Tastes of the world at North County wine festival

St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church in Hydes is holding the first annual North Baltimore County Wine Festival on Saturday, Sept. 22, from 1 p.m. to 10 p.m.

The festival features 100 international, domestic and local wines from 17 wineries. Visitors can sip samples or buy their favorites by the glass or bottle.

There is no admission fee for non-drinkers and children. Wine drinkers pay $15 for a commemorative glass and sample tickets. Additional tickets can be bought for $2 each. There are two wine seminars at 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. Each cost $6 and will last about 45 minutes.

"A lot of local wine festivals feature only Maryland wine, but at this festival, people will have a chance to taste wine from around the world," said Marc McFaul, who organized the event. "We have wineries from California, Italy, France and here in Maryland, too."

Wineries include Cakebread, Dreaming Tree, Stags Leap, Columbia Crest, Mondavi and Silver Oak. Each winery will have its own tent.

Beer by local brewery, Heavy Seas, and soft drinks will also be available for purchase.

Food vendors include the Manor Tavern, Kooper's Taco Truck, Looney's Pub and the Great Cheese.

The festival will features activities and crafts for children from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., some 20 arts and crafts dealers and live music. The band The Objections will play during the day, followed by the big band music of Brooks Tegler beginning at 6 p.m.

"We're reminding people to bring their dancing shoes," said McFaul, who owns the Dark Horse Saloon in Bel Air. He has plenty of experience with wine festivals because he started the Harford County Wine Festival in 2005. He joined St. John the Evangelist Church after moving to the area and now is a member of the parish council.

"This is a way for St. John the Evangelist parish to welcome the broader community around us," said Monsignor Richard Cramblitt, pastor. "We look forward to sharing this pleasant day with our neighbors and friends at one of the most beautiful locations in Baltimore County."

The wine festival will be held rain or shine. St. John the Evangelist Church is located at 13305 Long Green Pike, Hydes. For details, call 410-592-6206 or e-mail sjehydes@sjehydes.org.

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