Celebrated Winemaker Jean-Charles Boisset to Bring 'JCB Experience' as a Featured Guest of South Walton Beaches Wine and Food Festival, April 23-26, 2015

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

Jean-Charles Boisset is set to appear at the South Walton Beaches Wine and Food Festival, April 23-26, 2015. Photo credit: Moanalani Jeffrey Photography

“A visit to our tent will allow you to travel from Sonoma to Napa to Carlos to Burgundy to the South France and the Rhone Valley exploring a collection of very unique wines," Boisset says.

Known as the “James Bond of Burgundy and Buena Vista,” dashing French winemaker Jean-Charles Boisset will join the dazzling roster of nearly a dozen celebrity winemakers, chefs and entertainers, who will wine, dine and entertain as part of the four-day celebration of wine at the 2015 South Walton Beaches Wine & Food Festival.

This year’s star-studded event will be held April 23-26, 2015 in Grand Boulevard at Sandestin located within the beach communities of idyllic South Walton in Northwest Florida.

“We are honored Jean-Charles Boisset is joining us for his first-time visit to the beaches of South Walton and bringing his extraordinary knowledge, deep passion and incredible collection of winning wines,” said South Walton Beaches Wine & Food Festival founder Chan Cox.

Jean-Charles Boisset of Boisset Family Estates and La Famille Des Grands Vins was born into the world of wine in the village of Bougeot, Burgundy, France. His passion for wine began as a child growing up in the cellars and within view of centuries-old vineyards of Chateau du Clos Vougeot, the epicenter and birthplace of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.

At 45, he is now president and responsible for expanding his family tradition to 12 wineries throughout several regions of France and seven in Napa Valley and the Sonoma region of California. Boisset’s passion and commitment for quality fine wines has led this innovative winemaker to implement organic and Biodynamic farming at all of the family’s estate vineyards in both Burgundy and California. He retooled and elevated the family’s founding winery bearing his father’s name — Jean-Claude Boisset — into a premier boutique vigneron in the Cote de Nuits. In 2003 he added DeLoach Vineyards, a pioneer producer of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Zinfindel in Sonoma’s Russian River Valley to the family’s wine fold. His search for California wineries with a sense of history, heritage and pioneering spirit ended in Napa Valley with Raymond Vineyards, where five generations of family winemaking anchors it to the earliest days of Napa Valley. With Boisset at the helm since 2009, Raymond has become a leading producer of luxury fine wines. Boisset’s vision for a wine world centered on family, passion, history and innovation was further realized with the acquisition of Buena Vista Winery in 2011.

The wine world has taken notice of this Franco-American “royal prince.” Decanter magazine has named him to its “Power List of the 50 most important people in the wine world every year since 2007; Wine Enthusiast magazine heralds Boisset as the “Innovator of the Year” (2008); Haute Living magazine named him to the Haute List San Francisco, recognizing the 100 most influential people in the San Francisco Bay area; and Meininger’s Wine Business International honored him as International Wine Entrepreneur of the Year (2008).

Boisset claims “wine is freedom” and he relishes the opportunity to talk about, taste and enjoy wine with others. “This is the first time ever we will translate the JCB experience from our winery to a wine festival, and we are really excited about it,” Boisset said. “When we become more experiential, we become more imaginative and much more in touch with ourselves. I really feel that wine has the mystical ability to inspire, seduce and take us to that place.”

In addition to creating a lounge-like atmosphere filled with eye-catching visual displays of award-winning wines from many of his 22 wineries in France and California, Boisset’s personal chef will prepare several tasting bites and representatives from the Boisset family of wines will be on hand to mix and mingle with guests. Boisset has donated a lot to the live auction and for fans who purchase his wine he’ll be on hand to personally sign bottles in the Retail Tent.

“A visit to our tent will allow you to travel from Sonoma to Napa to Carlos to Burgundy to the South France and the Rhone Valley exploring a collection of very unique wines each with different flavors, styles and textures that can really fulfill the dream of everything from an aperitif to a dessert wine,” he says.

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 starts 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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