When Georgia’s Best Foods Marry Georgia’s Gold Medal Wines


How many times can we say “Georgia” in this blog? Enough to get Georgia on your mind with the first annual Georgia Grown Trustees Wine Challenge Dinner presented by the Savannah Food & Wine Festival, Georgia Grown and Georgia Wine Producers. This official festival kick-off will take place on Monday, November 9, 2015 at the Savannah International Trade & Convention Center.

The Georgia Grown Trustees Wine Challenge Dinner is the awards banquet for the first-ever Georgia Trustees Wine Challenge – a statewide wine competition that recognizes the increased excellence of Georgia-produced wines as well as other wines produced from out-of-state-grown grapes made by Georgia vintners. The Georgia Grown Trustees Wine Challenge Dinner will also feature a Georgia Gold Reception where guests will get to taste the Gold Award nominated wines.

Here’s a “taste” of what you can expect from each course of this outstanding menu, featuring Georgia Grown foods and products prepared by Georgia Grown chefs and served with Georgia Gold Medal Award winning wines:

Dave Snyder, Halyard Restaurant Group

  • Seared Georgia Grouper Cake with Arugula Pesto
  • Grilled Georgia Shrimp on Crispy Wonton with Romesco
  • Canewater Farms Bacon with Apple-Fig Jam

Matthew Roher, The Landings Club

  • Georgia’s Half Moon Select Oysters debut in a variety of Hors d’oeuvres

Todd Richards, White Oak Kitchen and Cocktails

  • Butternut Squash & Pumpkin Hash, Smoked Eggplant Puree, Oxtail Marmalade

Holly Chute, Georgia Departments of Agriculture and Economic Development

  • Collard Green Salad with Creamy Buttermilk Dressing, Country Ham and Cornbread Croutons

Kasey Thexton, Savor Savannah

  • Peach Pepper Glazed Springer Mountain Farms Chicken Breast, finished with Capra Gia Chevre
  • Thomasville Tomme Grit Soufflé topped with Caramelized Sweet Onions and Shallot Roasted Baby Squash

Brandy Williamson, Local 11 Ten

  • Pumpkin Mousse in Pastry, Georgia Sorghum, Ginger, House-made Almond Rock Candy

Judging for the Georgia Trustees Wine Challenge Dinner, conducted by Georgia Wine Producers, will take place on October 4th and 5th at Vino Venue in Atlanta, Georgia. Gold, Silver and Bronze Medal winners will be announced at the end of the competition while best of class and superlative awards will be presented at the Georgia Grown Trustees Wine Challenge Dinner.

The superlative awards, honored by a hand-crafted piece made by Georgia artisans, are named for significant individuals in Georgia’s wine history including “The Colonel William Stephens Award” for Outstanding Service in Promoting Georgia Wines, “The Thomas McCall Award” for Best Hybrid Grape Wine, “The Monarch Award” for Best Fruit Wine, “The Gay Dellinger Award” for Best Vinifera Wine, “The Ison Family Award” for Best Muscadine Wine and “The Oglethorpe Award,” the top award of the competition for Best Georgia Grown Wine.


In 1732, King George II granted the charter of the colony of Georgia to a board of 20 Trustees in London that would govern the colony. Since the success of the colony depended on finding an exportable product, the colonists, headed by General James Oglethorpe, established a garden with fruits and vegetables from around the world to see what would thrive. This effort was known as the “Trustees Garden,” and was the first organized agriculture experiment station anywhere.

One of the main fruits planted was grapes to establish the wine industry. The colony’s Trustees assumed that Georgia, being the most southern of the 13 colonies and on the same latitude as the lower Mediterranean countries, was the logical choice to become the “Vineyard Colony” for England. Establishing vineyards in the new colony became a priority because making England self-sufficient in wine was one of the most powerful appeals that the Trustees had for coaxing money from Parliament. The Trustees were continually requesting updates on the Georgia vineyard and the quality of any wine produced.

Tickets to the Georgia Grown Trustees Wine Challenge Dinner are available HERE for $135 per person, $250 per couple and $1,250 per 10-person table. Use the promo code VIP1005 to get discount tickets at $99 per person for a limited time only.

We hope 34 times is enough to get Georgia on your mind!

For a full schedule of events, visit www.savannahfoodandwinefest.com.

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