A golf resort will always sparkle brightest for the amenity that oftentimes makes up its name. At these bucket-list destinations, the courses are king—and rightfully so. However, every once in a while (sometimes only once a year), these resorts double-down on their allure with flavors of a different kind. Yes, the food and beverage programs at these establishments play as a single-digit handicap all year long, but the resorts’ annual food & wine festivals take them to trophy-worthy levels.
Here’s what you should know about the following resorts’ annual epicurean festivals and why you should book your next stay to coincide with these events.
Sea Pines Resort—Hilton Head Island, S.C.
Rather than devoting a long weekend to events tailored around delectable fare and delicious wine, Sea Pines Resort takes a different approach. The resort designates the entire month of February for Savor Sea Pines—a celebration of food, wine, and spirits that also showcases some of the area’s top chefs. Looking ahead to the second half of February, standout events include a Bourbon Tour Dinner (Feb. 23), an Oyster Roast (Feb. 24), and a Klinker Brick Wine Dinner (Feb. 29). seapines.com/savor-sea-pines
Sand Valley Golf Resort—Nekoosa, Wis.
Sand Valley may not otherwise be on your radar during the first week of March, and with good reason. If the resort’s celebrated fairways aren’t covered in snow that time of year, they’re at least firmly frozen. This year, however, a visit to central Wisconsin from March 1–3 has its tasty advantages, as Sand Valley hosts The Friends of James Beard Chef Invitational. The event will feature five Midwestern chefs—Karen Bell and Tory Miller from Wisconsin; Amanda Rockman from Austin; and Mindy Segal and Sujar Sarkar from Chicago—who will participate in a variety of home-cooking demos, as well as a collaborative, multi-course dinner with wine pairings. sandvalleypursuits.com/events/chefinvitational
Pebble Beach Resorts—Pebble Beach, Calif.
The most noteworthy aspect of this year’s Pebble Beach Food & Wine is that the four-day festival, which takes place April 4–7, has returned to the shores of Carmel Bay for the first time in four years. The event kicks off with a scramble tournament hosted by celebrity chef Geoffrey Zakarian on the resort’s eponymous golf course (reserved for those who buy into the festival’s Diamond Package). After that, the options are quite spectacular, including an Opus One Winemaking seminar, showcase dinners, a “Burgers, Bourbon & Bordeaux Happy Hour,” and a tasting pavilion featuring more than 100 bites and sips. Guest chefs and culinary personalities include Scott Conant, Graham Elliot, Antonio Lofaso, and Andrew Zimmern. pebblebeachfoodandwine.com
Casa de Campo Resort & Villas—La Romana, Dominican Republic
The year 2023 marked Casa de Campo’s inaugural food & wine festival, with appearances by well-known celebrity chefs Hubert Keller and Akira Back, not to mention participation by some of the most celebrated culinary professionals throughout the Dominican Republic. Overall, Casa de Campo’s food and wine festival was a passion project of the resort’s senior vice president of sales and marketing, Jason Kycek. In fact, he used the Aspen Food & Wine festival as a model. “We want to be the Aspen of the Caribbean,” he says. “They are the high watermark. But we also want to make ours a little unique and different, infusing a little bit of the Dominican cuisine and culture.” To that end, this year’s event, which runs from October 8–13, will only be bigger, featuring tasting seminars with some of the island’s best rum producers, as well as offerings from the Dominican’s best cigar brands. casadecampo.com.do
Destination Kohler—Kohler, Wis.
Over multiple decades, the Kohler Food & Wine festival has attracted some big names, none bigger than Martha Stewart, who served as the headline celebrity presenter in 2023. Other notable chefs who have led cooking seminars over the years include Jacques Pépin, Marcus Samuelsson, Amanda Freitag, Gavin Kaysan, and Tom Colicchio, the latter of whom appeared in 2001, five years before his celebrity stardom ignited via the television show, Top Chef. How Destination Kohler will outdo itself this year (October 17–20) remains to be seen, but one thing is certain: you’ll want to buy a seat at the end-of-the-festival gala dinner. It’s the most indulgent experience across four days of delicious programs. destinationkohler.com/explore-more/activities-and-events/kohler-food—wine
Last night, Kohler Food & Wine kicked off our twenty-second year. Chefs from across all of Destination Kohler prepared artful bites, while guests sipped on fresh pours and mingled amidst our creative studio.#KohlerFoodWine #FoodAndWineFestival #DestinationKohler pic.twitter.com/K0LQZTmZXP
— The American Club (@TheAmericanClub) October 20, 2023
Horseshoe Bay Resort—Horseshoe Bay, Texas
Horseshoe Bay will host its 18th annual Wine, Dine & Jazz Festival this year, and the two-day celebration will highlight flavorful bites whipped up by local and out-of-town chefs, as well as sips of elegant reds and whites crafted by talented winemakers based in the Texas Hill Country. Over the years, this festival has attracted Top Chef contestants, such as Tiffany Derry and Justin Sutherland, as well as Food Network winners, including Master of ’Cue champion Erica Blair. Using last year’s event as a roadmap, the resort’s forthcoming festival (November 8–9) is likely to begin with a five-course plated dinner on Friday night, followed by cooking demonstrations on Saturday afternoon, and a “wine stroll” that allows guests to taste a curated selection of bites, as well as wine samples from the most celebrated wineries in the region. hsbresort.com
Punta Mita—Nayarit, Mexico
This year marks Punta Mita’s 13th annual Gourmet & Golf event, a four-day epicurean celebration taking place December 5–8. With dining experiences set at the gated resort’s St. Regis and Four Seasons hotels, not to mention Punta Mita’s ocean-side Surf Club, it’s a safe bet that the ambience will be as captivating as the flavors. If last year’s event is any indication, guests can expect plenty of opportunity to taste an array of international wines, including several crafted in Mexico, which may surprise some for their exceptional quality. That said, because it’s Mexico, guests can rest easy knowing there’ll be no shortage of tequila and mezcal at the ready. puntamitagourmetandgolf.com
Have you ever attended a food and wine event at a golf resort? Tell us about your experience in the comment section.