More than 80 percent of U.S. wines come from California, making it the nation’s top wine-producing state and the world’s fourth-largest wine producer. That’s something to celebrate, and wineries across the Golden State will be doing just that throughout the month of September—California Wine Month—with special tastings, farm-to-table harvest dinners, concerts, festivals, harvest boot camps, and more. With the annual wine grape harvest now underway, this is a particularly exciting time of year to visit California’s diverse and distinctive wine regions.
More than 60 events are planned across the state, so there are far too many to list here. To get you started, here are 15 can’t-miss harvest season happenings listed in chronological order. To view the full calendar of California Wine Month events, activities, and discount offers, go to Discover California Wines. Note: Plans may change due to shifts in pandemic restrictions, so be sure to check with event organizers to confirm details.
Live From Paso Concert
On Sept. 3, rock out to live music at the Live from Paso show at Robert Hall Winery in Paso Robles. Sip wines by the glass, take in vineyard views on the patio, and enjoy treats from the winery kitchen.
South Coast Winery 20th Anniversary Grape Stomp
From Sept. 10–26, join South Coast Winery in Temecula for an old-fashioned Grape Stomp. Two-person teams will compete to win a bottle of the winery’s special 20th Anniversary Blend, plus a wine flight and a case of wine.
Schitt’s Creek at Capo Creek Harvest Celebration
Head to Capo Creek Winery in Healdsburg Sept. 11 for a Schitt's Creek Harvest Celebration that salutes the celebrated TV series that ended its run in 2020. After a grape-picking and sorting session, put on your Rose family costumes and channel your inner Moira while feasting, sipping wine, and listening to live music.
Hispanic Heritage Month Celebration
Alpha Omega Winery in Healdsburg celebrates the contributions of California’s Hispanic community on Sept. 11 with a Hispanic Heritage Month Celebration. The wine and food pairing experience includes live music on the winery’s Vineyard Terrace.
Capitola Art & Wine Festival
Spend the day at one of California’s quintessential beach towns at the Capitola Art & Wine Festival Sept. 11–12. Stroll the downtown festival and check out works from more than 160 fine artists while sipping the latest releases from 22 wineries in the Santa Cruz Mountains AVA.
Harvest Season Crushpad Tours
From Sept. 11–Oct. 2, Dutton Estate Winery in Sebastopol is hosting immersive Crushpad Tours. Take a deep dive into the winemaking and cider production process as the winery’s knowledgeable crush team walks you through harvest in action.
Vine to Wine
Join more than two dozen Santa Clara Valley wineries in downtown Morgan Hill on Sept. 12 for the inaugural Vine to Wine tasting. Sip wines and sample cuisine from local restaurants while listening to live country, rock, folk, and R&B.
Lodi Grape Festival
Sample local Zinfandel, Pinot Grigio, and everything in between at the Lodi Grape Festival Sept. 16–19. The four-day event features entertainment, food, vendors, a carnival, and—of course—lots of wine tasting.
Lake County Wine Auction
Get your paddles ready for the Lake County Wine Auction on September 18. Hosted at the Chacewater Winery & Olive Mill in Kelseyville, the event features a live auction and dinner paired with Lake County wines from multiple producers.
Now Legally Old Enough to Drink Our Own Wine!
Flying Goat Cellars in Lompoc celebrates its 21st birthday Sept. 18 with a Now Legally Old Enough to Drink Our Own Wine party. Toast Flying Goat’s big day with the winery’s Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and bubbles, plus abundant food and live music.
Hands-On Harvest: Celebrate the Grape
On Sept. 25, Trefethen Family Vineyard in Napa invites wannabe winemakers to a Hands-On Harvest session. Start the morning with an in-depth vineyard tour and the opportunity to try your hand at picking grapes, then follow the crop to the winery to learn about the winemaking process.
Livermore Valley Wine Auction
In a lovely garden party setting at Wente Vineyards in Livermore, enjoy delicious bites at the Livermore Wine Auction on Sept. 25, paired with Livermore Valley wines. It’s all for a good cause, supporting underserved local children.
Experience Harvest at Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars
On Sept. 25, join Stag's Leap Wine Cellars in Napa to Experience Harvest at the winery that beat the French in the famous 1976 “Judgment of Paris” tasting. After learning about harvest methods and considerations, relax over an al fresco lunch paired with Stag’s Leap superb wines.
Merryvale Annual Harvest Party
See first-hand how Napa's 2021 harvest is progressing at Merryvale Winery in St. Helena. The winery’s Annual Harvest Party on Sept. 26 includes paella served with Merryvale and Starmont wines, plus barrel samples and live music by the Carlos Herrera Band.
Taste of Mount Veeder
On Sept. 26, sample wines from more than 30 wineries in Napa Valley’s Mount Veeder AVA at Taste of Mount Veeder, hosted by the The Hess Collection winery. You’ll have a chance to taste dozens of small-production wines from many producers that are not normally open to the public.
Can’t make it to California this season, or want to recreate the Golden State harvest experience at home? Download Wine Institute’s free e-book for California Wine Month, featuring easy recipes for delicious snacks to pair with California wines.