SAN FRANCISCO, SEPTEMBER 1, 2013 - Every September the California wine harvest is an opportunity to sample the latest and greatest that the California wine regions offer. The weather is perfect, the wine and food flow freely and nearly everyone is throwing a party.
September is harvest time in California and California Wine Month celebrates the wine, the landscape, wine making, cuisine, and the overall California wine lifestyle throughout the month.
All month long foodies and wine lovers will journey to wineries and festivals across the state to witness their favorite winemakers and perhaps even get in on the harvest action themselves. From picking and crushing grapes to events, VIP tours, tastings and concerts, vintners in many of California’s 116 diverse winegrowing regions offer ways for people—from beginners to experts—to enjoy the state’s beverage of choice.
Here is a list of the winery events happening in September. This list covers events happening throughout the Northern California wine growing regions, including the popular Sonoma, Napa, Livermore Valley, and Santa Cruz Mountain wine growing regions. No matter what area you want to discover, there are events worth exploring.
The 116th Annual Valley of the Moon Vintage Festival, Sonoma
This is California’s oldest festival, taking place the last weekend in September every year in Sonoma’s downtown historic plaza. The event features an amateur wine competition, art show, grape stomp, opening night gala party, a parade and much, much more. The festival is free and open to the public with certain events like the opening night gala require tickets.
Date: September 27 – 29
Tickets: General admission is free; tickets for opening night gala start at $85
Related article: The best historic winery tours in Napa and Sonoma
NAPA VALLEY in San Francisco
Napa Valley Wine Lounge at America’s Cup Race Park, San Francisco
The Napa Valley is the Official Wine Region of the 34th America’s CupSailing. Wine and sailing enthusiasts can pair their favorite pastimes at the Napa Valley Wine Lounge at America’s Cup Race Park September, sampling Napa Valley wines by the glass and light bites as they watch the races from Piers 27/29 in San Francisco. The park is free to enter and features daily, informative race show programs. With views of the stage and finish line, the Napa Valley Wine Lounge is the perfect place to relax, sip a glass of Napa Valley’s world-class wine, and enjoy a day at the races.
Winery suggestions: Whitehall Lane, Cuvaison, Peju, Bouchaine, Charles Krug, St. Supery Estate
Dates: September 7 – 21; open 11am – 7pm
Tickets: Free to enter, wines by the glass
California Wines Road Trip, Ferry Building, San Francisco
No time to put the top down and visit the wine trails? No problem! Take a California Wines Road Trip in one stop at the Wine Institute’s official California Wine Month event. This walk-around tasting event featuring over 100 top wines from a dozen California wine regions throughout the state takes place in San Francisco in the Grand Hall of the Ferry Building.
Winery suggestions: Concannon, Patz & Hall, Seghesio, Hahn, LangeTwins, Handley Cellars, Wente, McCay Cellars, Robert Mondavi, Simi, J Vineyards, Fenestra, Nottingham Cellars
Date: September 21, 2-5pm
Related article: Urban wine tasting in San Francisco
Annual Harvest Wine Celebration, Livermore
Less than an hour east of San Francisco, Livermore Valley Wine Country welcomes visitors with a flourish expanse of vineyards, wineries, and wine country experiences. Amid picturesque canyons, ridges and outposts of suburbia, the lush vines and convivial tasting rooms increasingly define the quality of life in the valley. The Annual Harvest Wine Celebration is a perfect opportunity to samples from these hidden gem wineries. It is a two-day festival that includes complimentary shuttle busses that take guests to over 40 wineries where you can enjoy wine tastings, music, food, art vendors, and wine discounts.
Winery suggestions: Concannon Vineyard, Thomas Coyne, Steven Kent, Murrietas Well, McGrail, Darcie Kent, Nottingham Cellars, Las Positas, Wente
Dates: September 1 – 2; 12–5 pm
Tickets: starting at $55, $10 DD
Annual Lodi Road Trip Passport, Lodi
Join Lodi Appellation’s vintners the entire month of September as they celebrate California Wine Month with the 2nd annual Lodi Road Trip Passport. Participate in fun and engaging activities like cycling excursions, vineyard tours, barrel tasting and bottling demonstrations, grape stomps, wine and cheese pairing classes, live music, and winemaker dinners. A passport buys discounts toward activities, wine tastings and bottle or case purchases from 49 wineries.
Winery suggestions: Fields Family, H-G Vineyards, Harney Lane, LangeTwins, M2 Wines, Macchia, McCay Cellars, Oak Farm, Sorelle
Dates: September 1 - 30
Tickets: Passports are $20 and are non-refundable
SANTA CRUZ MOUNTAINS
Organic Wine Trail of the Santa Cruz Mountains, Santa Cruz Mountains
Wine lovers who want to learn more about sustainable and organic winegrape growing can visit the wineries on the Organic Wine Trail of the Santa Cruz Mountains. The vineyards of all three participating wineries have been certified organic by the CCOF Enjoy vineyard tours (self-guided or guided), beautiful mountain views, picnicing in the vineyards, and wine tasting each weekend during September. It is a wonderful opportunity to explore the wineries of the Santa Cruz Mountains, while learning about the extra steps to adhere to organic standards.
Participating Wineries: Cooper-Garrod in Saratoga; Silver Mountain along Summit Road; and Alfaro Family Vineyards in Corralitos.
Dates: September 7 - 28, 12:00 - 5:00pm
Tickets: Each winery’s tasting fee applies; $5 - 10
Savor the Central Coast, San Luis Obispo
Wine and food lovers can step into the pages of Sunset magazine and savor the California Central Coast wine country lifestyle at Sunset SAVOR the Central Coast, featuring four days of culinary immersion in San Luis Obispo County, including culinary and outdoor adventure tours, wine and food celebrity seminars, more than 200 regional wine tastings, and evening events at Hearst Castle, Pismo Beach and at Vina Robles winery in Paso Robles.
Dates: September 26 - 29
Tickets: Tickets for the main event begin at $85; various other ticket prices per event. See website for details.
CELEBRATE CALIFORNIA WINE MONTH
For full details and a complete list of California Wine Month activities from more than 70 wineries and wine growing regions, go to: www.discovercaliforniawines.com/californiawinemonth.
Read more of Sherrie’s work at Out And About San Francisco and Wine Country Weekly in the Communities section at the Washington Times. Follow Out and About on Twitter and Facebook for even more inside scoop.
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