Accessible only by air or sea, the island of Nantucket, affectionately known as The Grey Lady, is anything but ordinary. Therefore, it’s only fitting that the Nantucket Wine & Food Festival (NWF), running this year from May 15-19, is equally unique. The festival, which started 23 years ago, draws attendees from all over the world to this culinary destination and marks the reawakening of the island.

Over the course of the five days, the Nantucket Wine & Food Festival brings together winemakers, chefs, sommeliers, and others to participate in tastings, lunches, dinners and educational seminars. The premiere White Elephant hotel hosts some of the festival’s signature events, including the Harbor Gala and Grand Tastings.

If you’re not already interested in this boutique celebration of wine and food, let us tell you more! Here are five reasons you should get on a boat this May and head to the Nantucket Wine & Food Festival:

1. Interact with Winemakers From Around the World

nantucket wine & food festival

Not only does the Nantucket Wine & Food Festival give guests the opportunity to sample wines from over 150 wineries worldwide, it also allows them to interact with the winemakers themselves. From the range of different NWF events, you have the ability to learn about the vineyards and terroirs, ask questions, and experience wines with the people who make them at hand. This unparalleled access to winemakers is one of the hallmark qualities of the Nantucket Wine & Food Festival.

2. Experience “Great Wines in Grand Houses”

Great Wines in Grand Houses is a series completely unique to the Nantucket Wine & Food Festival. Occurring at various times throughout the five days of the festival, these curated dinners and tastings are hosted in the setting of private Nantucket homes and historical landmarks. The dinners will feature an award-winning chef preparing a four-course menu—pairing included by the winemaker, of course.

The series gives you the opportunity to enjoy the architecture, design, and elegance of these homes while also providing a one-of-a-kind wine and food experience.

3. Celebrate Women in the Wine and Food Industry

nantucket wine & food festival

This year, one of the Nantucket Wine & Food Festival’s missions is to celebrate women in the food and wine industry. In this spirit, NWF has partnered with Robb Report and its female-focused publication, Muse. Together, they will be hosting two affiliated signature events: Dames Déjeuner and La Fête.

Dames Déjeuner, held on May 18th, will unite female leaders in the food and wine industry for a luncheon showcasing talented women chefs, vintners, and sommeliers. The luncheon will also feature honored guest Karen Akunowicz of Fox & the Knife in Boston.

La Fête, which takes place on the evening of the 18th, is a wine dinner unlike any other—bringing guests together with wine and food professionals from all over the world. The night begins with a champagne and caviar reception and continues with a four-course dinner. This year’s theme is “Women in Whites” and will feature Chefs Tracy Chang (PAGU, MA), Elizbeth Falkner (Chef/Author), Maura Kilpatrick (Sofra Bakery & Cafe, MA), and Cassie Piuma (Sarma, MA).

4. Attend Seminars and Special Events

nantucket wine & food festival

Learn from the masters! Throughout the festival, you can attend various seminars and special events featuring winemakers, sommeliers, wine educators, and more. These events will be educational, thought-provoking, and give you up-close access to some of the most knowledgeable members of the wine industry. Some seminar and special event highlights include:

5. Enjoy the Island of Nantucket

Now, don’t forget about the island itself. Over the course of the festival, you’ll not only enjoy the unique tastings, seminars, and talent, but you’ll also have the opportunity to explore the Grey Lady. The NWF marks the start of the season for the island—when restaurants, galleries, activities, and tours open after the winter.

You’ll experience the cobblestoned streets, beautiful coastal homes, high-end boutiques, and gorgeous beaches. When you’re not eating at the festival, taste the finest dining with stunning ocean views. This beautiful, exclusive island is just waiting to show you everything it has to offer.

Tickets for the May 2019 Nantucket Wine & Food Festival are on sale now. Learn more about attending the festival in the video below: