Terry Pommett Goldweitz credits Denis Toner and his wife, Susan, with the festival’s top-shelf reputation world-wide, noting that it is rare for a festival—especially one that takes place on a somewhat remote island off the coast of Massachusetts—to attract a wide array of wine professionals and top caliber chefs.

“At the Nantucket Wine Festival you learn so much about wine—and great food, too,” says Goldweitz. “At the gala on Thursday night, you have people like Lydia Shire, Jasper White, and Todd English and terrific chefs from Nantucket all actually serving you dishes. It’s pretty exciting when you get famous chefs there with you. I think the Wine Festival’s Thursday night gala is one of the most exciting wine events anywhere. The grand tasting events on Saturday and Sunday are amazing introductions to all sorts of different wines and great food.”

Robert Sisca agrees that the Nantucket Wine Festival is a unique event, especially for the many chefs who flock to the island for three days often toting enormous coolers of expensive, perishable food on airplanes and ferries. For last summer’s Great Wines dinner at the Goldweitz home, Sisca shipped some of the entrées straight from suppliers around the world, while packing the rest on ice for a drive to Hyannis, then a boat ride to the island.

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