Plan Your Group Around an International Food or Wine Festival

Plan Your Group Around an International Food or Wine Festival
Plan Your Group Around an International Food or Wine Festival

Every country has its annual festivals and celebrations that attract visitors from all over the world. Each event has its own unique theme such as culinary, horticultural, faith-based, sporting, etc. In some years, there may even be an extra special one-time anniversary for a unique historical event that is worth honouring or celebrating.

Here are some of our favorite annual events that celebrate the wonderful food and wines of the world. It’s a great way to enhance the “wow” factor in your groups’ itineraries!

Truffle Festivals
Where: Italy
When: October and November
This is an ANNUAL event.

October is a great month for Italian food festivals, especially mushrooms, chestnuts, chocolate, and truffles. On October weekends, you’ll find fall food festivals and wine harvest celebrations all over Italy. Both held in Milan, Slow Food’s big international food event is in October, and World Pasta Day is the fourth Sunday in October.

Harvesting white truffles
Harvesting white truffles

Going to a truffle fair is worthwhile even if you don’t want to buy truffles. The scent of fresh truffles fills the air and there are locally made truffle dishes to try. There’s often entertainment and concession stands selling local foods such as cheese, salami, honey, and wine.

Piedmont – Alba White Truffle Fair and Market, one of the best in Italy, takes place on weekends from early October through mid-November. Besides the truffle market and fair, there is lots of entertainment. Events start with a night of concerts and gastronomic stands, and end with the truffle world auction and a white truffle walk for tourists.

Tuscany – San Miniato Truffle Fair (La Sagra del Tartufo Bianco), is held in the medieval hill town of San Miniato on the second, third and fourth weekends in November. 25% of Italy’s white truffles are produced in this territory and November is the heart of truffle gathering season. There are food and craft stands and entertainment and restaurants will feature reasonably-priced truffle menus. If you haven’t had truffles, this is a great place to get an introduction.

Sample Group Itinerary:
Tuscany Gourmet Delight

White wine and cheese display in Tuscany
White wine and cheese display in Tuscany

Tasting Australia
Where: Adelaide, South Australia
When: April – May
This is an ANNUAL event.

Tasting Australia is an internationally successful food and wine festival held over eight days, every two years in April and May. The program of events includes hands-on cooking classes, and celebrity cooking demonstrations with local chefs and international culinary celebrities. Indulge in a long lunch in the vineyards or a degustation dinner prepared by different chefs. Visit farmers’ markets and join the celebrations along Adelaide’s picturesque riverbanks. Wine is also a focus of the festival, with wine regions such as the Barossa Valley, McLaren Vale, Clare Valley, Coonawarra, and Adelaide Hills offering tastings, wine auctions, and food and wine master classes.

Sample Group Itinerary:
Australia: Culinary Wine Tour

Riverbank precinct of Adelaide
Riverbank precinct of Adelaide

Mistura Peruvian Food Festival
Where: Lima, Peru
When: September
This is an ANNUAL event.

Mistura is the largest food festival in South America, with more than half a million people visiting each year, many of which are foreign tourists who travel to Peru for the explicit aim of visiting the famous food festival. Mistura promotes Peruvian cuisine both locally and on the international stage. It’s grown over the years and is now like a small town, with representatives from restaurants all over Peru, spread over a huge space. Once a year, Lima becomes THE place to be for foodies from all over the world. Dishes from the jungle, the mountains, and the coast are available, as well as fusion cuisine and all kinds of innovations. If it exists and it’s edible, you can find it at Mistura.

Sample Group Itinerary:
Gourmet Journey to Peru

Plaza de Armas in Lima, Peru
Plaza de Armas in Lima, Peru

Holi
Where: Various cities throughout India
When: Various dates
This is an ANNUAL event.

The festival of colours, Holi, is a large event celebrated in India. During the festival, men, women, and children dance around together and rub gulaal (powdered colour) over one another. Bhang is an alcoholic drink made with rosewater and dried fruits that is closely associated with Holi. Families offer it to all visitors. Kanji-ke-bare are thin lentil patties special to Holi, as is papri, an unleavened bread. Sweet dumplings filled with khoya and dried fruits called gujjias are served as a dessert.

Sample Group Itinerary:
India: Spice It Up

Tourist celebrating Holi in India
Tourist celebrating Holi in India

Good Food & Wine Show
Where: Cape Town, South Africa
When: May
This is an ANNUAL event.

South Africa’s premier consumer food, wine, and lifestyle event has established itself as a tour de force over the past 15 years and more. Cape Town, nestled on the ocean teaming with seafood and in close proximity to the lush vineyards of the Cape Winelands region, is an ideal location for the event. Visitors will see the best of local and international celebrity chefs, and get the inside track on the latest tips, trends, and treats of regional South African cuisine: artisanal foods, ethnic fusion creations, wine tasting, etc.

Sample Group Itinerary:
South Africa Wine Journey

Vineyard Near Cape Town, South Africa
Vineyard Near Cape Town, South Africa

For more great festival ideas and culinary events, check out our
Groups Calendar of Events: Culinary.

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