Year Five for Big Sur Food & Wine Festival 2013

The Big Sur Food & Wine Festival celebrates its fifth year November 7-10, 2013 and the committee promises an impressive line-up for an event that raises much-needed funds for local Big Sur nonprofits. To date the BSF&W Festival has brought international recognition to Big Sur as a culinary destination, and raised over $100,000 for the community in the areas of Health, Safety, Education, and the Arts.

BSF&W LogoThis is quite possibly the “longest” food and wine festival in the country, in both geography and the fact that it falls on a Holiday weekend this year. From the Thursday opening night “Gateway to Big Sur”, held at the iconic Hyatt Carmel Highlands to the Sunday evening winemaker dinner at the south coast Treebones Resort, the distance is almost 70 miles! And with only approximately 1200 residents along this majestic coast, the influx of food-lovers and wine aficionados is well-received. “In the past, we’ve had guests who have become friends, from all over the country,” states Founder and President of the Festival, Toby Rowland-Jones “And last year we had some folks in from Germany! That was a nice surprise, and they loved tasting wines they had only ever heard of.”

Following the “Gateway to Big Sur” gala, where there will be over 40 top-flight wineries and 20 chefs from across the country, to include  New York, Los Angeles, Denver, Chicago and San Francisco, most of the events are held in the “heart” of Big Sur, at the Post Ranch Inn, the Henry Miller Library, the newly re-opened Big Sur Roadhouse and other breathtaking venues. On the roster for preparing their creative best are, among others: Cindy Pawlcyn, Cal Stamenov of Bernardus, Robert Lang of American Craft in Chicago, Shane Hemmett of Lone Eagle Grill of Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe, John Cox of the Post Ranch Inn, Frank Ostini of the Hitching Post, Buellton, Matt Bolton of the Pacific’s Edge at Hyatt Carmel Highlands, and many more.

Aengus Wagner, Vice President of the Festival has been busy inviting select wineries for this special weekend: “Our goal has been to always invite those winemakers we know, appreciate and love, and we have a great list so far.” Wagner, who works at the historic Nepenthe in the heart of Big Sur has rounded up a dream list. “We’re so honored to have the likes of Gary and Gary Pisoni Vineyards & Winery, Chappellet Vineyards, Spottswoode Estate Vineyard & Winery, Talbott Vineyards, Brand Vineyards, Crocker and Starr Wines, Jamieson Ranch Vineyards, Kongsgaard Wine, Pride Mountain Vineyards, Sheldon Wines, Morgan Winery, and oh the list goes on! This is at the tail-end or after their prospective harvests, so they’re more than happy to get away and play for a bit.”

At the core of the weekend is the Live Auction, which promises to be even more spectacular than in the past, Rowland-Jones states. “Last year, the big item was the chance to hike in Big Sur with Aubert de Villaine, owner of Domaine de la Romanée-Conti in Burgundy. He enjoyed the hike and subsequent dinner so much, that he has decided to offer this opportunity again. We are SO honored, as no other auction has ever offered this chance before. We’ll also have collections of wine, wine-maker dinners at private homes, tickets for other food and wine festivals, stays at the Post Ranch Inn and  Ventana Inn & Spa here in Big Sur, and also a Pritchard Hill Experience. This will feature seven of the top Napa wineries on this top wine-producing hill, replete with two nights in Napa, dinners and wine from each winery.”

The Big Sur Food & Wine Festival takes place throughout Big Sur from Thursday, November 7th to Sunday, November 10th. Tickets for all events go on sale August 15th. For more details, call 831-667-0800, or visit the website at

Hiking with Stemware in Big Sur
Hiking with Stemware in Big Sur

The Big Sur Food & Wine Festival works to promote Big Sur as a world class culinary destination, while also raising funds to assist in advancing Health, Safety, Education and the Arts within the Big Sur community. Since 2009 the Festival has raised over $100,000 for various non-profit organizations including but not limited to the Big Sur Health Center, the Henry Miller Library and the five separate schools throughout the Big Sur area.

Year Five of the Big Sur Food & Wine Festival will benefit these non-profit organizations: Apple Pie School, Big Sur Charter School, Big Sur Health Center, Big Sur Volunteer Fire Brigade, Captain Cooper School, Gazebo School at Esalen Institute, Henry Miller Library, Pacific Valley School and the Monterey Rotary. As well as a scholarship for a Big Sur youth for furthering their culinary or oenology interests and education.

Many thanks are due to our sponsors for Big Sur Food & Wine Festival 2013, in no particular order:

Lexus, Farmer Family Fund, Hahn Estate Winery, Firestone Walker Brewery, Hyatt Carmel Highlands, Post Ranch Inn, Jameison Ranch Vineyards, Henry Miller Library, Aqua Panna/Pelligrino, Eco-Infinity Group- and the support of the entire Big Sur Community.