6 Unique Harvest Activities This Fall in Wine Country

Harvest season is a time like no other in Wine Country, where an undercurrent of excitement and urgency flows from August through October in Sonoma County. The grapes on the vine are finally reaching the promised land of ripeness. And as you drive through the county in the early morning, you feel a sense of delight when a truck bumbles past with bins of freshly picked fruit.

With harvest comes a bevy of celebratory events: Winery dinners, harvest lunches, festivals and fairs — all worthwhile ways to commemorate the season. But there are also activities designed to get you closer to the action, whether that’s in the vineyard, on the crush pad or near the grape-sorting table.

Here are some of the unique harvest-season activities happening in Wine Country.

September

Art of the Harvest at St. Francis Winery

St Francis Winery Sonoma County Harvest

St. Francis Winery is hosting an elevated dining experience that celebrates the bounty of Sonoma County. From the foggy coast to the highest mountaintops, Sonoma County is home to a wide variety of top-quality food provisions, such as fresh produce, meats, cheeses, bread, and seafood. Executive Chef Peter Janiak will use these fresh, locally sourced ingredients to create a tasting menu that is sure to impress. Each course is masterfully paired with St. Francis artisan wines to showcase the region’s perfect harmony of food and wine.

Harvest Wine Camp at Trombetta Family Wines

Trombetta winemaker Erica Stancliff will lead a one-day harvest wine camp at the winery in Forestville. The day will start with homemade cinnamon rolls and coffee, followed by a grape harvest demonstration in the estate vineyard. Guests will then be given harvest shears to pick the grapes that will be pressed into the 2023 Trombetta Rosé! Visitors can also enjoy a gourmet backyard barbecue, including 2022 rosé from last year’s camp.

Valley of the Moon Vintage Festival 

The Vintage Festival serves as a celebration of the grape bounty, community spirit and rich community history. Held at the historic Sonoma Plaza, community members near and far gather as one, celebrating the heritage and culture of Sonoma Valley through food, wine and fellowship. For more information, visit the event’s website

October

Harvest Party at Bricoleur Vineyards

Bricoleur Sonoma County Harvest

Visit Bricoleur Vineyards for the 4th Annual Harvest Party! Enjoy wine, music, bocce ball, and all-around fun. Bottles of wine will be available for purchase, and club members will be able to pick up their fall shipments! For more information, click here.

World Championship Grape Stomp at Sonoma County Harvest Fair

The World Championship Grape Stomp will take place at the Sonoma Harvest Fair on Oct. 15.
The World Championship Grape Stomp will take place at the Sonoma Harvest Fair on Oct. 15.

Grape stomping may have originated in ancient Rome, but Sonoma County can claim the World Championship Grape Stomp as our own. As part of the Sonoma County Harvest Fair, this annual grape stomp in Santa Rosa invites people of all ages to compete in the winemaking tradition of crushing grapes by foot. “Stompers” crush the grapes while “swabbies” direct the juice into the glass jugs. During the final round, 60 pounds of grapes will be stomped for five minutes. Whichever team fills the jugs with the most juice will win $1,500. Costumes are encouraged, and the best-dressed team will get a special award. Bystanders can access the event with a Harvest Fair entry ticket.

Healdsburg Crush

Healdsburg Crush Sonoma County Harvest

The only wine tasting event that takes place on the Healdsburg Plaza, spend the day enjoying some of the best Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Sparkling Wines the West Coast has to offer from approximately 65 premium wineries. There will also be food from local vendors, live music and a silent auction.

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