The Hilton Head Food & Wine Festival highlighted the region’s best cuisine and hosted an incomparable International Wine Competition that showcased gold and silver medal winners, culminating in a weekend-long festival.
“The wine competition is a true standout amongst the food and wine industry,” notes Julie Ford Musselman, festival director.
Roughly six weeks before the festival begins, certified wine educators and advance sommeliers from across the country spend three days on Hilton Head Island judging 700 plus different wines. All of the wines are judged in various categories and at all price levels, making it unique by industry standards.
“This private event is the backbone of the Hilton Head Island Wine & Food Festival,” Musselman explained. “It gives us credibility in the wine industry and elevates our festival above the others on the East Coast.”
This year’s judging panel included master sommelier John Blazon of Orlando, Fla., and master sommelier Brett Davis of Louisville, Ky. Both happen to be among 135 professionals in North America and 214 worldwide who have earned the master sommelier title from the court of master sommeliers.
“Almost every town has some sort of food-related festival nowadays,” said Musselman. “But very few of them host an internationally recognized wine judging component that is 29 years old. Our event is recognized and respected as one of the best judging competitions in the U.S."