Tourism Leadership Council Announces Inaugural 2013 Savannah Food & Wine Festival to include James Beard Foundation Celebrity Chef Tour & Vintner, Rob Mondavi, Jr.
Monday, November 11 through Sunday, November 17, 2013, Savannah will be celebrating the best of the best in food and wine. The Tourism Leadership Council, is finalizing details on what is quickly developing into an exciting culinary and wine destination event, which will benefit its various hospitality, restaurants and tourism related partners and members, including the entire City of Savannah. According to TLC President/CEO, Michael Owens, “We began this project by discussing ways to build and expand upon an already existing successful TLC event, the Taste of Savannah with our new Festival Director, Jan Gourley who has managed other successful wine and food festivals and events. We wanted to create an event that would better serve our membership as well as benefiting our entire community. We wanted to walk before we ran with this new concept - we're now in a full sprint as the support for this festival gains daily momentum from national and international winemakers, wineries, sponsors, celebrity chefs, the James Beard Foundation, Rob Mondavi, Jr. and more. It’s so exciting to see the potential impact the festival will have on Savannah’s national culinary reputation – timing for this event is just perfect – not only for tourism, but for Savannah’s cultural and culinary scenes as well. Rob Mondavi, Jr. was in Savannah last week to meet with us. His wine industry knowledge, guidance and contacts are invaluable in our planning the inaugural festival.”
"Savannah is one of the most charming cities with a deep history, Lowcountry cuisine and genteel people. My family and I are excited to bring our little part of Napa Valley to this great town, especially in the festival’s inaugural year, said Rob Mondavi, Jr.”
The overall concept of the Savannah Food & Wine Festival is to create one-of-a-kind, Savannah food and wine experiences to put Savannah on the map as a serious culinary destination—worth making a foodie trip here. The festival details and information are currently being finalized, with the website www.savannahfoodandwinefest.com to launch on Monday, June 10, 2013. Tickets will go on sale on July 1, 2013. Some of the social media channels already established are Facebook page, Savannah Food & Wine Festival and Twitter, @savannahwinefes.
There will be several pre-festival events taking place in the months leading up to the festival, which will include wine dinners with local media celebrity amateur chefs competing against local professional chefs and competing sommeliers, the “Savannah’s Chef & Somm Smackdowns”. Some of the Savannah Food & Wine Festival events already planned include:
Monday, November 11 – Sunday, November 17, 2013
The festival will kick-off with “Savannah’s Connoisseur Wine Dinners” taking place in Savannah’s finest restaurants throughout the week. Week-long wine pairings, luncheons, educational wine & cheese tastings, cooking classes and more will also be planned.
Wednesday, November 13, 2013 – “Celebrity Chef Tour”
6:30 p.m., benefiting the James Beard Foundation and the Savannah Food & Wine Festival”, 700 Drayton at The Mansion on Forsyth Park.
The Celebrity Chef Tour dinner will consist of a and dinner menu prepared by host Executive Chef, Geir Killen and the James Beard Foundation invited award-winning, guest celebrity chefs. The participating chefs will be confirmed in the next several weeks.
Thursday, November 14 – “The Grand Reserve Tasting & Silent Auction”
with special guest winemakers, including Rob Mondavi, Jr.
(6:30 – 8:30 p.m.), location TBD.
The event will include a souvenir glass along with premium wines, averaging $50+ a bottle, gourmand treats and Silent Auction. The Silent Auction will include outstanding wine lot packages, restaurants, hotel packages, spa services, golf and many luxury items.
Friday, November 15 – “River Street Wine Stroll” (6:30 – 8:30 p.m.)
A casual evening and street party with wine vendor tastings, gourmet bites from many River Street restaurants available for sale, street music and shopping, with controlled access and ticketing.
Saturday, November 16 – “Taste of Savannah”, Ellis Square (12 – 4 p.m.)
The event will include hundreds of wines in Wine Booths (wineries, famous winemakers and distributors); Savannah’s best and most well-known restaurants selling food; music, Chef Cooking Demos (Local and Celebrity Guest Chefs), Iron Mixologist Competition, Waiter’s Races, Special Celebrity Guests, Seminars, Celebrity Chef Cookbook Authors and Silent Auction Tent.
Saturday, November 16 – “Michael Mondavi Family Estate Dinner”
8 p.m., The Westin Savannah Harbor Resort & Spa
Hosted by Rob Mondavi Jr. featuring a four-course dinner prepared by guest celebrity chef (s) paired with an exclusive selection of current and library wines from Michael Mondavi Family Estate. TBD.
Sunday, November 17 – “Jazz & Bubbles Brunch”
(11 a.m. - 3 p.m.), The Westin Savannah Harbor Resort & Spa
The event will include a souvenir Champagne glass, brunch buffet, Champagne and sparkling wine samples and more.