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California Wine Month begins this Weekend! Part 1: Northern California

Posted by on August 24, 2014

Since moving to California, September has fast become my all time favorite month.  It’s no surprise considering it’s “California Wine Month,” and California loves to pull out all the stops for this one. Be prepared.  This will be a 3 Day Series that will encompass all of the fun events to partake in during the month of September.

This first part will focus on Sonoma, Napa, Mendocino, Lake Counties, and the Bay Area events and activities.

Grape-HarvestGrapes at Truchard Vineyards & Winery

This September marks the 10th consecutive year that California’s Governor has proclaimed September California Wine Month.  “We appreciate the recognition of the wine industry’s contributions to our state’s economy, culture and lifestyle by Governor Brown,” said Robert P. (Bobby) Koch, President and CEO of Wine Institute, which created California Wine Month a decade ago.  “As the leading wine and food destination in the U.S., we look forward to sharing California’s excellent wines and innovative cuisine with both our neighbors at home and visitors from around the world.”

Throughout the month, festivals, events, exclusive opportunities with winemakers, and much more will be happening throughout the various California Wine Regions.  Here’s a list of some GREAT activities happening throughout all of California Wine Regions, and hope you find some time to stop into a favorite winery or wine place to experience some of the fun.

Sonoma:

Lets start with where I reside for this fun month that truly begins to kick off this upcoming weekend, August 29th through 31st during “Wine Country Weekened.” As Sonoma County’s largest Charity Event, it brings together over 200 winemakers and growers along with some of the best chefs together to raise money for great causes to Sonoma County from students, children, farm workers, and people in need over 3 decadent days of wine, food and fun.

Some of the highlights include:

Friday evening: Sonoma Starlight at Francis Ford Coppola Winery: 6:30 to 10pm

Join us for an evening of wine, dinner, and music under the stars at Sonoma Starlight. Kick off your Sonoma Wine Country Weekend poolside at the iconic Francis Ford Coppola Winery for an unforgettable evening of world-class wines, delicious cuisine, live music, and dancing — all set against a backdrop of shimmering stars in the Alexander Valley.

Toast the start of Sonoma Wine Country Weekend at the Gloria Ferrer sparkling wine reception as you enter. Next, enjoy a bountiful array of local, seasonal cuisine poolside created by Sondra Bernstein and John Toulze, proprietors of the girl & the fig. Over 25 local wineries will be on hand to share their finest Sonoma County wines, creating infinite opportunities to create your own perfect pairings al fresco.

Tickets: 125 Dollars (General Admission)

Saturday: Taste of Sonoma: MacMurray Estate Vineyards: 11am to 4pm

Immerse yourself in the food and wine culture of Sonoma County at Taste of Sonoma at MacMurray Estate Vineyards. Kate MacMurray invites you to enjoy an afternoon of strolling through the historic MacMurray Estate Vineyards property while sipping and savoring the very best of Sonoma County’s rich wines and delectable cuisine. With more than 200 wineries pouring thousands of wines, and over 60 local chefs whipping up divine pairings, Taste of Sonoma at MacMurray Estate.

Tickets: 165 Dollars

Visa Signature Cardholders: 135 Dollars

Grand Reserve Tickets are officially sold out for this event.

Sunday: Sonoma Wine Auction: Chateau St. Jean

The final afternoon of Sonoma Wine Country Weekend is, in fact, the starting point for an unforgettable journey. And this year is going to be wild, as the Grand Lawn of Chateau St. Jean will be transformed into the plains of Africa.  Although the event is sold out you can still make purchases on the Auction Lots online through absentee bids.

A full list of what’s up for Auction can be seen here.

Other Fun Events Not to Miss During the Month of September Include:

Sept. 5th: Broadway Under the Stars Gala Celebration

The 2014 Broadway Under the Stars concert series, playing June 27 through September 6, will include four separate themed concerts including One Singular Sensation, Fantastical Family Night, The Music of the Night, and the Gala Celebration, totaling 16 nights of performances, wine tasting, and pre-event picnics in the park. All events begin with the picnic at 5:00 p.m., with food and wine for sale from various vendors on site, with a 7:30 p.m. curtain. – See more at: http://www.sonomacounty.com/sonoma-events/broadway-under-stars-gala-celebration-sept-25-26#sthash.nhXGr029.dpuf
Balletto Vineyards & Winery
Enjoy complimentary tastings to celebrate California Wine Month. Stop by the tasting room in September for tastes of the estate wines, all grown in the Russian River Valley. Open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

– See more at: http://www.wineroad.com/press/42#sthash.UyIEWdFf.dpuf

Winery Special Offers
Balletto Vineyards & Winery
Enjoy complimentary tastings to celebrate California Wine Month. Stop by the tasting room in September for tastes of the estate wines, all grown in the Russian River Valley. Open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Field Stone Winery & Vineyard
Visit California’s first subterranean winery for spectacular views and a complimentary wine tasting of five wines for two people in the underground tasting room, including a complimentary port and chocolate pairing.
Iron Horse Vineyards
Every Sunday in September from 12 – 4 p.m., Iron Horse Vineyards features the “Oyster Girls,” a travelling oyster bar serving locally harvested Petite Miyagi Oysters from Tomales Bay grilled or shucked to order and served with their signature sauces for $3 each.
Lambert Bridge Winery
Lambert Bridge Winery is proud to partner with Chef Bruce Riezenman for seated food and wine pairings in the candlelit redwood Barrel Room. A delicious way to enhance the tasting with expertly paired unique flights of Lambert Bridge wines with artisan small bites. Available by reservation only for $40 per person every Friday, Saturday and Sunday at 11:00 a.m., 1:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m.
 
Martorana Family Winery
Saturday, September 21 is Family Game Day. Guests are invited to bring the whole family and friends for a BBQ while sipping wine and playing rounds of bocce ball, hula hooping, dabbling with sidewalk chalk, or enjoying the day by the creek. Cost is $15 for the general public and $10 for club members.
thumbprint cellars
Join thumbprint cellars for its Appellation Celebrations through the month of September, in honor of California Wine Month. Each week, thumbprint cellars will feature its wines from four different Sonoma County appellations with live music, food pairings and special offers. Prices vary, and please visit the website for more information. 
Trentadue Winery
Enjoy a Winemaker’s Dinner and Dance Gala by Local Valley Catering, with dancing, gondola tours, hot air balloon rides (weather permitting), a bubble bar, raffle prizes and more. Pricing is $125.00 for the general public and $95.00 for Wine Club Members. For the menu, time and location details, please visit the website.
Williamson Wines
Enjoy a “Fridge Food” wine & food pairing experience at Williamson Wines, offering a selection of fine wines paired with bite-sized portions that illustrate how wine and food complement each other. Complimentary pairings for groups of 8 or less.

– See more at: http://www.wineroad.com/press/42#sthash.UyIEWdFf.dpuf

Winery Special Offers
Balletto Vineyards & Winery
Enjoy complimentary tastings to celebrate California Wine Month. Stop by the tasting room in September for tastes of the estate wines, all grown in the Russian River Valley. Open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Field Stone Winery & Vineyard
Visit California’s first subterranean winery for spectacular views and a complimentary wine tasting of five wines for two people in the underground tasting room, including a complimentary port and chocolate pairing.
Iron Horse Vineyards
Every Sunday in September from 12 – 4 p.m., Iron Horse Vineyards features the “Oyster Girls,” a travelling oyster bar serving locally harvested Petite Miyagi Oysters from Tomales Bay grilled or shucked to order and served with their signature sauces for $3 each.
Lambert Bridge Winery
Lambert Bridge Winery is proud to partner with Chef Bruce Riezenman for seated food and wine pairings in the candlelit redwood Barrel Room. A delicious way to enhance the tasting with expertly paired unique flights of Lambert Bridge wines with artisan small bites. Available by reservation only for $40 per person every Friday, Saturday and Sunday at 11:00 a.m., 1:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m.
 
Martorana Family Winery
Saturday, September 21 is Family Game Day. Guests are invited to bring the whole family and friends for a BBQ while sipping wine and playing rounds of bocce ball, hula hooping, dabbling with sidewalk chalk, or enjoying the day by the creek. Cost is $15 for the general public and $10 for club members.
thumbprint cellars
Join thumbprint cellars for its Appellation Celebrations through the month of September, in honor of California Wine Month. Each week, thumbprint cellars will feature its wines from four different Sonoma County appellations with live music, food pairings and special offers. Prices vary, and please visit the website for more information. 
Trentadue Winery
Enjoy a Winemaker’s Dinner and Dance Gala by Local Valley Catering, with dancing, gondola tours, hot air balloon rides (weather permitting), a bubble bar, raffle prizes and more. Pricing is $125.00 for the general public and $95.00 for Wine Club Members. For the menu, time and location details, please visit the website.
Williamson Wines
Enjoy a “Fridge Food” wine & food pairing experience at Williamson Wines, offering a selection of fine wines paired with bite-sized portions that illustrate how wine and food complement each other. Complimentary pairings for groups of 8 or less.

– See more at: http://www.wineroad.com/press/42#sthash.UyIEWdFf.dpuf

Balletto Vineyards & Winery
Enjoy complimentary tastings to celebrate California Wine Month. Stop by the tasting room in September for tastes of the estate wines, all grown in the Russian River Valley. Open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

– See more at: http://www.wineroad.com/press/42#sthash.UyIEWdFf.dp

The final weekend of “Broadway Under the Stars” for the 2014 season comes to a close at their Gala Celebration event.

Sept. 20th: Rodney Strong’s Vineyards Celebrity Chef Tour Silver Anniversary Dinners

Sept. 27th and 28th: Sonoma Valley’s Crush! Event.

Sept. 27th: Kendall Jackson’s Heirloom Tomato Festival: 11am to 4pm

This signature event reveals the delicious flavors of more than 175 heritage varieties of tomatoes grown in Kendall-Jackson’s expanded estate culinary gardens. Enjoy the perfect fall day with garden tours, exceptional wine and food pairings, dynamic wine and garden seminars, the popular Chef’s Challenge, and music provided by The Carlos Herrera Band!

Sept. 26 through 28th: Valley of the Moon Vintage Festival

Mendocino County:

Wine-BarrelsWine Barrels inside Adobe Roads Facility

Mendocino’s 30th Annual Winesong 2014 Charity Auction & Tasting begins with the Anderson Valley Pinot Noir Celebration on Sept. 5—a chance to mingle with winemakers and savor the offerings of 25 wineries paired with culinary delights, all overlooking the ocean at the Little River Inn.  On Sept. 6 the Winesong Food & Wine Tasting offers guests a lush Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens setting paired with regional vintages, as well as 50 Mendocino County food purveyors and nine diverse music groups.  That same day is the Winesong Charity Auction, featuring the chance to bid on incredible trips, wine, art and food—all benefiting local health services. This year guests can enjoy the new Art Salon, where attendees can mingle with the artists at the silent auction and ask questions about their work.

Sat,  Sept 6th: Testa Vineyards is having their 4th annual blending party at Testa Ranch in Calpella.  Guests will enjoy appetizers from 6-7 pm with dinner being served from 7-8 pm.  After dinner there will be music and dancing as McKenna Faith and her band perform.  Tickets are $70 with a discount for club members.  Get your tickets early as the event will sell out.

Sat, Sept. 13th: Rockin’ The Harvest At Rivino Winery ( 5:00 pm – 8:00 pm )

Featuring music by PointsNorth Band and Travis Larson Band.  Reservations recommended.  Tickets available on at PointsNorthBand.com.  $10 advance tickets (will call only).  $15 day of show.

4101 Cox Schrader Rd., Ukiah

Lake County:

Sept. 20th: 15th Annual Lake County Wine Auction

Fifteenth annual Lake County Wine Auction gala event benefiting arts, health and community. $150 per person, contact http://www.winealliance.org

Sierra Foothills

 lake-tahoe

Those looking to enjoy Labor Day weekend in South Lake Tahoe will want to visit the 5th Annual Sample the Sierra Festival on Aug. 31, a farm-to-fork event celebrating the best art, wine and food of the Sierra Nevada. The festival pairs local farmers with chefs who produce delicious tastings, which are then paired with the appropriate regional wines.  Other activities include farm tours, winemaker dinners, live entertainment and art— all culminating with a fireworks extravaganza over Lake Tahoe.

Over on the north side is the 29th Annual Lake Tahoe Autumn Food & Wine Festival Sept. 5-7, featuring grape stomps, wine and food pairings, celebrity chefs, wine seminars, cooking demos, the Blazing Pans Mountain Chef Cook-Off, a “winemaker for a day” immersion class, hikes, gourmet marketplace, culinary competition and grand tasting, farm-to-table dinner, winemaker dinners, Grand Tastings and live entertainment.

Headed for Gold Country? On Sept. 6, enjoy Nevada City Uncorked, a walk-about-town style festival that includes 20 different venues throughout downtown. This year’s theme is “farm-to-table from grapes to zucchini” and 18 wineries from Nevada and Placer Counties will be pairing up with local chefs and farmers for a delightful culinary experience.

Napa Valley:

artesa-winery

Here we go, what fun activities will be taken place in Napa during the month of September.  Check this list out:

Sept. 6th: Hess Winery Collection: 15th Annual Mt. Veeder Appellation Tasting:

Treat yourself to this rare opportunity to taste the wines from 30 Mt. Veeder wineries, most not open to the public, but all in one place, at the 15th Annual Mt. Veeder Appellation Tasting. Celebrate with us the 20th Anniversary of the Mt. Veeder AVA and enjoy world-famous wines, fabulous food pairings from Chef Chad Hendrickson, silent auctions featuring rare Mt. Veeder wines and live music from The Hummingbirdz, high-energy blues band!

Sept. 12th: ZD Wines: Winemakers Boots Tour:

This harvest, our winemaking team wants to show you the ropes!
Beginning September 12, ZD will offer a series of behind-the-scenes tours led by our winemakers. During each exclusive 90-minute tour, guests have the opportunity to taste fermenting wines of the 2014 harvest and sample wines maturing in barrel. After a comprehensive cellar experience, taste through ZD’s current release wines paired to artisan cheese, charcuterie and chocolate. Cost: 85/70 First Taste Members.

Sept. 13th: Hall Wines: Kathryn Hall Release Party: Cost: 90pp

Be Our Guest.

Imagine a gorgeous, sun-filled afternoon, outdoors with friends, taking in fresh wine country air and sipping on our world-class, rare, and newly released HALL wines, only available at this celebratory event. Combine that with great music from DJ Adam Jobe, farm to table seasonal fare from Feast Catering and a clutch of wine lovers, foodies and fans coming together to celebrate HALL’s winemaking excellence.

Sept. 13th: Schweiger Vineyards: Harvest Stomp

Cost: 200pp/125pp Club Members

You Pick It, You Stomp It! Don’t miss out on this once in lifetime opportunity to participate in the Napa Valley fall harvest. You’re invited to a day of Brix testing, picking and stomping at Schweiger Vineyards, followed by a catered lunch and wine tasting. Bring your family, friends, or work colleagues and have a blast! Reservations required.

Sept. 14th: Rutherford Hill Winery: 3rd Annual Barn Bash

45 Public/30 Club Members

11:30 to 4pm

Join us as we celebrate the peak of Harvest! Enjoy a fun filled day as you taste our spectacular wines, eat world class barbeque and get your groove on to live music. Dont miss out on this fantastic event!

Space is limited. To RSVP, email events@rutherfordhill.com or call 707-963-1871 ext. 2218.

Sept. 20th: Castello di Amorosa: Grape Stomp and Harvest Celebration

Cost: 115 Public/95 wine Club Members and 10 Dollars for Grape Stomp

Harvest is the best time of year to visit Napa Valley, and we’re celebrating the 2014 season at the Castello with our Harvest Celebration & Grape Stomp Competition! Join us for an evening of food, wine, dancing, and of course, stomping at Castello di Amorosa!

Sept. 20th: Peju Harvest Celebration:

Cost: 225 pp/205 Wine Club

The Peju family and winemaker Sara Fowler invite you to join them for a very special evening of past and future vintage wines paired with a spectacular meal from the Peju kitchen

Sept. 27th: Trefethan Family Vineyards: Harvest Boot Camp

Cost: 150 Public/125 Wine Club

Join Trefethen’s 2014 Harvest crew and reserve a spot now for our annual in-depth vineyard and harvest experience. Guests spend the morning working in the vineyard followed by an al fresco lunch under the canopy of the ancient walnut tree in Katie’s Acre. We return to the Winery to sample fermenting wines as well as our current releases. Limited to 75 people. Reserve now as this will sell out fast!

Clif Family Farm: 6th Annual Clif Family Farm Fest: 4 to 9pm

Cost: $75 for General Admission, $50 for CSA members, $20 for kids from 12-20, and free for kids under 12.

Join us to celebrate the harvest with wine tasting, food from the farm, local food artisans, farm tours, live music, kid’s activities and more!

Purchase tickets online or for questions please contact Candice Crawford at ccrawford@cliffamilywinery.com

So, tell me, which events are you looking forward to?  I will be showcasing Central Coast and Southern California Events in the week ahead.  Keep an eye out!

This list was a combination of information found via me, and also through the Wine Institute of California.  For full details about California Wine Month, be sure to visit here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3 Responses to California Wine Month begins this Weekend! Part 1: Northern California

  1. Patty

    HI there … I landed on your website because of your writing about San Jose (I start rehearsals for Wicked tomorrow!). Then I noticed you are in the wine country. Yikes! I hope you dealt okay with this recent scary earthquake. (I didn’t feel it here in San Jose.)

    All the best—
    Patty (whose husband was born in Minnesota, but landed here when he was four!)

    • Jamie

      Hi Patty! Thanks for stopping by to say hi. And yay for rehearsals for Wicked, it’s going to be a brilliant run that MANY are looking forward to.
      As far as the Earthquake, that was the FIRST one I ever felt, and needless to say, I woke up right before it, and then enjoyed the ride, I guess. Everything was safe over here, but it was sad to see the damage over on the Napa Side (I’m on the Sonoma side, etc.) BUT, I think the best thing was that it happened during the middle of the night, protected a lot of people that way.

      • Patty

        Wow, you are quick to respond … and thanks! I’m glad to hear that you were okay. What a way to be greeted, yes?

        I feel so for all in Napa who were hit so hard. My oboe repairman is there, and thankfully they are all fine, but he said they have quite the mess to clean up. Ah, the joys of earthquake country. 🙁

        I’m greatly looking forward to Wicked. I had kids that loved musical theater, so I am pretty darn familiar with the music, but this is the first time I’ve gotten to play it. The fun begins quite soon.

        No need to respond … just waned to drop you a quick comment, and then of course had to respond to yours! 🙂

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