Sonoma County Offers a Sensational, Sustainable Feast for the Eyes and Senses during Harvest Season
Harvest season has officially started in Sonoma County! Chardonnay grapes at peak ripeness are the first pick in from the vineyards. It marks an exciting season for vineyards, farmers and the many farm-to-fork-focused chefs who build creative menus with the fresh, sustainable, seasonal produce.
The release below has information about local eats, activities and small businesses for travelers to visit, as well as Sonoma County-specific story angles as we think ahead to the fall food and wine season.
Fall is harvest season in Sonoma County, and farmers are picking their crops as they reach ‘peak sweetness.’ While the wine grape harvest often takes center stage, Sonoma County’s bounty also extends to many other types of products that delight visitors. As harvest takes place, and the vineyards and trees start to change color, Sonoma County offers a feast for the senses as visitors explore the beauty – and bounty – of the destination.
Whether you are looking for a jam-packed celebration of the best food and drink or a slower, restorative trip to appreciate the changing of the seasons, Sonoma County welcomes you to Harvest Season.
Note: Sonoma County is open to welcome visitors while some safety restrictions and protocols may be in place. When planning your visit, please review What to Expect When Visiting Sonoma County Wine Country.
Grape Harvest: A Wine Enthusiast’s Dream
For wine enthusiasts eager for an immersive behind-the-scenes look, there is truly no better time than Harvest Season. Grape harvest is in full swing, with crushpads fresh with the juice of newly pressed varieties and barrels full of what will be the next vintage. Take a walk out to the crushpad, taste the freshly pressed juice before it hits the barrels and sip a glass while enjoying the vineyards turning from green to gold to red. To get up close and personal with the grape harvest, join one of three September harvest hikes with West Wines to pick grape samples, field test sugar and pH and end with a guided tasting on the vine-side patio. For a celebratory evening, join Trione Vineyards & Winery for their Dinner Under The Stars, where they will highlight the bounty of Sonoma County while pairing perfectly with feature wines not yet released along with something special from the library cellar. If you’d like to sample a larger variety of the region’s best wines, don’t miss the Healdsburg Crush where you can taste premium Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and sparkling wines from 60 wineries. See more winery events here.
Autumn Inspires Local Artisans and Chefs
The land’s bounty spurs a sensational celebration of flavors during Harvest Season. Restaurant menus reflect the change of season, with daily-harvested produce gracing the plates of diners looking for a memorable experience. The annual Sonoma County Harvest Fair is the perfect spot to savor the season, with the Tasting Pavilion as the epicenter featuring innovative cuisine paired with some of the area’s best wine. For those looking to take home a taste of Sonoma County, peruse through the robust lineup of vendors setting up shop at Sebastopol Makers Market, local certified farmers' markets, or events like the IPA 10K Brewfest to find local purveyors who are turning the abundant produce into unique jams, sauces, honey and more. Sample produce from local farms while sipping world-class wines with the 23rd Annual Wine and Food Affair, where visitors can enjoy food and wine pairings, winemaker dinners, and more at wineries throughout Sonoma County. For those who hold a wine club membership, be sure to keep an eye on harvest lunches and dinners this year.
A Sustainable Celebration
As the most sustainable wine region in the world with extraordinarily fertile soils, countless microclimates and the bounty of local produce, Harvest Season offers plenty of opportunities to eat and drink sustainably. Those looking for a unique winery experience can return to the roots of agriculture and experience a biodynamic wine harvest. Visitors seeking agricultural products found only in Sonoma County, will delight in hard-to-find jewels like Gravenstein apples and Santa Rosa plums that fill farm stands and restaurant tables alike. Another unique delicacy is the crane melon. Named after its inventor, the melon was developed to be grown on the Crane Melon Barn land that’s been in the Crane family for over 160 years. The Crane melon’s flavor comes from growing in a particular soil, within a specific climate zone, farmed in a certain style - representing its terroir. Since it is vine-ripened, it does not have a shelf life for long distance shipping so it’s exclusive to Sonoma County. Through your sustainable celebration, take pride in knowing that eating and drinking locally nourishes our bodies and delights our spirits and helps reduce the carbon footprint and supports regional growers.
Welcome Fall with Wellness
Reset your mind, body and spirit by connecting with nature as you walk through oak forests turning yellow and pale orange, or along the rugged coastline. Find peace and tranquility through Healing Walkshops on the coast and Forest Therapy at Sugarloaf Ridge State Park where you’ll learn techniques to maximize the health benefits and stress reducing qualities of this walking practice. Activate your metabolism by cycling through some of the most coveted bike routes in the region. Or if you prefer a day of pampering, visit one of Sonoma County’s 40+ spas and wellness centersto recharge and rejuvenate.
About Sonoma County
Sonoma County Tourism is the region’s official Destination Stewardship Organization. Through a multi-channel sales and marketing program, the organization promotes Sonoma County as a global visitor and meetings destination, where diversity thrives, and everyone is welcome. Leveraging the region’s unmatched assets, wine, culinary, wellness and sustainability continue to define its character. Pre-pandemic, tourism generated $2.3 Billion in visitor spending, $194 Million in tax revenue and employed more than 23,000 Sonoma Countians. Post-pandemic, SCT will work with partner businesses to rebuild the tourism economy, regain critical revenue and re-establish a vibrant workforce. For more information, visit www.sonomacounty.com
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