity and fun converge during Northwest Florida Beaches Ultimate Wine Week

Fifth generation winemaker Marc Perrin will appear at South Walton Beaches Wine and Food Festival, April 23-26.

Our part of the world is perfect for wine, but there is so much more — the arts, our lavender fields, fantastic food. It’s a lifestyle. We want to be able to express that way of life and quality of life when we travel to wine festivals, Perrin said.

Fifth generation wine pioneer Marc Perrin of Château de Beaucastel will join the star-studded line up for the South Walton Beaches Wine & Food Festival to be held April 23-26, 2015 in Grand Boulevard at Sandestin located within the beach communities of idyllic South Walton in Northwest Florida.

For more than a century Familie Perrin has trailblazed the wine industry to become the largest owner of vineyards in the best terroirs of the France’s Southern Rhône Valley.

From the legendary Château de Beaucastel name that dates back to 1909 to a recent partnership with Miraval Estate owned by Hollywood stars Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, Familie Perrin represents an approach to winemaking that respects the traditions of the past, while creating innovations for the future.

Marc Perrin — along with eight brothers and cousins — are the fifth generation to lead Familie Perrin. He is grandson to Jacque Perrin, a gifted winemaker who brought world renown to the family domaine by being one of the first winemakers to try various innovative techniques in his cellar and early organic practices in his vineyards.

“My grandfather was a visionary man, he was into yoga and meditation in the ‘50s before it was fashionable. He was a terroir lover. Living in Château du Pape, he had a real sense of place, for the soil. Just after WWII the chemical industry was very powerful and showing him all these new things — ways to work less and decrease risk. But my grandfather went the other way. People thought he was crazy. It was seen as losing progress, like not using email would be today. He was an iconoclast. He stuck to his ideas and now everyone understands that was the way to go. Now the trend is to make organic wine, but we have been doing it for 60 years,” Marc Perrin said.

Following in his grandfather’s footsteps, Perrin is following his own intuition and creating trends rather than following them. Among other innovations, he spearheaded the partnership with Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, who own Miraval a 2,000-acre estate in Provence, France, known for its rosé. Together they produced Miraval Côtes de Provence Rosé, which has made headlines and put lagging U.S. rosé sales “in the pink” — so to speak. “We entered into a joint venture to reveal the potential of this special place; at the same time, rosé is trending, and the family just happens to be very famous,” he said.

Perrin plans to bring a “lifestyle” experience to South Walton’s newest annual wine fete. Among many other diverse vintages from throughout the Rhône Valley, wine lovers (and Brangelina fans) will have a chance to taste the celebrated Pitt-Jolie rosé wine from Provence, which Perrin describes as “properly pale, aromatic, dry and full of character.” Francofile foodies will savor food pairings prepared by accomplished Chef Laurent Deconinck of L’Oustalet, a Mediterranean-inspired boutique hotel restaurant in the heart of a winegrowing village in Gigondas, France, also owned and operated by the Perrin family. Oenophiles will have a chance to learn more from Perrin himself as part of the Festival’s weekend-long seminar series. And wine collectors will be able to bring home their favorite label purchased on site in the wine retail tent.

“Our part of the world is perfect for wine, but there is so much more — the arts, our lavender fields, fantastic food. It’s a lifestyle. We want to be able to express that way of life and quality of life when we travel to wine festivals,” Perrin said.

Forty-four-year-old Perrin, whose memories of riding a tractor through the vineyards date back as far as he can recall, considers everyone in his family a proud wine craftsmen. “It’s a form of art. We use the craft we have learned from previous generations. It’s a job and a business, but there’s a very creative, artistic aspect to it and that’s what I like about it,” he said.

South Walton Beaches Wine & Food Festival will showcase more than 800 domestic and imported wines, 216 of which earned medals from a panel of 24 industry judges during a blind tasting in January. In addition to two days of wine tastings, wine lovers will be treated to food tastings, informative seminars, live entertainment and special features such as Champagne Lane, featuring floating bubbles and dozens of Champagnes and sparkling wines.

One of the weekend’s highlights is the annual Destin Charity Wine Auction to be held on Saturday afternoon, which invites auction attendees to bid on luxury travel packages, collectable wines and other fine living lots. Proceeds from the auction and festival go to support more than a dozen children’s charities in Northwest Florida.

Presented with support from Visit South Walton and Wine Enthusiast magazine, the festival offers the ideal backdrop for a beach getaway. South Walton beaches are consistently named among the best beaches in the country. ResortQuest by Wyndham Vacation Rentals is the Official Lodging Partner of the festival and many of their accommodations are beachfront, beachside or a short stroll to the beach. At this time, they are currently offering festival discounts that include discounted tickets. Go to Wyndham Vacation Rentals for details.

South Walton Beaches Wine & Food Festival is made possible by the generous support of the following Founding Partners: Destin Charity Wine Auction Foundation, Visit South Walton Tourist Development Council, Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association, Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort & Spa, Wine World of Northwest Florida and Grand Boulevard at Sandestin.

The Craft Beer & Spirits Jam kicks off the festival Friday from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.; the Grand Tastings are on Saturday and Sunday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Tickets are $50 for Friday; $85 for Saturday and Sunday (tickets include Champagne Lane, wine and food tastings, seminars and live entertainment); and $165 for the VIP Tasting with entry to the Grand Tasting. The VIP Tasting is Saturday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and the Grand Tasting starting at 1p.m. To purchase tickets and view the full festival schedule visit http://www.sowalwine.com.

About South Walton Beaches Wine & Food Festival
This year’s annual South Walton Beaches Wine & Food Festival will be held April 23-26, 2015 throughout the Town Center of Grand Boulevard at Sandestin. The festival features a stunning showcase of the best wines the world has to offer. Celebrity wine producers and chefs present fine wine and food pairings from the world’s most famous appellations. The Savor South Walton Culinary Village offers a sumptuous array of foods to taste, wines to pair, as well as wine and food tasting seminars and live entertainment. The event is a major fundraiser for Destin Charity Wine Auction Foundation, which benefits children in need in Northwest Florida. For more information, including a list of attending winemakers and to purchase tickets, visit http://www.SoWalWine.com.

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Stacey Brady

Stacey Brady
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