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Crush and Harvest Events in Sonoma Wine Country

Thanks to a particularly mild summer, grapes are ripening right on schedule in Sonoma County this year. Harvest is already under way at some wineries, and soon, the meticulously trellised plants will be stripped clean in most vineyards.

Editor's Note: For the 2017 Harvest Season, please read Wine Crush and Harvest Festivals 2017.

Mark your calendars

Sonoma Wine Country Weekend always takes place over Labor Day Weekend (this year. that's Sept. 2-4, 2016.

Start with a Friday winemaker lunch such as the gathering at the breathtakingly beautiful Beltane Ranch, then head to the Sonoma Starlight party at Francis Ford Coppola Winery, for a poolside gala complete with live music and dancing, 20+ wineries pouring their best, and plenty of Sonoma County food.

On Saturday, join Taste of Sonoma at MacMurray Ranch, where more than 170 wineries and 60 of Sonoma County’s top chefs ply guests with food, drink, and a rich array of educational and entertaining events staged all day long. Take a nap, then head to winemaker dinner.

Sunday, it’s the Sonoma Harvest Wine Auction at Chateau St. Jean Winery, or perhaps you’re in the mood for a more casual winemaker barbecue. Here’s a tip: fit in both. The auction is glamor all the way, as hundreds of bidders compete for such mouthwatering prizes as spa days, cooking classes, 100-bottle wine collections, and a three-day weekends at private winery cottages. Get tickets here.

Crush is upon us ...

Whether you’re a longtime local or a first-time visitor, the excitement of the season never dims. Harvest is one of the best times to plan a winery visit, to witness the hustle and bustle of sorting, stemming, crushing, and the beginning of fermentation.

When all is done, you’ll have a greater appreciation for the tremendous work it takes to make that beautiful wine you’re sipping. But you’ll also have an insider’s peek into the true fun and joy that goes into it, too.

Quivira Winery To Farm to Table Dinner Featuring Bay Laurel Culinary (August 27 & September 18, 2016)
It’s quintessential Sonoma County, dining right in the middle of the vineyards, under the stars, surrounded by flowers and organic vegetables in the Quivira garden. Be an indulgent locavore with these Dry Creek Valley Estate dinners, where you can see the grapes in full ripening mode, ask the winemaker his secrets of the trade, and visit with farm manager Jim Barausky for how the goodies were grown and raised for the four-course wine paired dinners. New this year: meals are prepared by top restaurants including Calavera, Madera, and AQ. Cost: $145, get tickets by calling 707-431-8333. Details: 4900 W. Dry Creek Road, Healdsburg, 707-431-8354

Sonoma Valley Crush (Sept. 16-18, 2016)
Experience harvest, hands-on, as you enjoy a one-of-a-kind, behind-the-scenes look at every aspect from picking grapes, to crush, to fermentation. Interactive fun at 15 wineries across Kenwood and Glen Ellen includes grape sampling in the vineyards, crush pad tours, and tasting fresh pressed juices like Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon. One exciting extra is tasting how a wine evolves while it's fermenting. Cost for a Crush Wine Tasting Pass is $35 ($45 at the door), bringing full access to harvest activities and wine tastings from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

20th Annual Kendall-Jackson Heirloom Tomato Festival (Sept. 24, 2016)
Tomatoes hang heavy on the vine usually at the same time as grapes. So we celebrate both fruits, with wonderful harvests. Plan to spend the entire day at the Kendall-Jackson Wine Center for an extravaganza showcasing more than 175 heirloom tomato varieties in a flurry of exotic names like Blue Fruit and Peace Vine, alongside tomato-inspired recipes from some 50 notable chefs plus wine samples of all kinds, drawing from Kendall-Jackson’s expansive collections including Vintner’s Reserve, Avant, Stature, Jackson Estate, and Grand Reserve. Event time: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Cost: $95-$175. Details: 5007 Fulton Road, Santa Rosa, 800-769-3649

Field Stone Winery & Vineyards 32nd Annual Harvest Blessing & Luncheon (Sept. TBD, 2016)
What a special setting it is at this small, family owned enterprise. The Harvest Blessing is an informal event that shares the deep symbolism and heritage of grape growing in Sonoma County, followed by an al fresco, wine paired luncheon with live music. Guests will gather in a shaded oak grove in the middle of the vineyards, around a long table laden with delicious food and drink, and toast to new friends. Event time: noon to 4 p.m. Cost: $30. RSVP by calling 800-544-7273. Details: 10075 California 128, Healdsburg, 707-433-7266

42nd Annual Sonoma County Harvest Fair (Sept. 30-Oct, 2-4, 2016)
This annual event brings so much more than just showcasing award-wining wine and beautiful food. Newer attractions include educational demonstrations, a cooking competition, expanded interactive tastings, and a sharpened focus on local and artisanal products. The highlight remains the Grand Tasting, with three days of sampling from 150+ wineries, including the opportunity to purchase bottles at a Fair-direct discount. Don’t miss the marketplace tasting seminars where you can learn about farming wine grapes, winemaking, and wine appreciation, directly from the winery owners and winemakers. Also new: the World Championship Grape Stomp runs three days, instead of two, offering even more opportunity for messy fun and great prizes like $1,500 cash. Details: Sonoma County Fairgrounds, 1350 Bennett Valley Road, Santa Rosa

Harvest Festival at Landmark Vineyards (Oct. 1, 2016)
Ah, this is the life, sipping wine as a horse drawn carriage takes you on a ride through the vineyards. This immensely popular annual festival also features delicious food, bocce ball, live music, and plenty more wine. Event time: 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Cost: $30-$60. Details: 101 Adobe Canyon Road, Sonoma, 707-833-0053

D'Argenzio Winery and Tasting Room 19th Annual Italian Country Harvest Party (Oct. 1, 2016)
It’s a taste of Italy in downtown Santa Rosa, as the D'Argenzio family celebrates friends, new and old. The fun includes an Italian feast, live music, dancing, and complementary glasses of wine throughout the afternoon - evening - and into the night. On tap: many newly released wines, and limited edition wines. Lots of wine, actually - last year, the winery opened 28 different types, yowza! Event time: 3 to 9 p.m. Cost:  $60. Details: 1301 Cleveland Avenue, Suite A, Santa Rosa, 707-546-2466, www.dargenziowine.com.

St. Francis Winery 16th Annual Blessing of the Animals (Oct. 2, 2016)
Wine dogs are such a huge part of life in Sonoma County, that one of the most fun harvest parties of the year will take part in this unique tradition. Bring your animal – any animal, including birds, pigs and horses – and the officiant will officially bless them.

There’s lots of wine and food to be enjoyed, too, plus fabulous raffle prizes and silent auction items. A highlight: a special furry friend will be named Winery Dog of the Year (tip: cuteness counts). The afternoon also helps raise money for the Humane Society of Sonoma County. Details: 100 Pythian Road, Santa Rosa, 707-538-9463, www.stfranciswinery.com.

St. Francis Winery Zinfandel Sale & Harvest BBQ (Oct. 22, 2016)
What goes better with a big, rich Zin than big, rich plates of barbecue? How about luscious, catered meats with all the fixin’s and live music? Taste limited 2014 Artisan Zinfandels before they are released, and enjoy special sale pricing for one day only.  Event time: 2 to 5 p.m. Cost: $60. Details: 100 Pythian Road, Santa Rosa, 707-538-9463

Dutton Goldfield Winery & Tasting Room Harvest Party (Oct, 22, 2016)
The 18th harvest for Dutton-Goldfield is sure to be a special one, so party guests are invited to enjoy a special flight of wines for the day, paired with tasty bites from Bay Laurel Culinary. Event time: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Cost: The wine and food flight is complimentary with a $100 wine purchase, otherwise $25 per person. Details: 3100 Gravenstein Highway North, Sebastopol, 707-827-3600

Field Stone Winery & Vineyards 6th Annual Harvest Festival (Oct. TBD 2016)
Harvest is in full swing, and the whole family is encouraged to join the winemaking team for a stroll through the vineyard – or even better, a horse drawn carriage ride through the vines, led by Stuart Schroeder of the Stone Horse Farm of Sonoma County and his noble draft horses. Other amusements include food, crafts for the kids and lots of fantastic Field Stone wines. Event time: noon to 3 p.m. Cost: $20/Kids up to age 12 free. Details:10075 California 128, Healdsburg, 707-433-7266

Find more things to do, hotels and restaurants in Sonoma County here. Get a free Sonoma wineries map here.

 

The 2014 Sonoma Valley CRUSH will allow you to experience harvest, hands-on. Guests will not only get a behind-the-scenes look at what happens during harvest, you'll have the opportunity to get involved. For three days, wineries will be offering a variety of Harvest Activities including Grape Sampling in the vineyards, Crush Pad tours, samples of Fresh Pressed Juice and grapes picked fresh off the vine including Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon. You can even taste a wine while it's fermenting! The 'CRUSH Wine Tasting Pass' is $35 per person and gives you access to harvest activities and wine tastings at 15 wineries in Kenwood & Glen Ellen September 26th - 28th from 11am to 4pm each day. 15 Participating Wineries: Arrowood Vineyards & Winery, Deerfield Ranch Winery, En Garde Winery, Enkidu Wines, Eric Ross Winery, Kaz Winery, Kenwood Vineyards, Loxton Cellars, Mayo Family Winery, Moondance Cellars, NakedWines.com, Paradise Ridge Winery, St. Anne's Crossing Winery, Ty Caton Vineyards, VJB Vineyards & Cellars Harvest Festival at Landmark Vineyards (Sept. 19, 2015)
Ah, this is the life, sipping wine as a horse-drawn carriage takes you on a ride through the vineyards. This immensely popular annual festival also features delicious food, bocce ball, live music, and plenty more wine. Event time: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Cost: $25

 

101 Adobe Canyon Road, Sonoma, 707-833-0053

D'Argenzio Winery and Tasting Room 18th Annual Italian Country Harvest Party (Oct. 3, 2015)
It’s a taste of Italy in downtown Santa Rosa, as the D'Argenzio family celebrates friends, new and old. The fun includes an Italian feast, live music, dancing, and complementary glasses of wine throughout the afternoon — evening — and into the night. On tap: many newly released wines, and limited edition wines. Event time: 3 to 9 p.m. Cost: $60

1301 Cleveland Avenue, Suite A, Santa Rosa, 707-546-2466

15th Annual Blessing of the Animals (October 4, 2015)

Wine dogs are such a huge part of life in Sonoma County, that one of the most fun harvest parties of the year will take part in this unique tradition. Bring your animal – any animal, including birds, pigs and horses – and the officiant will officially bless them. There’s lots of wine and food to be enjoyed, too, plus fabulous raffle prizes and silent auction items. A highlight: a special furry friend will be named Winery Dog of the Year (last year it was English Spring Spaniel Garbo). The afternoon also helps raise money for the Humane Society of Sonoma County.

100 Pythian Road, Santa Rosa, 707-538-9463, stfranciswinery.com.

Sonoma County Harvest Fair (October 2-4, 2015)

This annual event brings so much more than just showcasing award-wining wine and beautiful food. New this year are educational demonstrations, a cooking competition, expanded interactive tastings, and a sharpened focus on local and artisanal products. The highlight remains the Grand Tasting, with three days of sampling from 150+ wineries, including the opportunity to purchase bottles at a Fair-direct discount. Don’t miss the marketplace tasting seminars where you can learn about farming wine grapes, winemaking, and wine appreciation, directly from the winery owners and winemakers.  Also new: the World Championship Grape Stomp runs three days, instead of two, offering even more opportunity for messy fun and great prizes like $1,500 cash.

Sonoma County Fairgrounds, 1350 Bennett Valley Road, Santa Rosa

Dutton Goldfield Winery & Tasting Room Harvest Party (Oct. 24, 2015)
The 17th harvest for Dutton-Goldfield is sure to be a special one, so party guests are invited to enjoy a special flight of wines for the day, paired with tasty bites from Bay Laurel Culinary. Event time: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Cost: The wine and food flight is complimentary with a $100 wine purchase, otherwise $25 per person.

3100 Gravenstein Highway North, Sebastopol, 707-827-3600

Field Stone Winery & Vineyards 5thh Annual Harvest Festival (Oct. 24, 2015)
Harvest is in full swing, and the whole family is encouraged to join the winemaking team for a stroll through the vineyard — or even better, a horse-drawn carriage ride through the vines, led by Stuart Schroeder of the Stone Horse Farm of Sonoma County and his noble draft horses. Other amusements include food, crafts for the kids, and lots of fantastic Field Stone wines. Event time: noon to 3 p.m. Cost: $20; kids up to age 12 admitted free. Please RSVP by Oct. 19.

10075 California 128, Healdsburg, 707-433-7266

Find more harvest and crush events in the Sonoma County Calendar of Events.

Find more info about wineries, restaurants and hotels in Sonoma County.

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