6 Harvest Celebrations in California’s Wine Country

Wine Country is a northern region of the Bay Area in California and is well-known worldwide as the country’s premier wine-growing region. There are over more than 200 wineries and vineyards all across Wine Country, all with different approaches and specialties. Some are locally and family-owned, while others are national chains. They each have a different personality and a different history.

On top of being known for its impressive cluster of wineries and vineyards, Wine Country is also famed for its cuisine, restaurants, boutique hotels, luxury resorts, historic architecture, and culture. Part of that culture is harvest celebrations. There are plenty to be found here, so keep reading to find out which ones are happening this year!

Harvest celebrations in California’s Wine Country

Napa Valley Harvest

Napa Valley Harvest takes place every year from August through October. During those months, the area comes alive with the excitement of the harvest. While tending to grapevines is an everyday, year-round process, this is the time when vineyards and wineries are full of workers picking grapes at their peak ripeness.

There are stages to the harvest and a particular timeline that harvests need to follow. Most of these take place during the Napa Valley Harvest event, so the public can watch it happen.
  • The grapes for the sparkling wines are first to be picked, which usually takes place in early August and marks the start of the crush.
  • Most white wines will make their way from the vineyard to the crush pad.
  • Harvest then continues through until late October, sometimes early November, mostly for red wine, since these grapes take a bit longer to reach full maturation.
  • Harvesting of Cabernet Sauvignon grapes begins later than other varieties in Napa Valley and tends to last the longest.
  • Late-harvest wines are made from grapes that are left longer than usual to ripen and produce more highly concentrated sugars. These harvests can last until December.
  • The conclusion leads into Cabernet season when winemakers can relax and appreciate the fruits of their labor. 
This event makes a perfect way to spend your time in the beautiful, crisp autumn weather, thanks to the scenic views and the beautiful smell of harvest. 

The Big Crush Harvest Wine Festival

The Big Crush Harvest Wine Festival
is a yearly celebration that takes place at the beginning of October and celebrates the grape harvest by inviting friends to the winery for a fun fall festival. There are a couple of different wineries that are open to the public (with admission tickets) to visit.

Guests can take in scenes of teeming vineyards, trudging tractors, and bustling crush pads, all accompanied by Amador Wine Country hospitality. With creative food and wine pairings, a variety of live music, and harvest activities presented by warm and friendly-family wineries, this is a great way to spend the California harvest.

There are no official dates for this year's festival, though it typically takes place in early October. Once you get your ticket, you can decide which winery you would like to visit. You can even choose an itinerary to spend the entire weekend exploring all that Wine Country has to offer.

The Harvest Ball

The Harvest Ball
is known for being Napa Valley’s most sensational event of the entire fall season. 2022 marks its 36th year, and it promises to be a wonderful and unforgettable night full of world-class entertainment, transcendent culinary delights, and a selection of highly acclaimed wines. It has been postponed two years in a row, so this 2022 event is the first one since the pandemic has started.

This is a night where you can wear your best dress or suit, go all out in your black-tie attire and sip sparkling wine as you stroll through their Tuscan-inspired winery. With beautifully manicured grounds and the magical views of the vineyards, it surely will be a memorable night.

There is also an after-party in their underground barrel aging cellars, which will be transformed into a rhythmic dance lounge with intimate tables, dim lights, and private rooms to taste special wines.

Tickets are $270 per member, with a maximum of two tickets per person. Tickets for non-members are $295.

Sonoma County Public Grand Tasting

The Sonoma County Public Grand Tasting
was postponed last year, but it’s finally happening in 2022.

The Harvest Fair is a huge deal in Sonoma, and the Tasting Pavilion is still its epicenter. With innovative cuisine paired with the best wine in the area, it is destined to be an unforgettable night.

Over 100 Sonoma County wineries will participate with over 300 wines. Each guest with a Grand Harvest Tasting ticket gets the chance to savor all the award-winning wine of the year paired with some delicious small food bites.

Harvest Celebration & Stomp

The Harvest Celebration and Stomp celebrates the Harvest Season at the Castello. While it was postponed in 2021, it has been rescheduled for Friday, September 16, 2022, from 6:30 PM - 10 PM. Tickets are $115 for wine club members and $135 for guests. There’s an additional $30 charge if you decide to participate in the Stomp Competition.

Come sink your toes in some grapes on the crush pad while sipping some vino under the beautiful harvest sky. You can join in on the Grape Stomp Competition or simply cheer for your team as they compete to see which team can produce the most juice. View demonstrations on winemaking and harvesting for anyone curious about how the actual process works. Enjoy a rustic Wine Country dinner buffet, of course, paired with the best Castello wines. And dance the night away to the great sound of a live band.

Harvest Wine Weekend

The Harvest Wine Weekend is a themed weekend that takes place in October. It does not feature one singular marquee event but instead a cluster of individual experiences at the area wineries.
Here you’ll enjoy the incredibly vibrant colors, sights, and aromas of the harvest. Activities include grape stomps, barrel tastings, live music, winemaker dinners, and vineyard tours. The goal is for every single guest to experience the magic of harvest.

Want to know more about Napa Valley real estate?

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