New Event at This Year's Fort Ross Harvest Festival

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New Event at This Year's Fort Ross Harvest Festival

A drive to the northern reaches of Sonoma County's coast, along one of the world's most beautiful coastal roads, is an unforgettable experience at any time of the year. After all, those knife-edge cliffs edging the sea are just as awesome in June as in January, while the limitless vistas nurture the spirit equally every day of the year.

If you're looking for an excuse to make the trip, though, here's a great one: The annual Fort Ross Harvest Festival, packed with activities and adventures, takes place on Saturday, Oct. 26, 10 a.m.-6:30 p.m.

There's always a lot to do at this event, but this year brings a major addition. The new 27,500-acre Fort Ross-Seaview American Viticultural Area (AVA, or wine region) will be participating in the festival for the first time with its own 'festival within a festival' (more information below).

By the way, while this AVA is new, growing grapes and making wine in the area is not. In fact, the first grapes ever planted in Sonoma County were planted in 1817 at Fort Ross.

Here's what's lined up for the 2013 Fort Ross Harvest Festival:

  • Lots of song and dance from the Russian Folk group Kedry and the Kitka Women's Vocal Ensemble.
  • Light apple harvesting in the historic orchard
  • Hayrides
  • Interpretive talks on the historic orchard; the 39-foot, log-framed replica windmill; and Alaskan marine history at Ross
  • Working demonstration of the replica Russian-style windmill
  • Food trucks with delicious seasonal fare for sale
  • Local samples of heirloom apples, apple cider, apple baked goods, Sonoma cheese, and more
  • Horse and wagon rides given by Stone Horse
  • Historic crafts, cannon firing, communal dances, children's activities
  • Su-Nu-Nu-Shinal Kashaya Pomo dancers

And, of course, there's that new Fort Ross-Seaview Wine Festival, where you'll be able to meet the grapegrowers, wineries, and winemakers who create viticultural magic from the steep ridges on this part of the coast. A limited-seating four-course lunch begins at noon. It will be followed from 1-4 p.m. by a wine tasting. Cost of the lunch ($95/person) includes the wine tasting, all harvest events, and parking/entrance fees. Cost of wine-tasting only is $35 a person. Advance tickets available online.

What you need to know

Find more info about Things to Do, Hotels & Lodging, and Restaurants in Sonoma County here.

Suzie Rodriguez