As major wine regions around the country prepare for harvest season, the celebrations are starting as soon as this weekend. If you live or travel near these popular wineries, plan to participate with this breakdown of harvest happenings.
These are the biggest celebrations to catch in the extensive wine countries of The Golden State, mainly around the harvest weekends of late September and early October.
Castello di Amorosa Harvest Celebration and Stomp, September 20
This ancient-styled Tuscan castle winery is holding its seventh annual wine stomp competition with wine harvest demos, food and wine stations, live music and underground cellar tours to ring in the season. Reservations are required and tickets start at $95 for members and $115 for guests.
4045 North Saint Helena Hwy, Calistoga, Calif., 707-967-6272, castellodiamorosa.com
Peju Winery Harvest “La Masquerade: Rouge et Noire”, September 20
Unlike other harvest parties, this one takes place at night upon the lit up Peju signature 50-foot tower. The night of dancing in the garden entails an unveiling of barrel samples and new releases by the Peju family, a blessing of the grapes under the stars and an outdoor four-course dinner with select wine pairings. Tickets are $205 for members and $225 for guests.
8466 St. Helena Hwy, Rutherford, Calif., 800-446-7358, peju.com
Clif Family Winery Farm Fest, September 27
The Clif Family Winery is throwing its sixth annual Farm Fest for the harvest on their bountiful farm in Pope Valley. Guests can taste wines, tour the farm, and enjoy food and wine pairings from the farm and local food artisans. Children’s activities will keep the kids busy while you sip. Tickets start at $50 for members and $75 for guests.
709 Main St., St. Helena, Calif., 707-968-0625, cliffamilywinery.com
Crush Party at V. Sattui Winery, October 4
Learn about the art of winemaking, cork making and barrel building at the V. Sattui Winery harvest open house. Along with the old-fashioned grape crush, guests can taste 45 different wines including older vintages. The party will also feature live music and hors d’oeuvres. Tickets are $85 for members and $105 for guests.
1111 White Ln., St. Helena, Calif., 707-963-7774, vsattui.com
For a complete look at individual winery harvest events in Napa Valley, visit the Napa Valley Vintners website. Schweiger Vineyards is having an Old Fashioned Harvest Stomp on September 13 and 18, Trefethen Family Vineyards is holding a Harvest Boot Camp on September 27 and the Markham Vineyard is throwing an evening celebration on October 11.
The Sonoma Valley Crush, September 26-28
The easiest way to experience the wine harvest in Sonoma Valley is by attending the Heart of Sonoma Valley Winery Association’s three-day crush and harvest experience. Fifteen participating wineries will host harvest activities like grape sampling among vines, crush pad tours, wine tours, fresh juice tastings and a full look at the winemaking process. The Crush Wine Tasting Pass is $35 and permits access to harvest activities and wine tastings at all 15 Kenwood and Glen Ellen wineries.
Other Sonoma happenings include an Italian Country Harvest Party at D’Argenzio Winery on September 20, the Dutton-Goldfield Winery Harvest Party of tastings on October 18, and the Buena Vista Winery Morning Crush Brunch on September 21.
The Santa Barbara Vintners Celebration of Harvest Grand Tasting, October 11
Explore the bounty of Santa Barbara wines at the county’s largest harvest taste. The Festival Grand Tasting features the more than 100 winery members with their winemakers pouring for you, along with dozens of local food purveyors to sample from. A wine seminar will take place that morning, the popular silent auction will be held, and a concert will entertain in the evening. Tickets for general admission are $75.
Old Mission Santa Ines, 1760 Mission Dr., Solvang, Calif., 805-688-0881, celebrationofharvest.com
The harvest weekend in The Empire State seems to hover around late September, with a few surrounding events. Here are five harvest parties in the state’s three main regions to check out.
The Finger Lakes
Keuka Lake Wine Trail Harvest Celebration of Food Wine, September 13-14
Explore the seven member wineries of the Keuka Lake Wine Trail for a full taste of the Finger Lakes wine country harvest season. The celebration allows guests to taste newly released wines of the trail, learn a thing or two from the tasting room staff and indulge in delicious bites made from the region’s local produce. Each winery will showcase a seasonal menu of dishes. Tickets are $30 for a weekend ticket or $24 for Sunday only.
Harvest in the Square at Union Square Park, September 18
If you’re in the city and can’t make it to wine country, this year’s 19th annual Harvest in the Square celebration is showcasing 17 wineries from the 2014 Finger Lakes Wine Alliance. The city’s original wine and food tasting festival will pair local wines and microbrews with foods served by chefs from 40 of the area’s best restaurants using the freshest produce right from the Union Square Greenmarket. The event brings in more than 1,200 visitors from near and far, and tickets to attend are $125.
Union Square Park North Plaza, New York, N.Y., harvest.unionsquarenyc.org
25th Anniversary Hunt Country Harvest Festival, October 4-5
Join Hunt Country Vineyards for classic activities like grape stomping, hay rides, cellar tastings, a winemaking facilities tour, wine tastings, cooking presentations, musical performances, and food from local chefs and restaurants. Hunt Country will also be releasing five new wines at the event for tastings and for sale. Guests can taste foods like Lake Country egg rolls, lamb Barbacoa burritos and sausage samplers prepared by culinary arts students of Penn College’s School of Hospitality. Admission is free and various events are priced separately.
4021 Italy Hill Road, Branchport, N.Y., 315-595-2812, huntwines.com
Other events in the region include the Harvest Game Dinner at Glenora Wine Cellars on October 25 for a five-course meal and wine pairing, the Montezuma Winery Hoedown Harvest on September 13 for an evening of dancing, and the Six Mile Creek Harvest Festival on September 13 for tastings, performances and autumn activities.
Martha Clara Vineyards “Chateau La Feet” Stomp Party, September 21
Welcome the season in the North Fork of Long Island by stomping on grapes at the vineyard’s third annual Stomp Party. The activities will take place in the vineyard’s Northville Barn with Winemaker Juan E. Micieli-Martinez, and guests will automatically be given a complimentary glass of wine to start the party with. Tickets are $30 for club members and $35 for general admission.
6025 Sound Ave., Riverhead, N.Y., 631-298-0075, marthaclaravineyards.com
Additional Long Island events are Lieb Cellars’ Harvest Party at The Tasting Group on September 13 offering music, food from Noah’s on the Road Food Truck and wine tours, and the Brooklyn Oenology Winery’s Harvest Party in the tasting room on October 2 with upcoming vintage samples of not-yet-released wines.
Millbrook Vineyards and Winery Harvest Party, October 18
Millbrook’s Grand Harvest Party is a luncheon equipped with a culinary mini wine class led by instructors of The Culinary Institute of America (CIA), plus four courses prepared by the restaurants of CIA. Each course is paired with a wine to accompany detailed meals by Bocuse Restaurant, Ristorante Caterina de’ Medici, American Bounty Restaurant and Apple Pie Bakery Cafe. Tickets are $125 for members, $135 for non-members.
26 Wing Rd., Millbrook, N.Y., 845-677-8383, millbrookwine.com
The region is also holding grape stomps through Benmarl Winery’s Harvest Grape Stomping Festival September 27-28 and October 11-12, and through Brotherhood Winery every weekend from now ’til October 12.
The big wine harvest celebrations are scattered throughout September and October, so pick one (or a couple) of the five that fit your travel schedule.
The Carlton Crush Harvest Festival, September 13
The Willamette Valley Wineries’ Annual Carlton Crush features 17 area wineries, a Grape Stomp Competition, a Wine Thief Relay, Barrel Rolling Race, helicopter rides, a watermelon eating contest and various activities for kids. An artist market and food will accompany the delicious local wine, cider and beer tastings. Admission is free for all guests.
Upper Park, Main St., Downtown Carlton, Ore., 216-533-6968, carltoncrush.com
Oregon Grape Stomp Championship and Harvest Celebration, September 20-21
This annual competition at the Estate Vineyard brings in participants from all over the country in groups of two, Stomper and Swabbie, for the title to compete at the World Grape Stomp Championships in Santa Rosa, Calif. The event includes Willamette Valley Vineyards tastings, a vineyard tour, live music and food pairings served by the winery chef. Admission is $10, stomping is $10 per team and other activities cost extra.
8800 Enchanted Way S.E., Turner, Ore., 503-588-9463, wvv.com
St. Josef’s Estate Vineyards Winery Grape Stomp Festival, September 20-21
St. Josef’s Grape Stomp is the Northwest’s original grape stomping event. Celebrating 32 years, the festival derived from the German harvest traditions of a “crush” season kick-off. Aside from grape stomping in a 1,200-gallon oak barrel, enjoy music from an “Original Donaumusikanten” German Band, more than 400 pounds of St. Josef’s sausages and homemade sauerkraut, and wine tastings and tours with the winemaker. Admission is $10.
28836 S. Barlow Rd., Canby, Ore., 503-651-3190, stjosefswinery.com
North Willamette Harvest Trail, October 4 and 11
Experience the harvest of the North Willamette Valley in one day during the guided bus tour of three area wineries and a bonus Kura tour at SakeOne Brewery. Guests will be tasting wines and pairings while learning about different stages of harvest at each stop and enjoying a lunch at one of the vineyards. The tour moves from vineyard to crush pad to winery, allowing guests to pick grapes, press fruit, help with punch downs and join other hands-on harvest activities. Tickets are $95.
The Columbia Gorge
The Crush: The Combination of Columbia Gorge Wines and Fine Art, October 4-27
The Columbia Gorge Winegrowers Association and Columbia Center for the Arts are throwing a month-long harvest celebration. Visit the exhibit, The Crush, for wine tastings from eight area wineries every Friday. On October 25, winemakers from the region will come to discuss the harvest and winemaking in the Gorge.
215 Cascade St., Ore., 541-387-8877, columbiaarts.org
Other attractions for harvest include the Domaine Meriwether Winery Bounty in the Vineyard Harvest Festival on September 27 and 28 in the South Willamette Valley, Montinore Estate’s Fifth Annual Crush Party on September 27 in Willamette, and the Hood River Valley Harvest Fest October 17 through 19 in Columbia Gorge.
Harvests are taking place throughout October and early November at these four Virginia locations.
Mountain Rose Vineyard Harvest Festival, October 4
This grape stomp and harvest festival has a lineup of events, like wine and grape tastings, winery and vineyard hayride tours, a grape stomp contest, a luncheon, a corn hole tournament, and vendors providing sweets and kettle corn. Admission is $5 and lunch is $16.
10439 Reservoir Rd., Wise, Va., 276-328-2013, mountainrosevineyard.com
Doukenie Winery Harvest Festival, October 18
During Virginia Wine Month, bask in the harvest with barrel tastings, new wine releases and live music by The Short Hill Mountain Boys. Monks BBQ, voted the “best food truck in Washington, D.C,” will provide the event’s food. Admission is free for club members and $15 for guests.
14727 Mountain Rd., Purcellville, Va., 540-668-6464, doukeniewinery.com
Ingleside Vineyards Harvest Celebration, October 18
Join Ingleside for their 35th Harvest Celebration with a tour of the vineyards and winery, wine tastings, live music, hayrides, dancing, food and artwork. This year’s focus on local brings area farms’ products and Denson Market and Oyster Bar to the event to shuck fresh Chesapeake Bay oysters on the half shell. Admission is $15.
5872 Leedstown Rd., Oak Grove, Va., 804-224-8687, inglesidevineyards.com
Harvest Wine Trail, November 1-2
Grab a passport ticket and tour six of Central Virginia’s premier wineries. While the wine trail is open year-round, hitting the trail this time of year allows visitors to experience the region’s wineries, releases and events during harvest. Passports are $20.
Various winery locations, hovawinetrail.com
Other Virginia wine events include the 22nd annual Rockbridge Vineyard Harvest Festival on October 4 in the Shenandoah Valley, Saude Creek Vineyard’s Autumn Harvest Stomp on September 13 in Eastern Virginia, and the King Family Vineyards’ Annual Harvest Dinner on October 3 near Northern Virginia.
Below are four harvest tours and “stompings” at varying wineries in the state starting this weekend and trailing ’til November.
The Olympic Peninsula
Olympic Peninsula Wineries’ Harvest Wine Tour Scarecrow Contest, November 8-9
Tour the region’s seven artisan wineries in two days in the heart of fall traveling through the towns of Port Townsend, Sequim, Chimacum and Port Angeles. The tours are self-guided and tickets are $30.
Various winery locations, olympicpeninsulawineries.org
Alexandria Nicole Cellars’ Harvest Party in the Vines at Destiny Ridge Vineyards, September 13
Celebrate the vineyard’s 10 years as a winery and the harvest at the Hollywood Glamour-themed event. Enjoy a steak and lobster dinner, wine tastings with fall releases, a wine balloon toss, grape stomp, barrel rolling competition and skeet shooting. Tickets are $75 and certain activities are an additional cost.
158422 W. Sonova Rd., Paterson, Wash., 509-242-9979, alexandrianicolecellars.com
Catch the Crush, October 11-12
This extensive event celebrates the harvest with exclusive wine tastings and releases, grape stomps, harvest crush activities, tours, hors d’oeuvres and live music at the many participating wineries. Forty-two wineries from the Yakima Wine Community, the Zillah Winery Community, the Prosser Wine Community and the Red Mountain Wine Community are each holding harvest parties during the weekend. Premier passes are available online for $30.
Various winery locations, wineyakimavalley.org
Taste of the Harvest, September 20
Sample 20 of the best wines from award-winning makers in North Central Washington at the Wine Tasting Garden in downtown Wenatchee. Other activities include live music, a heritage tractor and car show, artisan and food vendors, Yoga in the Streets, and a film festival. Last year more than 15,000 attendees joined the fun. Tickets are online for $15.
Historic Downtown, Wenatchee, Wash., wenatcheewines.com, wendowntown.org