SAN FRANCISCO, Calif.
- Destinations across the Golden State are popping corks this September to celebrate the eighth consecutive California Wine Month! From special tastings, yoga and harvest tours to hands-on wine immersion experiences and festivals, there are more than 80 fun ways to celebrate throughout California's diverse regions.
"September is an ideal time to visit wine country, with harvest under way and the high energy of California's growers and vintners bringing in the grapes to craft the next great vintage," said Robert P. (Bobby) Koch, Wine Institute president and CEO. "As the leading wine and food destination in the U.S., producing 90 percent of our nation's wine and home to nine of the top 10 agricultural counties in America, California offers fresh, creative cuisine and the best wines to go with it."
No time to put the top down and hit the open road to explore wine country? No problem! On Sept. 6 in Los Angeles and Sept. 22 in San Francisco, Wine Institute's California Wines Road Trip is a great way to take a virtual ride and taste your way across California's wine regions in one place! This walk-around tasting showcases top wines from 15 California wine regions throughout the state. Guests can taste more than 70 California wines with artisanal cheeses and salumi.
On Labor Day weekend, Sonoma Wine Country Weekend, named one of the 10 Best Wine & Food Events in the U.S. (Celebrated Living), will feature more than 170 award winning wineries and 60 chefs showcasing their talents at Taste of Sonoma at MacMurray Ranch, as well as a wine auction, seminars, cooking demonstrations, vineyard tours and parties at other wineries. Also that weekend is Livermore's 31st Annual Harvest Wine Celebration, where complimentary shuttle buses take guests to more than 40 Livermore Valley wineries sharing their finest wines, as well as local music, art and food.
Lodi wine country rolls out the red carpet from Sept. 1âOct. 6: purchase a LoCA Road Trip Passport and you'll have an all-access pass to exclusive events and discounts from over 45 participating wineries. Passport holders will enjoy engaging and unique activities such as vineyard hayrides or bicycle tours, cooking and cheese-making classes, grape stomps, winemaker dinners and more.
Lovers of the film "Sideways," which celebrated Santa Barbara's wine regions, will also enjoy the community's 31st Annual Taste of the Town on Sept. 9. More than 40 of Santa Barbara' finest restaurants and 40 local wineries serve up their best for an afternoon of wine tasting, great food, and live entertainmentâall to benefit the Arthritis Foundation. If you're further north for the weekend, check out the Capitola Art & Wine Festival: Showcase for Wines of the Santa Cruz Mountains, Sept 8-9, where you can shop for fine arts and crafts while savoring amazing local wines and gourmet foods. Over in the inland valley, Madera Vintners Association's California Wine Month Reception & Wine Tasting will feature 10 area wineries offering wine and food at CRU Wine Company on Sept. 21. The following week, serious foodies can head to San Luis Obispo County to enjoy Sunset Savor the Central Coast, offering four days of culinary immersion adventures, from an evening at Hearst Castle and celebrity chef seminars to adventure tours and wine workshops. The event takes place Sept. 27-30 and features more than 100 wineries and over 30 chefs sharing their culinary secrets.
Enjoy California wines at CRUSH: Temecula Valley 3rd Annual Wine & Culinary Showcase, a multi-winery harvest festival with wine, food and live music on Sept.15. You can also purchase a SIP Temecula passport, which offers savings to five wineries anytime during the month of September. At Paramount Pictures Studios on Labor Day Weekend Sept. 1-3, you can experience the Los Angeles Times The Taste 2012, where top wineries, restaurants and other purveyors share samplings of great wine and food.
These wine events and wine immersion experiences celebrate California Wine Month, created by the Wine Institute and the California Association of Winegrape Growers and proclaimed by Governor Jerry Brown to highlight the state's rich wine history and all that its vintners and growers add to the lifestyle and economy of the Golden State. "As an industry, California wine brings innumerable benefits to the state," said Governor Brown in the proclamation. "Our world-famous wines bring an estimated 20.7 million tourists to our state each year," and the "Code of Sustainable Winegrowing Practices reflects the industry's commitment to preserving the land and human capital that make possible the continuing bounty of California wine," he said.