As we continue our coverage of Georgia’s Golden Isles, including our stays at The King and Prince Beach & Golf Resort on St. Simons Island and The Westin Jekyll Island, we wanted to bring this fun, inaugural event to your attention today for two reasons: First, more volunteers are needed; second: if you purchase tickets by April 1, you can save money.
The event Whiskey, Wine & Wildlife, W3 as it’s being nicknamed, is a culinary event on Jekyll Island April 22-24 as a collaboration among the Jekyll Island Authority, Jekyll Island Foundation and The Westin Jekyll Island. It’s geared for adults who want a “more refined experience than found in the average festival,” according to an event news release. The idea is to combine legendary beverage tastings and inspired cuisine from some of the South’s best chefs and local culinary superstars, with a chance to experience coastal wildlife up close.
The weekend’s events will raise funds and awareness for programs of the Jekyll Island Foundation, with the island’s research and education experts on hand Friday and Saturday, showcasing fun, interactive programs with coastal wildlife, from turtles to alligators. Jekyll is home to well-known Georgia Sea Turtle Center.
Attendees receive a Glencairn crystal souvenir glass to sip and savor unlimited tastings of whiskey, spirits, wine and beer while sampling culinary delights and listening to music, all oceanfront and inclusive with admission tickes. The W3 events take place at the year-old Westin Jekyll Island which fronts an expansive beach along the Atlantic Ocean. Next door is the new Jekyll Island Beach Village collection of shops.
A special “Wings, Q & Brews Alley” will be part of the Saturday afternoon festivities, with some of the South’s most revered pitmasters and chefs participating including Rodney Scott of Scott’s Bar-B-Que, Hemingway, SC; Griffin Bufkin & Harrison Sapp of Southern Soul Barbecue, St. Simons, GA; and Kenny Gilbert of Gilbert’s Underground Kitchen, Fernandina Beach, FL.
Several events have limited tickets, such as the “Master Class Pours” series of seminars that features premium tasting opportunities and notable beverage experts, sommeliers, distillers and brew masters.
Whiskey, Wine & Wildlife Schedule of Events (schedule and talent subject to change):
Friday, April 22 – $35 per person, per class below and $95 for Master Class Pass Pours. Discount for all five classes, and tickets are limited.
- 2-6:45 p.m. — “W3 Master Class Pours” at The Westin Jekyll Island;
- 2-2:45 p.m. — “Taste of Service Brewing, Co.” with Kevin Ryan, CEO;
- 3-3:45 p.m. — “Woodford Reserve Distillers Select” with the Woodford Reserve Taste Masters;
- 4-4:45 p.m. — “White Asparagus & Wines” with Michael McNeill, Master Sommelier, The Winebow Group;
- 5-5:45 p.m. — “A Showcase of Master Southern Distillers”;
- 6-6:45 p.m. — “Whiskey vs. Whisky” with Eric Crane, Advanced Sommelier, Empire Distributors.
- The premiere Friday event, “Whiskey Inspired,” occurs at The Westin Jekyll Island’s Reserve Restaurant and Oceanfront Lawn 7-10 p.m. Enjoy whiskeys, wines and beers, along with a showcase of whiskey inspired classic cocktails and culinary tastings that are whiskey inspired from savory to decadent sweet. Some of the South’s leading, award-winning celebrity chefs and renowned Golden Isles and Lowcountry superstars will be showcasing their special recipes. Special live and silent auctions are planned and benefit the Jekyll Island Foundation. $75 per person through April 1; $85 per person after April 1, 2016.
Saturday, April 23
- 1-4:30 p.m. is the main event,“Whiskey, Wine & Wildlife – W3,” at Jekyll Island Beach Village beside The Westin. An afternoon of exceptional beverage and culinary tastings from some of the South’s leading chefs and coastal favorites, plus music and an opportunity to experience Jekyll Island’s native wildlife up close. Celebrity cookbook author signings, wildlife demonstrations, chef cooking demonstrations and whiskey, wine and beer panel discussions/tastings that will take place on several stages.
- Four demos/seminars: Atlanta Magazine Stage, 1:15, 2, 3 and 3:45;
- Jacksonville Magazine Stage – Three demos/seminars: 1:30, 2:30 and 3:30;
- Jekyll Island Foundation Stage – Four demos/seminars: 1, 2, 2:45 and 3:30;
- “Wings, Q & Brews Alley” featuring legendary Pitmasters. $59 per person through April 1; $65 per person after that. Ticket price includes souvenir glass, culinary and beverage tastings
- VIP W3 Lounge Ticket, $95 per person through April 1 and $125 after that, gives access to the VIP Westin Rooftop Area and The Reserve Restaurant overlooking the Beach Village Green. Includes souvenir glass, catered with private bar and some premium pour tastings.
Sunday, April 24:
- 12:30-3:30 — “W3 Sunday Brunch.” The Westin Jekyll Island, Reserve Restaurant. Grand finale brunch is a Westin culinary team showcase. Souvenir glass with unlimited tastings of Champagne, classic cocktails, Bloody Mary Bar, culinary delights and more. Tickets: $49 per person through April 1, 2016; $59 after that.
The All-Access Weekend Pass advance discount offers the most savings. Regular pricing is $365, but passes are $285 per person or $500 for two tickets, through April 1. Weekend pass gives access to Friday’s “W3 Master Class Pours,” Friday’s “Whiskey Inspired,” Saturday’s VIP Westin Rooftop for W3, and the W3 Sunday Brunch admission.
If You’re Going: Purchase tickets at www.whiskeywineandwildlife.com. Also, see the site for W3 Weekend Getaway Packages and volunteer opportunities.
About The Westin Jekyll Island
The Westin Jekyll Island The Westin Jekyll Island is Starwood Hotels & Resorts’ newest hotel in the Southeast, set along the beautiful Georgia coastline, offering direct beach access and breathtaking ocean views. The hotel is located in the new Jekyll Island Beach Village, which includes an oceanfront promenade, village green, restaurants, upscale boutiques, Great Dunes Park and the 128,000-square-foot Jekyll Island Convention Center. Guests will enjoy exploring the area’s top nearby attractions including, numerous golf courses, 10 miles of barrier island beaches, historic district, Water Park, bike paths and outdoor natural recreation such as marsh eco-tours, horseback riding, dolphin watching, and kayaking. Whatever your passion, find it on Jekyll.
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Luxury Travel Examiners Kathy M Newbern and spouse J.S. Fletcher just recently returned from Jekyll Island. They report on luxury destinations, spas and cruising around the glob as award-winning members of the Society of American Travel Writers. They also created YourSpaReport.com and YourNovel.com, their personalized romance novel business. Their travels inspire many of their book settings.