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Arts, crafts and food!
Taste of Sautee will have it all
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Taste of Sautee
10 a.m. to 6 p.m. May 21
Where: Sautee Village, 2454 Ga. 17, Sautee
How much: $20 for a wine-tasting pass, including a glass and 20 tastings; $5 general admission, free for age 15 and younger
More info: 706-878-5522

If you want to experience the wineries, restaurants and artists of Sautee, the small artist community located between Cleveland and Helen, you can drive up to Taste of Sautee, set for Saturday at Sautee Village.

The town has long been known for its artistic vibe, and the festival will showcase a wide variety of art, including, paintings, photography, pottery and even flint knapping.

Sheilah Welsch, co-owner of Sautee Village, which houses InsideOut Sautee, an art gallery, Yonah Mountain Vineyards Tasting Room and Elfmade Wooden Toys, said she decided to begin the festival last year to draw attention to the village, which was built in 2009.

"I said, ‘I’m going to start doing art festivals,’ and (the owners of Yonah Mountain Vineyards) said, well, they wanted to do a wine festival, and before you know it, we came up with this Taste of Sautee plan," Welsch said.

Local restaurants, including Bernie’s Restaurant, Nacoochee Grill and Village Tavern, will offer an eclectic array of foods for festgoers to sample.

Sautee staple Sweetwater Coffeehouse will offer specialty coffee drinks and iced tea, and visitors can taste wines from Yonah Mountain Vineyards, Serenity Cellars, Sautee Nacoochee Vineyards, Habersham Winery and Crane Creek Vineyards.

Local musicians will perform throughout the day.

Welsch said dogs on leashes are welcome at the pet-friendly festival, which also will feature a raffle of an animal portrait. Proceeds from the raffle will benefit the Smithgall Humane Society.

There will also be a free drawing for a gift basket in honor of the village’s three year anniversary.

Welsch said she expects more than 1,000 attendees, since last year’s event drew about 1,800.

Parking will be at the Sautee Nacoochee Center, a short walk from the village. A complimentary shuttle will be available.

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