A BRAND new festival is set to come to Dorset this year – offering wine, food, art and music from across the county and beyond.

The Dorset Wine Festival will take place in October at Highcliffe Castle and will see more than 50 wine exhibitors showing off their wares.

The brainchild of Simone Ippolito and his business partner Mauro Guasti, the pair spotted a gap in the market.

“Since I came to Bournemouth, being an Italian, being passionate about food and wine, I saw a gap in there,” Simone said.

Bournemouth Echo: Dorset Wine Festival logo

“In the back of my head, this was always one of my bucket list things to do, a little dream of mine to bring something special to our beautiful area.

“I am very passionate about where we live, and I want to try and bring something new to the game and try and attract tourists and bring something unique.”

Simone and Mauro met as the latter is a client of Simone’s business, Winederful, which distributes wine from his family’s vineyard in Italy.

They realised they had both had the same idea to start the festival and set about organising the inaugural event.

“I want this to be something that can give value to where we live, we can tell a story about this fantastic castle on our doorstep, and also make it about all of the great things that we have in Dorset,” Simone said.

“It’s not just going to be wine, it’s going to be food, it’s going to be music, it’s going to be art, it's going to be local producers, it’s going to be charity.

“It’s going to be a day out that you can come as a wine lover, you can come as your first approach to wine, you can come as a day out with your family.

“We just want to make it something that is great for people to have in Dorset.”

Bournemouth Echo: Simone Ippolito has organised the BCP Bring Community Power group.

Exhibitors will be organised over three rooms, with wines from England, Europe and the rest of the world in their own rooms, so visitors can ‘make a map’ of the wines they like, don’t like and want to try.

Outside the castle, there will be performances and local food vendors and producers will have stalls.

Simone added: “I’m very excited about it and I really can’t wait to make it happen.”

Tickets cost £25 for the wine festival on October 5 and 6 or are free for entry to the area outside the castle.

The festival is supporting MYTIME Young Carers and Julia’s House, with a proportion of the cost of each ticket going to the charities.

For more information, to buy tickets or to enquire about sponsorship, visit the festival’s website at www.dorsetwinefestival.org.