Tybee Wine Festival features low-key fun, fabulous events


The 2015 Tybee Island Wine Festival, coming up April 22-26, offers everything from the casual Grand Tasting on Tybee Lighthouse grounds to elegant, multi-course dinners with wine pairings.

Ticket prices are ridiculously reasonable ($75 for a five-course wine pairing dinner? Find that in Atlanta!) and Tybee’s right off the coast of Savannah.

tybee signature glass

Photo: Jennifer Brett

Sarah and Kurtis Schumm have been fans of the Tybee Wine Festival in years past. This year, they’re joining the fun by hosting the five-course “Art of Pairing” dinner.

“Savannah is having an exciting year culinarily,” Sarah Schumm said, referencing Hugh Acheson’s new spot, The Florence, and The Grey, located in Savannah’s former Greyhound bus station. “Tybee is getting a lot of exposure, being Savannah’s back yard.”


Photo: Jennifer Brett

The Schumms own three restaurants on the island just off the coast of Savannah including the popular Tybee Social Club restaurant, where “Art of Pairing,” will be held from 7 to 9 p.m. April 23. The main event is the Grand Tasting from 3 to 6 p.m. April 25 at the Tybee Island Light Station.

“The grand wine tasting is really fun for the community,” Kurtis Schumm said. “When you have a glass of wine in hand and you can walk around and see friends, it’s about as good as it gets.”

low key

Photo: Courtesy of the Tybee Island Wine Festival

The seventh annual Tybee Wine Festival supports the Tybee Post Theater, a historic building poised for renovation and revitalization. Built in 1930 as a movie theater for soldiers stationed at Fort Screven, organizers envision a new life as a cultural arts venue.

“We love this place,” Sarah Schumm said. “We believe in having a community theater. Drinking wine to make that happen is a pretty sweet deal.”

Photo: Jennifer Brett

Photo: Jennifer Brett

Jim Kluttz, president of Friends of Tybee Theater board of directors, said the wine festival perfectly matches Tybee’s easy-going, welcoming vibe.

“It’s really simple,” he said. “It’s a fun, casual time.”

Organizers expect between 700 and 800 for the grand tasting.

Photo: Courtesy of the Tybee Island Wine Festival

Photo: Courtesy of the Tybee Island Wine Festival

“We could sell more tickets but we don’t,” Kluttz said. “We’ve made the decision were not going to crowd people in.”

Tybee Island Wine Festival, presented by the Tybee Post Theater

April 22-26

Events include the “Celebration of Earth & Vine” dinner with wine pairings starting at 6 p.m. April 22 at Tybee Wedding Chapel (1114 1st St.), $85 per person; the “Art of Pairing” dinner, 7 p.m. April 23 at the Tybee Island Social Club (1311 Butler Ave.), $75; the “Evening of Oysters & Wine” event at 6:30 p.m. April 24 at Marlin Monroe’s Surfside Grill, (404 Butler Ave.), $40; the Grand Tasting from 3 to 6 p.m. April 25 at the Tybee Island Light Station (30 Meddin Dr.), $55; and the Champagne Brunch from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. April 26 at the Crab Shack (40 Estill Hammock Rd), $35. For complete details or to buy tickets see tybeewinefestival.com.

Photo: Jennifer Brett

Photo: Jennifer Brett

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