California & Wine Month: A perfect pairing

September is California Wine Month. Here is a round up of the best of the best wine tasting celebrations around the Bay Area. Photo: Image: Savor the Central Coast

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. 

SEE RELATED: California & Wine Month: A perfect pairing

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. 


Sonoma: Valley of the Moon Harvest Festival

SEE RELATED: The best historic winery tours in Napa and Sonoma


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

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Tickets: General admission is free; tickets for opening night gala start at $85



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America’s Cup Park; image: ACEA / Photo Gilles Martin-Raget

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




CA Wine Month at The Ferry Building, San Francisco


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

Tickets: $35



Related articleUrban wine tasting in San Francisco


Concannon Vineyard, Livermore. Image: Stevan Nordstrom.


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




Lodi LOCA Wine Passport. Image: LOCA


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




Image: Alfaro Family Vineyards



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 Event - Battle of the bay


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.




For full details and a complete list of California Wine Month activities from more than 70 wineries and wine growing regions, go to:


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.

This article is the copyrighted property of the writer and Communities @ Written permission must be obtained before reprint in online or print media. REPRINTING TWTC CONTENT WITHOUT PERMISSION AND/OR PAYMENT IS THEFT AND PUNISHABLE BY LAW.

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Sherrie Perkovich

Sherrie is a perky, music and wine-loving, Northern California local that seeks out and spreads the word about San Francisco experiences as well as unforgettable wine-related travel experiences.  She is CMO of The Grape Hunter USA, where they focus on helping artisan wineries and developing unique wine travel for consumers. Follow her on Twitter @BigNoseWino

Sherrie is a San Francisco local that fancies herself an extroverted fine dining, wine drinking, know-it-all.  If it’s happening near SF, Sherrie is in on it.  Follow her columns,  for the widest range of Out and About San Francisco ~ San Jose treats and Wine Country Weekly.  


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