A Weekend to Savor

The Skinny

Purpose- Executive Director- Tamara W. Kirven


Florence Wine & Food began as an endeavor to bring public awareness to the unique culture surrounding the foodways of South Carolina and the exceptional wines available in the US. It evolved into the largest fundraiser for Florence's Help4Kids. a non-profit organization that fills the weekend gap for food insecure school-age children in the Pee Dee.

Florence Wine & Food celebrates Southern food, culture, local and award-winning chefs. and boutique wines from some of the best vineyards in the country. Since its inception. Florence Wine & Food has raised and donated $124,000 to Help 4 Kids.

The event is a weekend to savor including a local gastronomic tasting event, wine stroll, market brunch, and elegant wine dinner. Enjoy a full weekend in Downtown Florence, which has become a haven for foodies looking for unique dining experiences with over a dozen independently-owned restaurants.


Tamara Kirven

Producers- Matt Lee and Ted Lee


Lee Brothers

Siblings Matt and Ted grew up and learned to cook in Charleston, South Carolina, in a townhouse on the city’s fabled Rainbow Row. They attended colleges in the Northeast and so missed the foods of their hometown they founded The Lee Bros. Boiled Peanuts Catalogue, a mail-order source for southern pantry staples in 1994. When a magazine editor asked them to write a story about traveling around South Carolina, they embarked on a second career as food journalists and cookbook authors.

Since 2000, they have written hundreds of food, wine and travel features for magazines and newspapers and their three cookbooks have, combined, won two James Beard Awards and four IACP Cookbook Awards. They were on-air commentators for seven seasons of The Cooking Channel’s hit series Unique Eats, and hosts of Southern Uncovered with The Lee Bros. on Ovation

More recently, Matt and Ted created Cookbook Boot Camp, a two-day seminar that shows aspiring cookbook authors how to complete and sell their cookbook proposals to national publishers. Their most recent book, Hotbox: Inside Catering, the Food World’s Riskiest Business, was named one of 2019’s best books by Amazon and The New York Times Book Review called it “The Kitchen Confidential of big-ticket catering.” They are currently working to transform Hotbox into a documentary series for TV.

Matt, his wife Gia, and their three sons live in Charleston, SC. Ted lives with his wife, the artist E.V. Day, in Brooklyn, NY.

Benefitting




Hunger hurts, and Help4Kids Florence is making a direct impact in our community by feeding at-risk elementary school-age children in Florence County. Throughout Florence County, there are a high number of elementary-age children that depend on free or reduced breakfast and lunch meals as their primary source of nourishment during the week. Unfortunately, this means that many of these children are hungry on the weekend when schools are closed. Help 4 Kids is dedicated to providing bags of single-serve, nutritional foods to these at-risk children, directly reducing their weekend food insecurity and helping to ensure that these children are able to return to school on Monday rested, fed, and ready to learn.

Help 4 Kids Florence currently provides weekend meal packs to approximately 2,500 children in Florence County elementary schools and Head Start program during the school year. Help 4 Kids also provides meal packs in the summer months to the year-round school program at Timrod Elementary School and the Head Start programs. Help 4 Kids also partners with the Boys and Girls Clubs of Florence County, East Florence Mission, and the City of Florence to distribute bags of food to hungry children throughout the year.

Board of Directors


  • Holly Beaumier
  • Frank Chisholm
  • Hannah Davis
  • Merrette Dowdell
  • Paula Efird
  • Brian Falcone
  • Karen Freeman
  • Lane Gilpin
  • Jessica Griggs
  • Rick Havekost
  • Bryan Holt
  • Marianne Hoylen
  • Don Kausler
  • Thomas Kennedy
  • Tim Norwood
  • Cooper Thomas
  • Diane Welsh
  • Tamara W. Kirven, Executive Director

2022 Featured Vineyard & Winery




Clos Solène is a family owned winery on the westside of Paso Robles in the heart of the Willow Creek District. They say it’s team effort, and here at Clos Solène it is no different. Guillaume, with his assistant winemaker, Aurelien Crouzet, focus on the vineyards and the wines, while Solène, and Roxanne Malkie, run operations. Together as a team, Clos Solène is no longer pouring out of their kitchen, but in a quaint tasting room nestled in the vines of the 28-acre estate. Read More

Schedule of Events


6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m..

MEAT & MEANDER

Grilled, smoked, marinated, or slow-roasted, this event is all about the meat! Enjoy cooking demonstrations and tastings paired with sumptuous wines and craft beers at this causal event. Local chefs, sommeliers and brew master will be present to guide the way!

6 p.m. - 9 p.m.

SIP + SAVOR WINE STROLL

This downtown grand tasting features a myriad of downtown businesses serving as tasting rooms for a large selection of expertly paired wines and unique brews. Local chefs, in collaboration with sommeliers, will pair small bites to complement featured wine regions to please the palate. Enjoy a spring evening in downtown Florence as you stroll from venue to venue.


   

VIP ADD-ON

The VIP Add-On grants access to a private party in Victors courtyard that evening, with exclusive bites prepared by Victors and wines paired by long-time Morning News “Bottle Talk” wine-columnist Dennis Fraley!


11 a.m. - 1 p.m.

CITY CENTER MARKET BRUNCH

An event for true locavores, the City Center Market Brunch celebrates its first year as part of the Florence Wine and Flood Festival with a tasting event filled with local brunch goodies made by Pee Dee regional artisans, produces, purveyors, growers, and chefs. Everything you try at the brunch will be available to take home at the City Center Farmers' Market, too.


11 a.m. - 1 p.m.

WINE CLASS: PASSPORT TO PASO ROBLES

An all-new event for 2022! This tasting journey is guided by Ray Isle, one of the world’s most dynamic wine personalities and Food & Wine magazine’s Executive Wine Editor. If you've ever wondered why there's so much wine-pro buzz about this California wine region right now—or even if you haven’t!—after tasting some of the premier examples of its top Cali-Rhône style reds and whites, you'll know why. Paso is one of the most dynamic and exciting regions in California wine right now, with adventurous young winemakers and established names making wines at the top of their game; here's your chance to taste-test the best.


6:30 p.m.

THE FINAL POUR & FEAST

The Final Pour: Mastering the Art of Southern Cooking, Florence Style! will be headlined by Nathalie Dupree—cookbook author, TV show-host, and the chef Southern Living called “The Queen of Southern Cuisine.” Taking place under the big tent on the lawn of the FMU Performing Arts Center, this five-course feast will feature Clos Solène wines paired by winemaker Guillaume Fabre with dishes prepared by local top chefs taking inspiration and guidance from Dupree’s most recent cookbook, Mastering the Art of Southern Cooking, winner of the James Beard Award for American Cooking and co-authored with Cynthia Graubart. This is truly a once-in-a-lifetime event and not to be missed!


*Ticket purchase will be available on December 1st 2021

Meat & Meander

Thursday, March 31, 2022

$40/1 Person or $70/2 Person


City Center Market Brunch

Saturday, April 2, 2022

$50/1 Person or $90/2 Person


Wine Class: Passport to Paso Robles

Saturday, April 2, 2022

$75/1 Person

Our Sponsors

Thank you to our corporate sponsors for your unmatched generosity, enthusiasm, and unwavering support. We express our endless gratitude to you for making this a memorable and educational weekend and allowing for the showcasing of the South’s very best!

Become A Sponsor




Venue Information

Where to find us!

Location

PLEASE NOTE: All Florence Wine & Food Festival events will be held in Downtown Florence's recently redeveloped historic district.

Parking

Find ample parking in the FREE City of Florence Parking Garage accessed via 150 S. Irby Street (next to King Jefe). Surface lot parking is also available behind Hotel Florence (126 W. Evans Street), at the County Complex Building (180 N. Irby Street), and in the lot next to Edible Arrangements on North Dargan Street. Additional free on-street parking (first-come, first served) is available along West Evans, South Dargan, and North Dargan Streets.

Hotels

Lodging & Accommodations are available throughout the city. Hotel Florence & Hyatt Place Florence Downtown are located immediately adjacent to all of the action.