Nantucket Wine Festival welcomes new team

The nantucket wine festival returns to the island May 15 through 19, offering wine enthusiasts an intimate way to experience world-class wines and food in a famous coastal setting.The schedule for this year’s festival features celebrity chef cooking demonstrations, tastings, seminars, symposia, auctions, and a special charity gala.

Nantucket Wine Festival

Cape Cod Life speaks to the Mark Goldweitz, president of this year’s event. Below is a question-and-answer feature with Goldweitz, a longtime supporter of the festival.

What is your background in the wine world and why did you decide to take over the helm of the Nantucket Wine Festival (NWF)? How long have you been involved in the festival? What are your other Nantucket connections?

I have enjoyed being involved in the food and wine world for most of my adult life. For over 30 years, I have been a partner in some fine Boston restaurants with superb chefs such as Grill 23 with Jay Murray, Bistro du Midi with Robert Sisca, and Locke-Ober and Biba with Lydia Shire. I have been an avid wine collector for even longer and have attended wine dinners, tastings, and festivals in Boston, Nantucket, New York, and around the US and in Europe. Over the years, I have been fortunate to become friends with many leading winery owners, winemakers, importers, distributors, retailers, sommeliers, and collectors. I have been hosting Great Wines in Grand Houses dinners at the Nantucket Wine Festival for the past 12 years and have developed a close friendship with Denis Toner, its founder. My wife and I have a restored home in Nantucket’s historic district, and I have restored 18 other captains’ homes over the past dozen years. I am active in many facets of Nantucket life and am an avid sailor.

Tell us about your relationship with Denis Toner, founder of NWF? Tell us about the 2013 Wine Festival support staff?

Denis is a good friend with an amazing wine knowledge who did a remarkable job (along with his wife, Susan) building the Nantucket Wine Festival into a wonderful event. After 18 years of “living” the festival, Denis has taken a step back from active participation in the event. We have developed a mostly new festival staff, led by our executive director, Nancy Bean, who managed the NWF’s operations for three years. We are fortunate to have Nancy and some staff members from previous years—this team will be completely responsible for the development, management, and production of NWF.

What makes the NWF unique? Why is it a top-shelf event?

The Nantucket Wine Festival is a unique boutique wine festival that attracts winemakers, chefs, and guests from all over America as well as the finest winemaking regions in Europe and beyond. It is an invitation-only festival that features the best wines and provides a special experience with over 50 wine events during five days from May 15 to 19.

What special 2013 NWF attractions can you share with our readers?

In addition to all of the events of the past, including the Thursday evening Harbor Gala at the White Elephant, Great Wines in Grand Houses dinners and tastings, food and wine seminars, and the weekend Grand Tastings, we have some terrific new surprises. There will be a culinary tent on the lawn of Children’s Beach featuring live cooking demos and gourmet food exhibitors, a Charitable Wine Auction on Friday afternoon, a NWF Supper Club with live music and dancing on Friday night, and a spectacular wine dinner, “La Fête,” similar to La Paulée de Meursault in Burgundy.

What are your plans for future NWFs?

We hope to continue to enhance the Nantucket Wine Festival for our guests, the winemakers, our chefs, our many volunteers, and the entire island of Nantucket!

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Susan Dewey is the associate publisher and editor of Cape Cod LIFE, Cape Cod HOME, and Cape Cod ART. She lives in Centerville on Cape Cod and enjoys gardening, sailing, walking on the beach, gallery hopping, cooking with fresh seafood, and exploring Cape Cod and the Islands from shore to shore.

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