February 28 - March 4, 2018

Charleston Wine + Food

Tasting Notes

CHSWFF Blog

Continuing Education

Charleston Wine + Food strives to bring people together each year through storytelling and food. Continuing Education is a project that does just that. What started with a native strain of watermelon, The Bradford Watermelon, quickly created the opportunity for local chefs to meet local farmers. It is a project that allows those who attend to better understand where their produce is coming from while learning about produce native to South Carolina.   The first event took place on The Bradford family farm, where chefs and guests were taken through the fields to learn more about the Bradford Watermelon. After a quick demonstration they got to taste the produce and take home some of the sweet molasses made from the rhine of the watermelon. The second event of the project brought on a new group of chefs along with returners to go back to the Bradford family farm to learn more about the Carolina African Runner Peanut. This peanut was first used in soup by Africans in North America. This is the first year that this strand of peanut has been available to the public since the late 1920’s or early 1930’s.   This event allowed those who attended to see the smaller details, to better understand the time and effort it takes to revitalize a crop. Continuing Education gives local chefs and farmers a chance to meet, share stories and be creative.    SaveSave
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Food Rescue

Every year, Charleston Wine + Food strives to be better than we were before. Working with One80 Place has helped CHSWFF improve our impact on our community and our environment.   On average, One80 Place serves 175,000 meals from its community kitchen to shelter guests and local community members with a budget of $0. To make this happen, food is collected from local food drives and their food rescue truck that collects $330,000 worth of food from local grocery stores, restaurants, businesses, individuals.Last year, the food rescue truck was able to collect 3,128 lbs of food from the CHSWFF Culinary Village.   If you’re interested in donating food or would like to find more ways to help head over to One80 Place’s website!
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CHSWFF Going Green

In the past decade, we’ve witnessed a stunning transition as corporate social responsibility evolved from a nice-to-have silo to a fundamental strategic priority for businesses large and small. “ - Forbes, 2017. At Charleston Wine + Food (CHSWFF), we believe that this trend stemmed from good people hoping to leave a positive, lasting impact on future generations. Some companies use their influence to support specific foundations, or advocate volunteer time to help those in need. Others enable positive change through food, combating poverty on a local/regional level. For other groups, climate change and sustainability have become an increasingly important initiative.   Companies and people alike are taking steps to reduce the amount of waste they produce and change the impact they have on the planet. In an attempt to join the global movement of going green, CHSWFF is taking a step back and looking at how we can provide a more eco friendly experience.   Event Director, Ali Bechtel, recently took time to talk to me about how CHSWFF is working to be more eco friendly during the  2018 festival, and it seems like we have found several ways to make our festival more environmentally friendly. We’ve developed a great relationship with VerTerra, a company that specializes in sustainable dinnerware, to supply compostable serving dishes and utensils. In the Culinary Village we also have “weigh stations,” or strategically positioned areas for all guests to throw out trash, recycling and compost in separate bins. Throughout the festival local, regional, national and international chefs are encouraged to use reusable or compostable materials and have compost bins at their workstations as well.   “Ultimately, CHSWFF hopes to inspire those at the festival and other festivals to have a great time, enjoying fantastic drinks, phenomenal food and all the while, become more eco friendly,” says Bechtel. “We’ve been inspired by progressive and sustainably-minded cities like Vancouver and Denver, and plan to work with the city + county of Charleston to create a sustainable festival guide for similar events of our scope to plan responsibly. This guide will likely include a list of local resources, insight into intuitive directional signage and how to communicate your efforts at scale.   For those who have tickets to our Culinary Village, this year we ask that while you enjoy all that the Village has to offer, and look out for our stations and the signs so you can toss your waste appropriately. If you have any questions our team members at the Village are more than willing to help!   Through working with the city, county and all those who make our festival possible (chefs, staff, attendees, etc), CHSWFF is looking to pave a more sustainable path for future festivals and leave our mark by not only connecting others, and sharing stories between sips of wine and bites of heart-filled cuisine, but through inspiring those around us to continue making a difference whenever we can.  
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Girl Power is the Best Power

  Charleston Wine + Food has really given me more than I could have ever asked for. Two years ago, I applied for the Charleston Wine + Food School of Business Scholarship after finding it on a long list of scholarships and realizing this was one I fit the bill for. When I found out that I received the scholarship, I was ecstatic. I got it right before going abroad, so once I got back to the U.S., my internship advisor at the College of Charleston connected me with Nysa, the Development Director, and I was hired as the Development Intern for the upcoming spring 2017.   Through being a scholarship recipient, I was able to begin my relationship with Charleston Wine + Food and get to know the organization that so graciously awarded me for my academic successes. I started my internship in the spring of 2017, and if you are not aware, the spring is a crazy time to jump into this process. I was there for just two months before the actual festival occurred. Even in those two months though, I learned and accomplished enough to make the completion of the festival feel so rewarding. Also, I loved working there so much that I decided to come back the following fall 2017.   Even though I was in the same internship role as I was in the spring, my responsibilities were very different, since the festival was not looming right in front of our faces. I worked backwards - working in the thick of the event for the first part of my internship and then on the behind-the-scenes part in the second part of my internship. Through my internship both semesters, I got to experience what it is like to strategically plan for a whole year to put on a festival that spans just five days. I have to say, seeing a year’s worth of planning come to life is one of the coolest things I’ve ever experienced.   I not only learned how the world of development and partnerships operate, but I also learned what it’s like to be a part of an amazing team. Each person on the staff welcomed me with open arms and supported me throughout my internship. Charleston Wine + Food team- you set the bar really high for what I expect in an office culture from now on. Gillian Zettler, Executive Director, and her staff have taught me that girl power is the best power, and kindness is the key to life. Charleston Wine + Food has given me work + life skills to take with me as I move forward in my career. If it were not for the scholarship, I’m not sure I would have found this amazing opportunity, so for that, I am eternally grateful.
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Lunch is Served

This year Charleston Wine + Food is starting the holiday season off with a 12 Days of Giving blog series highlighting our ties in the local community. To start off this series we first would like to highlight a recent team outing to One80 Place.   A few weeks ago six members of the Charleston Wine + Food team spent an afternoon with our friends at One80 Place to serve lunch to the guests of the shelter.   The One80 Place kitchen serves three meals a day totally approximately 170,000 meals to its clients and anyone who is hungry.   That day in the kitchen our team helped to serve 120 meals thanks to pizza donated from Whole Foods, along with fresh salad, warm bread + more. It was a truly enjoyable experience for the team to engage with the One80 Place staff and a great way to give back to our community and support the mission of One80 Place.   Interested in learning more about volunteering at One80 Place? Learn more here.
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Local Love: Elevating Recycling + Compost Efforts This Festival Season

Reduce, reuse and recycle - a familiar eco-friendly mantra that we are putting a bigger emphasis on this festival season. Recycling has always been a priority of Charleston Wine + Food, but this valiant endeavour has not been an easy task. While the City of Charleston assists in disposing cardboard + glass after events, this year, we are also partnering with Smart Recycling to elevate our recycling efforts through a compost, recycle + trash initiative. Our shared mission is to reduce trash and generate creative ways to upcycle food waste from the festival. A significant amount of waste is unavoidable as a food + beverage festival, but we are excited to leave a greener legacy, one that recycles smarter, reduces the carbon footprint, and prioritizes Charleston’s environmental future. This year’s compost program will serve as a trial run to establish best practices for sorting festival waste. Our guests will see three bins this year, one for recycling, one for trash, and one for compost. Volunteers will staff each station to assist guests in disposing everything from merlot-stained plastic cups to remaining morsels of food. The majority of festival waste comes from the Culinary Village, so for this first year our recycling program will live in the village. And the best news?  We use biodegradable products, so almost everything will be able to be composted or recycled. Composted products take just a short 30-40 days to turn into rich viable soil, so within a month's time local farmers will be utilizing compost produced directly from the festival. The effectiveness of the Smart Recycling partnership will be tracked through the number of times each bin is dumped, with the hope that this effort will result in a significant reduction in the amount of garbage produced and an increase in compostable materials. Smart Recycling will train festival volunteers and help facilitate the trash + composting process. Our very own Erin Connolly and Lauren Turgeon are championing our recycling program, and shared this secondary goal of training volunteers to understand the difference between the items for compost, recycle, and trash to not only reduce festival waste but also help educate and motivate guests to continue recycling + composting at home. We are proud stewards of the land, protecting + preserving the beauty of the #1 city in the world. So we ask you to join our eco-friendly initiative and help us #PourIntoCharleston.
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Local Love: CWF Excellence Scholarship Recipient 2016-2017

On a sunny southern January day, we sat across from an eager and animated college freshman who exclaimed, “I knew Charleston was where I was meant to be. I even wrote myself a letter, four years before attending, affirming, College of Charleston was my dream school.” Jane Muller, the 2016-2017 Charleston Wine + Food scholarship recipient continued, “I wouldn’t be here without my scholarship award, and I am so grateful for that.”   Since starting school in August, the young freshman has settled into southern city life + adores everything about Charleston’s historic charm. She also enthusiastically embraces the lowcountry food scene, which boasts plenty of restaurant options to satisfy her love of chicken. “My favorite restaurant has to be Magnolia’s, they have the best fried chicken,” shared Jane.   Hailing from Long Island, New York, Jane has a passion for traveling, eating great food + helping people. Naturally, Jane fell in love with the hospitality industry and knew Charleston was the place to explore that passion. After applying for many scholarships offered through the School of Business at the College of Charleston, Jane stumbled upon the Charleston Wine + Food scholarship opportunity.   Charleston Wine + Food has been awarding the Excellence Scholarship to a College of Charleston freshman each year since 2008. In 2016 Charleston Wine + Food had a $9.1 million impact on the Charleston economy and the Excellence Scholarship is just one of the ways Charleston Wine + Food stimulates the Charleston economy. In addition to the scholarship, each recipient is also offered internship and mentorship opportunities with Charleston Wine + Food, which allowed many of the past recipients to obtain great jobs in the Charleston community.   Required to apply, the application is a simple essay describing a hospitality event the applicant has been a part of + what it means to them. Charleston Wine + Food will continue to #PourIntoCharleston by awarding scholarships to students at the College of Charleston throughout the upcoming years.   *This blog post was written by our 2016-2017 Charleston Wine + Food CofC Fellows. Charleston Wine + Food has partnered with the College of Charleston to offer a communications senior capstone class the opportunity to work with the festival. 
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Festival 101

As we get closer to the festival (40 days to be exact!), there are a few things you should keep in mind as you begin thinking about your Lowcountry travel plans. Here are a few things any festival-goer needs to know: Grab your tickets...Your tickets to the festival are easily printable, but can also be accessed on your mobile phone!  Use the latter method for a paperless, guilt-free, and organized event experience - because we know you’ll be having too much fun to worry about anything else. Navigate safely...Whether you’re a visiting attendee or a lucky local, remember that parking can often be tricky downtown.  Take advantage of our partner Über and their fantastic app, they'll be your designated driver.  Our city isn’t too big to navigate if you plan on driving on your own or even if you’re strictly walking, just remember to keep a map of the city on hand in case you get lost! Dress in layers...Charleston’s bipolar weather time and time again proves to be just as unpredictable as it is beautiful.  Whipping wind or intense rays can ruin your day if you’re not prepared, so plan on packing an umbrella, your sunnies, and a cute hat just in case.  If you’re attending an excursion or an event outside for several hours you might also want to include a travel-size sunscreen to protect your skin.  All events are held rain or shine. Necessary gadgets...A few fun items can and will make all the difference for your festival experience.  Check out these wine wipes to get rid of any messy stains and keep you smiling bright; they’re perfect for wine lovers everywhere.  To ensure you can snap photos all day without running out of battery, pick up a phone case that protects and charges your cell at the same time!  Last but not least, comfortable footwear is an essential for those long Charleston days and even more exciting nights, so keep your precious toes in mind! Ask us...Don’t be afraid to ask questions!  The CHSWFF staff and our volunteers will be around the Culinary Village and at select events in order to ensure you have an incredible weekend!  Don’t know where to meet up before your excursion?  Have a ticketing question?  Just wanna chat about an upcoming event? We’re here to help! You can always call (843) 727-9998 or email ticketing@cwf.obviouslee.com for all inquiries! Pace yourself...Attending too many events in one day can be exhausting for jetsetters and chillaxers alike.  We want you to enjoy the festival in all its glory - so sure, have that fifth glass of wine (or 6th, 7th...we won’t judge), just make sure to schedule some R&R in that busy agenda of yours! We truly hope you enjoy every moment of your festival experience in the best city in the world, and don’t forget to stop and look around once in a while.  You won’t wanna miss this.
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Meet our Artisan Market Exhibitors

The Culinary Village, taking center stage in Marion Square, is the heartbeat of the five day festival. Welcoming approximately 9,000 guests Friday, Saturday and Sunday the first weekend in March, the village offers a grandiose tasting experience featuring wine, beer, spirits, artisans, musicians, craftsmen, chefs, caterers and more. The Artisan Market, located in the Culinary Village, offers guests the opportunity to taste and sample high quality, artisan goods from local and regional companies. This year our Artisan Market will be located in a larger, open air tent and features a stellar line-up of products and companies. You will want these items in your kitchen and home. We are pleased to introduce the 2017 Artisan Market line-up: For the Foodie + Chef For the Cocktail Connoisseur For the Fashionista      
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And the winner is...

Congrats to Ryan Welliver of The Cocktail Club! His fabulous rumtastic cocktail, "Storm the Beach", was chosen to be our 2017 Official Cocktail. In addition to industry bragging rights, Ryan will receive a trip to NYC to sling drinks alongside Nick Bennett at Porchlight Bar, and a feature on ImbibeMagazine.com. Ryan and his custom rum cocktail will also be featured exclusively at the festival’s kick-off event, Opening Night: Rooted in Charleston, Wednesday, March 1, 2017.  Congratulations is also in order to Allen Lancaster of The Spectator Hotel whose cocktail, "No Bunny's Bizness", won Crowd-Favorite of the evening. Catch all four finalists at What The Pho? during the 2017 festival weekend on Saturday, March 4, 2017.  
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Need Assistance?

We totally get it. The 2018 festival has a lot going on. Let us guide you through the ticketing process, answer any questions, and help point you in the right direction.

Here's how to reach us:

843 727 9998
info@charlestonwineandfood.com
635 Rutledge Avenue, Suite 101, Charleston, SC 29403

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