Charleston Wine + Food began with a mission in mind: give back to the Charleston area by shining a spotlight on the city’s culinary + hospitality community.
Thirteen years later, the Charleston Wine + Food festival continues to be a driver of success for the Holy City’s world-renowned food industry.
However, the buck doesn’t stop there.
The 2017 Charleston Wine + Food festival made quite an impression, pumping $9.6 million into Charleston’s local economy over five days.
Guests from around the world pour into the Lowcountry to take part in the festival, but the impact reaches outside of the tent walls of Marion Square’s Culinary Village.
Local hotels, restaurants and more open their doors to festival attendees, offering a unique experience for guests that brings them back year after year. Each hotel stay and dinner reservation contributes to the economic impact felt in the Charleston area.
Leon’s Oyster Shop and Little Jack’s Tavern owner Brooks Reitz echoed the importance of the festival to local restaurants when chatting about his latest venture, Melfi’s.
The restaurateur joked, “We have to have this restaurant opened by February! The festival has given a lot of support to what we’re trying to do here in Charleston. The work you guys do plays a role in the success of our restaurants.”
For Charleston area restaurants, the festival brings in an army of national media outlets who are critical to their success. Many owners rely on positive reviews and news stories to bring customers through their doors.
“It’s no coincidence we’ve planned our restaurant openings around festival time,” Reitz said. “The festival gets people excited about going to restaurants. They’re excited to try good food and check out what Charleston has to offer.”
As the 2018 Charleston Wine + Food festival begins to take shape, our biggest hope is to see the economic impact continue to grow.
With each year bringing new and exciting events to the festival’s lineup, more and more guests come to Charleston to experience our city’s vibrant culinary scene.
The festival kicks off springtime in the Lowcountry as people come out of their winter hibernation, ready to get out and explore new restaurants and old favorites.
The resulting impact extends outside of the five days of the festival, with Charleston Wine + Food leaving its mark 365 days a year.