They say that enjoying a glass of red wine is good for the heart. But this October, it’s good for the community, too.
The 2nd annual St. Augustine Spanish Wine Festival, held October 21 – 26, will bring residents and visitors together to celebrate St. Augustine’s rich Spanish heritage and benefit local non-profit organizations.
The Children’s Museum of St. Johns, an interactive educational children’s museum set to open in 2014, is one of three charitable beneficiaries of the event.
“We feel so fortunate to be one of the charities benefiting from this festival,” said Kim MacEwan, executive director of the Children’s Museum of St. Johns. “People who attend taste fine wines and eat great food from some of the best restaurants in St. Augustine. They have a wonderful time and the Children’s Museum benefits from it. That’s a win-win for all”.
Spanish wine has been an integral part of the quality and texture of life in St. Augustine, called the “Spanish Wine Capital of the United States.” The festival is one of many events marking the city’s 450th anniversary, which will be celebrated in 2015.
Festival Highlights
New this year to the festival is the “Blessing of the Wines and Batalla de Vinos (Battle of Wines)” held Tuesday, October 22 from 5-6:30 p.m. A tradition of Spain, the batalla is a wine fight meant as a playful celebration of the time, talent and energy that goes into making Spanish wine.
After a ceremonial “Blessing of the Wines” in the West Courtyard of the Cathedral Basilica, participants dressed in white will process to the St. Augustine Municipal Marina Green, where they will use everything from bota bags to squirt guns to “decorate” one another with red Spanish wine. As festival president Charlie Seraphin puts it, “It’s a true taste of Spain, but much safer than running with the bulls.” The event is free to the public, but be warned! Come wearing white and expect to be doused in red wine. White t-shirts will be sold at the event to benefit the Children’s Museum of St. Johns and other Festival charities.
On Wednesday and Thursday, beginning at 6 p.m., four of St. Augustine’s finest restaurants will serve Spanish wines and perfectly paired tapas. Professional Spanish wine experts will join the fun at The Raintree, The Tasting Room, Rhett’s Piano Bar and Black Fly. For reservations, contact one of the participating restaurants directly.
The festival culminates in a Grand Tasting at the St. Augustine Visitor Information Center, held Saturday, October 26 from 2-6 p.m. More than 100 Spanish wines will be offered for tasting.
Along with the Children’s Museum of St. Johns, two additional local organizations will benefit from the event. Beneficiaries include First Coast Technical College’s “Fresh Start” program, a culinary arts program for the homeless, and the Alzheimer’s Project of St. Johns County Council on Aging.
Ticket information and a full schedule of events can be found at
About the Children’s Museum of St. Johns
The mission of the Children’s Museum of St. Johns is to offer interactive educational experiences for children and families that inspire creativity and a lifelong love of learning, nurturing future generations of creative thinkers and innovators. Since 2007, the Children’s Museum has provided high quality educational programming to the communities. The museum, which plans to open in December 2014, will be located in St. Augustine. It will be one of 10 children’s museums in the state of Florida. To learn more or get involved, visit or
About the St. Augustine 450th Commemoration
St. Augustine is America’s first city, established in 1565. It is a city built on history, courage, knowledge, nature, creativity and discovery. The St. Augustine 450th Commemoration is a time for our city to reflect on our past and look toward the future. To do so, we are commemorating the 500th anniversary of the discovery of Florida in 2013, the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act in 2014, and the 450th anniversary of the founding of St. Augustine in 2015. Find yourself in our past.