Save the Date: Inaugural Savannah Food & Wine Festival Nov. 11 – Nov. 17, 2013

Fresh Veggies from a Farmer's Market in Savannah, Ga.
Fresh Veggies from a Farmer’s Market in Savannah, Ga.

Famous for Lowcountry boils, pralines and birthplace of Paula Deen’s success, celebrate the flavors of this genteel Georgia city during the Inaugural Savannah Food & Wine Festival scheduled for Nov. 11 – 17, 2103. The weeklong culinary celebration will feature national and international winemakers, wineries, sponsors, celebrity chefs, the James Beard Foundation, and vintner Rob Mondavi Jr. just to name a few.

While Visting during the Savannah Food & Wine Festival, Take a Horse-Drawn Carriage Ride
While Visting during the Savannah Food & Wine Festival, Take a Horse-Drawn Carriage Ride

Savannah’s Tourism Leadership Council is busy finalizing festival details but here’s sampling of events:

Monday, Nov. 11 – Sunday, Nov. 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, Nov. 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 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.

Friday, Nov. 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, Nov. 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.

Little Gracie Watson Gravesite at Bonaventure Cemetery, Savannah, Ga.
Little Gracie Watson Gravesite at Bonaventure Cemetery, Savannah, Ga.

Nuts & Bolts About the Savannah Food & Wine Festival
Tickets for the Savannah Food & Wine Festival go on sale July 1, 2013. The event’s website will launch June 10, 2013, so check it often for updates. You can also “Like” them on Facebook/SavannahFoodandWineFestival and follow this foodie festival on Twitter @savannahwinefes.

My tips for planning a trip to Savannah begin with reading Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil(or view the movie). Then, pay a visit to Bonaventure Cemetery and if possible, go see Lady Chablis, who performs once a month at Club One. Once you read the book (or see the movie), you’ll understand. The city is known for its chilling hauntings so take a walking tour with Sixth Sense Savannah. If you can, book the Midnight Tour.



Jennifer A. Huber is an award-winning travel and outdoor blogger and writer in Southwest Florida. Originally from Buffalo, N.Y., a hiking trail led her to a career path in the tourism industry for more than 30 years. She spent a decade with a park management company in Yellowstone, Death Valley, and Everglades National Parks. She founded the travel blog, with the goal of inspiring others to travel alone, not lonely. The unexpected death of her former husband in 2008 reminded her how short life is. His passing was a catalyst for sharing her experiences with the goal of inspiring and empowering others to travel solo. Jennifer holds a Travel Marketing Professional certification from the Southeast Tourism Society, is a certified food judge, member of the NASA Social community, and alum of the FBI Citizens Academy. When not traveling, she is either in the kitchen, practicing her photography skills, or road tripping with her dog, Radcliff.

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