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Celebrate Summer with Chicago Botanic Garden’s Fourth Annual Wine Festival

Chicago Botanic Garden

Chicago Botanic Garden

Celebrate sum­mer with a week­end of wine tast­ing, food pair­ings, and spec­tac­u­lar Garden vis­tas. The Fourth Annual Chicago Botanic Garden Wine Festival allows novices and expe­ri­enced oenophiles to develop their palates with sem­i­nars and demon­stra­tions con­ducted by event spon­sors, exhibit­ing winer­ies, Chicago area chefs, restau­ra­teurs, and spe­cialty food shops.

Wine Festival hours are from noon to 6 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, June 12 and 13. The Chicago Botanic Garden will kick off its sum­mer hours on June 5, stay­ing open from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily through September 6, to allow vis­i­tors to enjoy beau­ti­ful sun­sets over tran­quil lakes and land­scapes trans­formed by dra­matic evening lighting.

Staged on the West Meadow behind Evening Island, the Wine Festival grounds are sur­rounded by lakes and Garden vis­tas. More than 40 winer­ies, dis­trib­u­tors, and importers will offer sam­ples of more than 250 wines from around the world. Guests can also expe­ri­ence a Belgian Beer Café within the Festival, fea­tur­ing sam­plings of Stella Artois, Leffe, and Hoegaarden beers. To com­ple­ment the wide vari­ety of wines that can be sam­pled, a selec­tion of Chicago area chefs will con­duct cook­ing demon­stra­tions on the main stage. Wine experts will present sem­i­nars about the fine art of pair­ing food with wine.

A musi­cal stage will fea­ture jazz, blues, and light rock per­for­mances. There will be food from local restau­rants includ­ing Bluegrass, Morton’s The Steakhouse, Caoba, and California Pizza Kitchen, and wine and beer by the glass avail­able for pur­chase. The Wine Discount Center will be offer­ing a 10 per­cent dis­count on all wine orders placed onsite at their booth. Designated trams will be avail­able to trans­port vis­i­tors to and from the West Meadow.

Tickets are $25 in advance; $28 at the door for Garden mem­bers; $35 at the door for non­mem­bers. Tickets include a sou­venir wine glass, 10 tast­ing tick­ets, wine tasters’ pro­gram guide and access to all demon­stra­tions, sem­i­nars and musi­cal enter­tain­ment. Designated dri­vers are admit­ted for $10, includ­ing two non-alcoholic drink tick­ets, pro­gram guide and access to all demon­stra­tions, sem­i­nars and musi­cal enter­tain­ment. Visitors under 21 are admit­ted free when accom­pa­nied by an adult. Additional tast­ing tick­ets, 10 for $5, can be pur­chased onsite.

Parking is $20 per car; free for Garden mem­bers. The Chicago Botanic Garden Trolley will oper­ate between the Garden and the Glencoe Metra sta­tion dur­ing event hours. Round-trip tick­ets are $2; Garden mem­bers and chil­dren 5 and under ride free.

The Chicago Botanic Garden Wine Festival is pre­sented by Harris and is pro­duced by inPLAY Events of Barrington, Ill. in joint effort with the Chicago Botanic Garden. For more infor­ma­tion about the Wine Festival or to pur­chase tick­ets, call (847) 835‑5440 or (877) 772‑5425 or visit

Photo by cme­fish (back in the sad­dle)

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