A Day at the Roswell Wine Festival!
There is no denying the Southern charm that graces you the moment you arrive in Georgia. Having been to parts of the South, I was thrilled to take my first visit to the Peach State with IFWTWA last week. Our missions? To experience their incredible history dating back to the civil war, as well as taste some of the best cuisine coming out of the Atlanta area, do a little ghost hunting (yes, you read right) and attend the Roswell Wine Festival.
Located just a half hour out of Atlanta, Roswell is a beautiful suburb bursting with that Southern charm. We began our trip with an afternoon at the much-anticipated Roswell Wine Festival. In its 5th year, the Roswell Wine Festival is truly a unique annual event as it doubles also as a charity event, and staffed completely by volunteers.
The brain child of college buddies, Peggy Robinson and Dwight Cunningham, this dynamic duo decided to take their passion for wine to the next level when they graduated from Johnson and Wales in Providence. “Dwight was originally from Atlanta and we had a group of friends move down after college and we lived in Roswell”, explains Peggy. “We had been going to another wine festival for a number of years and knew that there was a great opportunity as Roswell’s restaurant scene grew.”
Pitching the festival to Roswell’s mayor while 8 months pregnant, no less! Robinson had no doubt that she would be ready for a glass (or 2) of vino should this come to fruition. Which it did. “We leveraged our college connections and were able to get Table & Main to be our first restaurant participant.” Little did Robinson realize that this festival would go on to be one of the most beloved events of the town. Selling out each time.
And, with 2017 as no exception. Sold out, with 1700 attendees and over 200 wines to taste, I was eager to begin my wine tasting adventures as I sipped as many as I safely could. And chat with some incredible wine makers all along the way. With wines from everywhere you can imagine (Spain, France, California), I was in awe at Roswell’s bustling Canton Street, where all the fun takes place in Roswell.
“One of the great things about Canton Street” Peggy tells me, “is that you can sip and stroll from restaurant to restaurant. You do not have select just one place to go. There are so many great restaurants here with fabulous wine lists.” With every restaurant on the main drag pouring for the festival, the boulevard also served as a fantastic way for me to pace myself as I sipped my way down the street in between stepping in and out of some beautiful art exhibits and boutiques.
Taking place on the first Sunday in October, you could not beat the gorgeous day with the sun shining and the leaves showing a small bit of change. The often unbearable southern humidity obviously did not get an invite as it was crisp and an absolute ideal afternoon to enjoy some wine on Canton Street. Canton instantly reminded me of the Gilmore Girls’ beloved Stars Hollow. Complete with fantastic coffee shops and a close-knit group of locals. Added perk? Much like my California favorite, Carmel, Roswell is also extremely dog friendly. Most of the dining patios had pooches running the show while their humans enjoyed the wine.
With each year finding the festival donating their proceeds to a different local charity, attendees can rest assured knowing their ticket purchases this year are going to Keep Roswell Beautiful.
The Roswell Wine Festival may be in the record books until next year. Yet, with so many terrific restaurants in Roswell, plan your own day of food and wine tasting on a perfect Fall day in Georgia! xo
(*Disclosure: I was a guest of the media for the Roswell Wine Festival. All opinions are my own.)