It’s grape harvest time in Wine Country, which means lots of work for the wineries, but also lots of parties for us. Here’s a handy planner:
Sonoma Wine Country Weekend, Aug. 29-31, 2014
Saturday’s Taste of Sonoma brings more than 200 artisan wineries, growers, chefs and food purveyors for a walk-around feast at the legendary MacMurray Ranch in Healdsburg. The Sunday Auction is an all-day fundraiser with world-class wine, food, and live auction packages at Kenwood’s Chateau St. Jean. And in between are winery parties, al fresco lunches, and suppers all across the County.
Viszlay Vineyards Harvest Kickoff BBQ & Grape Stomp, Healdsburg, Aug. 30, 2014
Each contestant has two minutes to press as much juice out of their barrel full of grapes as they can – with their feet. The fun fuels up with live music and barbecue, and the winner goes on to represent Viszlay at the Sonoma County Harvest Fair’s World Championship Grape Stomp in October.
30th Annual WineSong, Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens, Fort Bragg, Sept. 5 & 6, 2014
More than 200 lots of fine wines from Mendocino, Sonoma and Napa go to the highest bidders at this high energy auction, walk-around wine and food tasting, and barbecue or VIP sit-down gourmet lunch from chefs Narsai David and Margaret Fox. Live music, and art, too.
15th Annual Mt. Veeder Appellation Tasting, Napa, Sept. 7, 2014
Come join the savvy wine crowd at this gathering at Napa’s Hess Winery Collection, showcasing 30 Mt. Veeder wineries - most of which are not open to the public. Savor food from chef Chad Hendrickson, bid on silent auctions featuring rare Mt. Veeder wines, and tap your toes to live music from The Hummingbirdz blues band.
Calistoga Harvest Table, Calistoga, Sept. 7, 2014
Can you say street party? For the first time ever, 14 Calistoga restaurants will set up a giant communal table in the middle of Lincoln Street downtown, for a giant, eclectic Wine Country supper and wine tasting hosted by the local winemakers themselves.
Field Stone Winery & Vineyards 30th Annual Harvest Blessing & Luncheon, Healdsburg, Sept. 20, 2014
Witness the official Harvest Blessing honoring the deep symbolism and heritage of grape growing in Sonoma County, followed by an al fresco, wine paired luncheon at a long, family table under a towering oak.
Castello di Amorosa Annual Harvest Celebration and Grape Stomp, Calistoga, Sept. 20, 2014
Get your stomp on for prizes, then enjoy food and wine stations, live music and tours of the castle including the underground cellars.
Quivira Figs & Pigs Festival, Healdsburg, Sept. 27, 2014
Start with a tasting under the estate’s 135-year-old fig tree, then take a tour through the Fig Tree Vineyard, followed by a Grape Stomp, and a lavish wine-paired, pork-centric buffet (be sure to meet the winery animals, including heritage chickens and pigs).
Sonoma Valley CRUSH Wine Harvest Festival, Sept. 26-28, 2014
It’s harvest, hands-on, with 15 wineries throughout Sonoma Valley hosting activities like grape sampling in the vineyards, crush pad tours, samples of fresh pressed juice, barrel tasting, and fun insider’s extras like learning how to read a refractometer, just like a real winemaker.
Gary Farrell Winery Harvest Tour, Tasting & Lunch, Now through Oct., 2014
Here’s a brand new opportunity to see the crush pad action live during harvest. Just debuted and offered daily, the gatherings start with a tour, followed by a wine tasting and catered lunch on the terrace overlooking Russian River Valley.