Part of the Wine Institute’s annual harvest season celebrations, California Wine kicks off this September — basically a siren call for an adults-only getaway. While the summer tours are winding down, the weather is essentially perfect and the local harvest is in full swing, so wine country should be on your radar this September.
Throughout the Golden State, regional wine associations, vineyards, wineries and various organizations will host a variety of events. Expect special tastings, live concerts, local food and wine festivals, grape stomping and other immersive harvest experiences throughout the month.
For the 15th-annual year, California Wine Month is a local favorite, showcasing California’s 250-year winemaking history and innovative spirit, as the state was a dark horse in the wine world for much of its early history. Now the world’s fourth-largest wine produce responsible for 81 percent of all wine made in the United States, California offers more than 3,900 wineries ripe for the picking.
Check out the timeline below with your handy map of wineries and events. Skim through the best dates and regions you’d like to explore with your partner, adult kids and friends, or download the full list of wineries and events and plan your vacation as you go.
Aug. 31: Taste of Sonoma, 100 wineries, Green Music Center, Sonoma State University
Sept. 6–7: Winesong Weekend, Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens, Fort Bragg
Sept. 7: Calistoga Wine Experience, Pioneer Park, Calistoga
Sept: 19–21: Sonoma County Wine Auction, La Crema Estate, Windsor
Sept. 21: Lake County Wine Auction, Chacewater Winery, Kelseyville
San Francisco Bay & Santa Cruz Mountains
Sept. 1: Barrels of Corralitos, wineries in Corralitos and Aptos
Sept. 1: Livermore Valley Harvest Wine Celebration, wineries throughout the region
Sept. 1–30: California Wine Month Educational Experiences, San Francisco Wine School
Sept. 6–30: Santa Clara Valley Fall Passport Month, wineries throughout the region
Sept. 7–29: Organic Wine Trail of Santa Cruz Mountains, eight wineries, Saturdays and Sundays in September
Sept. 8: Pinot Noir and Chardonnay Harvest Dinner, Aptos, SCMWA
Sept: 14–15: Capitola Art & Wine Festival, Capitola Village
Sept. 21: Livermore Valley Wine Auction, Wente Vineyards, Livermore
Monterey to Santa Barbara
Sept. 7: Magical Mystery Monterey Wine Tours, Carmel Valley wineries
Sept. 8: 38th Annual Taste of the Town, Riviera Park, Santa Barbara
Sept. 14: Second Saturdays in Haley Corridor, multiple Santa Barbara wineries
Sept. 27: Downtown SLO Sip ‘n Saunter, San Luis Obispo
Sept: 12–15: Lodi Grape Festival, Lodi Grape Festival Grounds, Lodi
Sept. 20: Madera Wine Trail’s California Wine Month Celebration, Toca Madera Winery, Madera
Sept. 7: WINEderlust Renegade Wine, Art & Music Festival, Placerville, El Dorado County
Sept. 14: Barbera Festival in Amador County, Terra D’Oro Winery, Plymouth
Sept. 14: Sample the Sierra, local wines and foods, South Lake Tahoe
Sept. 20–22: Lake Tahoe Autumn Food & Wine Festival, Northstar Resort, Truckee
Aug. 31–Sept. 1: The Taste, wine, food and seminars, Paramount Pictures Studio, Hollywood
Sept. 28: Temecula Valley CRUSH, multiple winemakers, Monte De Oro Winery, Temecula
Continuing our story from yesterday (if you missed it, click here), here’s part two on how to make the most of your weekend pioneering, with a closer look at our itinerary for Saturday:
By Hainan Airlines
Tucked into the central coast of California is a trail of history waiting to be found by your kids. The Highway 1 Discovery Route through San Luis Obispo County snakes along the winnowy Pacific Coast Highway, CA-1, between San Francisco and Los Angeles. The more than 100 miles of mostly protected coastline begins after a four-hour drive from San Francisco at Ragged Point, or about three hours from Los Angeles at Nipomo. The trail features 10 cities, connected by cliffs, carved by a moody ocean, and a slower pace of life. There are plenty of reasons to stop and walk into the past, preserved by those whose hearts still live there. Nature lovers will linger on the many trails to hike and picnic areas. We drove from Los Angeles with two 9-year-old boys to explore this part of the state.
If walking through a winter wonderland is still on your family’s list of things to do this season, Maine can definitely help check that box. By this time of year, Maine is almost certainly covered with snow and awaiting the arrival of winter lovers and outdoor adventurers alike.