Posted on: November 2, 2023 Posted by: Utamu Belle Comments: 1

Enjoy wine tastings, delectable dishes and unforgettable experiences on the beach and coastal wild side- when the Whiskey, Wine and Wildlife (W3) Festival kicks off in St. Augustine, Florida on Thursday November 2.

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The highly anticipated one-of-a-kind weekend event is aimed at garnering funds in support of Vilano Beach Main Street and the Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve (GTM Research Reserve)

It features hand crafted cuisines prepared by local chefs, backed by a totally relaxing beach atmosphere.

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The action ignites with an exclusive Wine Dinner at highly anticipated restaurant, Pesca located in the new Hyatt Place Hotel.

Chef and Restauranteur Michael Lugo, well-known in the region for his incomparable flagship eatery, Michael’s, created Pesca to echo the big, bold Latin flavors his family loved, but with a global twist.

Located in the Hyatt Place Vilano Beach, both inspired by the Miami Art Deco period, Pesca is approachably classy.

The experience begins with a rooftop cocktail reception from 6 to 6:30 p.m. with an open bar, featuring official festival wine, beer, and spirits.

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The Wine Dinner begins at 7 p.m. and consists of a four-course meal prepared by Chef Lugo and Pastry Chef Rebecca Reed- each plate paired with the perfect wine.

Attendees can hone their culinary craft on Friday, November 3, from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. with a selection of four unique Master Classes presented by Publix.

These hands-on classes feature local and celebrity guest chefs, cookbook authors, industry professionals, and beverage experts.

Each class includes tasting bites with a paired wine, beer, or signature cocktail.

Cap off Friday night at the Vilano A1A Soirée.

This elaborate dinner occurs at sunset on one of Vilano Beach’s most picturesque streets, Vivian Browning Avenue.

 It will truly be a night to remember as guests enjoy a six-course dinner prepared collaboratively by some of the region’s most celebrated chefs, as live music by Zaza Flamenca set the mood.

 A cocktail reception with appetizers begins at 5:30 p.m.

The meal includes unlimited beverages with souvenir glasses to sample from various wines, beers, and signature cocktails from W3’s official spirits.

The GTM Research Reserve is one of only 30 national estuarine research reserves in the country.

 It is a true living classroom, providing educational opportunities and research platforms.

Explore this magnificent sanctuary on Saturday, November 4, from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.- with a guided tour and reception featuring a wine and cheese pairing.

Guests will enjoy a curated selection of wine paired with specialty cheeses from Cabot and Publix + Greenwise Market.

The main event, the W3 Grand Tasting Vilano Beach Block Party, takes over the charming Vivian Browning Avenue for an afternoon of Whiskey, Wine and Wildlife.

The thoroughfare will be packed with hundreds of libations to sample and an array of food tastings from the region’s most popular eateries.

The Publix Cooking Demo Stage will run cooking demos throughout the event, showcasing holiday recipes and offering tasting bites.

The GTM Reserve Stage will have educational experts with wildlife demonstrations, with guests like gopher tortoises and alligators!

Live music will be provided by Laiken Love and Fellowship of Love.

Awards will be presented for the best bites and sips.

Tickets are all-inclusive, with food and drink tastings included.

The W3 block party is from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.

The W3 festival closes with a Sunday Jazz Brunch, served buffet-style at Pesca by Michael’s, located in the new Hyatt Place Hotel.

Gourmet breakfast and lunch dishes will be available, along with beverage-tasting stations that feature sparkling wine, mimosas, Bloody Marys, spirits, wine, and beers.


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Head up to the Rooftop and enjoy a drink with a panoramic view of Vilano Beach, with live jazz performances by Jim Johnston.

The only family-friendly event is the Sunday Jazz Brunch; all other events are for adults 21 years and older.

Join the Vilano Beach community for an event not to be missed.

For a full event schedule or to purchase tickets, visit

Please Drink Responsibly.

With parking limited at Vilano Beach, satellite parking and Old Town Trolley stops will be available for Saturday’s Main Event, free for festival guests.

Check the festival website for the shuttle schedule.

Located midway between Daytona Beach and Jacksonville, Florida’s Historic Coast includes historic St. Augustine, the outstanding golf and seaside elegance of Ponte Vedra Beach, and 42 miles of pristine Atlantic beaches. For more information, call 1.800.653.2489 or check out the Visitors and Convention Bureau website at


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