Top 5 Things to Love About Whiskey, Wine & Wildlife

We’re officially one week away from our annual Whiskey, Wine & Wildlife festival, and as we’re finalizing our event schedule, we can’t contain our excitement! With everything from a wine cruise and master class pouring to a whiskey-themed evening and a filling Sunday brunch: there’s truly an event for everyone. What’s more, with Jekyll Island as our host, there are countless opportunities to learn about and interact with the wildlife that call this stunning island home. And as tickets are flying and events are selling out, we thought we’d share with you the five things we love most about this culinary weekend with nature to convince you to grab those tickets before they’re gone .

1. Our First Two W’s

At a weekend that brings the best of the wine and whiskey world together, it’s hard not to love these two dynamic, expansive pours. At events like our Launch Party and the W3 Master Class Pours series, you can taste a selection of wines that are handpicked and explained by expert sommelier, Michael McNeill. And save your whiskey loving for evenings like Whiskey Inspired, where classic cocktails and whiskey-themed bites will be served, or an afternoon at a whiskey-focused tasting at W3 Master Class Pours.

2. Delicious Culinary Creations

While it may not be in our name, our weekend has no shortage of incredible culinary opportunities. Whether you’re a foodie who prefers to make the rounds at the restaurant booths, or an up-and-coming chef looking to expand your knowledge and skill, you’ll find it throughout our island weekend. Our headlining event, Whiskey Wine & Wildlife, is your ideal stop with tasty bites—including a mouthwatering BBQ alley—and cooking demonstrations. And the W3 Sunday Brunch is the perfect, laid-back island way to wrap up an exciting, food-filling weekend with your brunch go-tos, live music, and drinks.

3. The Wildlife

What sets this event apart from any other, and one of our favorite aspects of this weekend, is the opportunity to see wildlife up and close. Nature and animal lovers will want to take full advantage of the wildlife demonstrations held at our main Whiskey, Wine & Wildlife afternoon to learn and interact with Jekyll Island’s beautiful animals and habitats. This is their land first, and we’ll always be sitting front-row at the chance to learn a thing or two from them and reconnect with nature.

4. A Team of Chef and Beverage Masters

Wow—what a lineup! We would be nothing without the incredible experts that bring their professional knowledge and skill to our culinary celebration. James Beard Award chefs, Westin chefs, restaurateurs, and regional heroes alike will serve up their finest masterpieces all weekend long at events like W3 Launch Party, Whiskey Inspired, and the main event. And pros such as Georgia’s master sommelier Michael McNeill, craft brew Savannahian Kevin Ryan, and the whiskey empire of the Brown Forman Family will pour their most refined whiskeys and wines at our Master Class Pours and Whiskey Inspired.

5. The Island Getaway of Jekyll Island

Our hostess with the mostess, The Westin at Jekyll Island, provides the ideal island escape into Jekyll Island’s beauty. With biking and walking trails, educational outposts and exhibits, and serene oceanfront views, the island is your chance to disconnect from phones and spend time with family and friends over the best of the whiskey, wine and culinary worlds. And as you’re going for seconds, you’ll be benefiting the Jekyll Island Foundation, who’s mission is to assist with the conservation, education, and preservation of the island.

Our Top 3 Can’t Miss W3 Events

Pour yourself a glass of whiskey and sit down for this news: we’re only one week away from the big event! Between the preparations, scheduling and food/beverage sampling—someone’s gotta do it—we don’t know where all the time went. What we do know? This year’s festival lineup is one for the books, and we’re hoping you can join us all weekend long. But in case you can’t, we’ve pulled together a list of 3 can’t miss events.

W3 Wine Cruise with Captain Phillip

Friday, February 9, 2018
11 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Location: Jekyll Island Historic District Wharf
Tickets: $50 per person

Always one of our most popular events, spend the Friday afternoon out on the water with Captain Phillip. This tour will capture a magical, serene side of Jekyll Island you can’t experience on land. While listening to Captain Phillip’s inside info as a local and bright storyteller, sip on a variety of refreshing and dynamic wines. And alongside the wine tastings, light food preparations will be served. Get your sea legs ready; this afternoon wine cruise is calling your name.

Whiskey Inspired

Friday, February 9, 2018
6:30 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Location: The Westin Jekyll Island- Hotel Takeover and Oceanfront Lawn
Tickets: $90 per person
Wine Pull: $25 per cork or $40 for two
Whiskey Pull: $30 per cork or $50 for two

Whiskey is the star of the show at Friday night’s evening celebration. Make the rounds at whiskey-inspired tastings, cocktails, and treats ranging from savory to sweet crafted by some of the South’s most prestigious celebrity chefs and superstars. If you’re feeling lucky, try your hand at the wine or whiskey pull: pick from a range of numbered corks to collect your bottle of wine or whiskey ranging from $15 – $100 in value. You can also participate in the live auction with 6-8 luxury items, benefitting the Jekyll Island Foundation’s mission for conservation. But be on the alert! Bidding begins at 8 p.m. and ends at 8:45 p.m.

Whiskey, Wine & Wildlife – W3

Saturday, February 10, 2018
1 p.m. – 4 p.m.

Location: The Westin on Jekyll Island Beach Village Green
Tickets: $70 per person
VIP Tickets: $140 per person

The weekend’s main event will fill your afternoon with tons of tastings, demonstrations, and activities all centered around our three favorite ‘w’s. With upbeat live music creating the perfect island vibe, make your way through delightful culinary creations like our famous BBQ Alley, where last year welcomed popular eateries like B’s Cracklin’ BBQ, Gilbert’s Underground Kitchen, and Southern Soul Barbeque. With some of the South’s most notorious pitmasters behind the grill, dig into juicy, tender, and flavorful barbecue that will have you coming back for seconds (or thirds, if you’re like us!). Multiple stages will present cooking demos, cookbook signings, and interactive wildlife demos for a one-of-a-kind experience.

And that’s not even a whole list of the afternoon’s events. There will also be a silent auction benefitting the Jekyll Island Foundation, a cocktail challenge by Woodford Reserve, and informative beverage panels and tastings.

Make the main event even more special with a pair of VIP tickets to gain access to the VIP Lounge. Located on the Westin’s rooftop and The Reserve Restaurant, the lounge will provide a private bar, catered food, and a relaxing space to unwind from the hustle and bustle of the festival’s full swing.

W3 is a gourmand’s dream, make it a reality by joining us for a full weekend of stunning nature, decadent whiskey and wine, and tons of culinary creations. For a complete schedule, visit our event page.