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Toast of the Island

Terry Pommett The Nantucket Wine Festival commemorates 15 years of bringing some of the most celebrated winemakers to the island during this year’s four-day event, which takes place May 18 through 22. Presented by Nantucket Combined Charities, the 2011 festival once again toasts world-renowned wines paired with superb cuisine against the backdrop of some of the island’s most beautiful locations.

The festival traces back to 1990 when Denis Toner, then working as sommelier at Nantucket’s distinguished restaurant, Chanticleer, realized that there was no better place than the island for a wine and food festival. The festival got off the ground in 1997 and word spread organically to wine makers and wine lovers.

“Part of the reason for the festival’s success is Nantucket’s reputation in the industry as home to a large concentration of fine restaurants, so it is a very important market for wine,” says Toner. “Over the past 15 years, I have spent considerable time seeking out quality wineries from around the globe—the entire point of the festival is to emphasize quality over quantity. We’re not the biggest, but I think we’ve proven over the years we are among the most selective.”

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