September is California Wine Month.
Though every month is a good month to drink wine, September is a logical choice to celebrate because harvest takes center stage. This time of year, the grower’s hard work comes to fruition as they determine the best time to pick, when the grapes sugars, acids and flavors are balanced. Some wine grapes already have been harvested, while others continue to ripen on the vine.
This month, there are many opportunities to celebrate California’s wine bounty at festivals, tastings, vineyard experiences and much more.
Lodi’s annual Grape Festival, an institution since 1936, is Sept. 13-16 at the Lodi Grape Festival and Event Center on Lockeford Street. In addition to the food and entertainment, nine Lodi wineries will offer tastings on Sept. 14-15 – $15 for 10 samples and a commemorative wine glass. On Sept. 16, members of the Lodi Amateur Vintners Association will offer samples ($10 for 10 tastes). For the list of participating wineries, the times of the tastings and more information, go to grapefesitival.com.
This month, McCay Cellars in downtown Lodi will offer a flight of its Rosé of Grenache, Chenin Blanc, Grenache Blanc and Grenache, four wines one might not necessarily associate with Lodi, as well as a harvest T-shirt (“Go Drink Lodi Wine”) for $15, as well as a 15 percent discount on wine purchases. Information: mccaycellars.com.
Harney Lane Winery on Harney Lane east of Highway 99 in Lodi is celebrating its 10th anniversary with several events during California Wine Month. Harney Lane is offering Vineyard Walks and continuing its Farmer’s Series and Grape to Glass Tour, which recently was voted Best Winery Tour by readers in a USA Today poll. The complimentary Grape to Glass Tour at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. on Sept. 29 and Sept. 30 will take guests through the grounds of a working winery that’s been in the same family for five generations. The tour ends with a tasting from Harney Lane’s portfolio of estate wines. The tour is free. Normal tasting fees apply but are waived with a bottle purchase. For information and reservations, check out harneylane.com/visit/events.
Klinker Brick Winery on North Alpine Road in Lodi will have Kick Back events this Friday and on Sept. 21 with live music and food trucks. On Friday, the group Us4Love will perform on the north patio from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Tickets are $5 for the public and $3 for wine club members (limit two). For tickets and information, go to klinkerbrickwinery.com.
Peltier Winery & Vineyards on Peltier Road in Acampo will hold a release party for its 2016 The Gala Sparking Wine from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Sept. 29. The event is open to the public. Tickets are $24 for wine club members, $30 for non-club members. Peltier will pair the sparkling with appetizers and sweets in the tasting room. Information: peltierwinery.com.
Oak Farm Vineyards on DeVries Road north of Peltier Road in Lodi will host a release party for its new three single-vineyard Zinfandels from noon to 4 p.m. on Sept. 30 with live music and a food truck on site. The food is for purchase, but the event is free and open to the public. Oak Farm now offers its Patio Experience – a tasting of Oak Farm wines with olives, nuts, fruit, cheese and charcuterie — seven days a week by reservation. Information: oakfarmvineyards.com.
For a list of wine events in Lodi, go to LodiWine.com/events.
Elsewhere, the Madera Wine Trail’s California Wine Month Celebration is Sept. 21 at Papagni Winery in Madera. There will be live music and area wineries and local restaurants and food producers will offer samples. Information: maderawinetrail.com.
In the Sierra foothills, the Barbera Festival on Sept. 15 at Terra d’Oro Wines in Plymouth will attract more than 70 wineries from all over California focusing on Barbera with live music, local artists, vendors, craft beer and white wine available for purchase. Information: barberafestival.com/about-the-event.
In the north cost, Mendocino County wineries will host Winesong Weekend, an annual charity auction and wine and food tasting, this Friday and Saturday. Information: winesong.org. On Saturday, Pioneer Park in Calistoga will be the site for the third annual Calistoga Wine Experience with more than 40 wineries from the Calistoga area pouring samples paired with gourmet bites from local chefs. Information: calistogawinegrowers.com/event/Calistoga-wine-experience. On Sept. 15, the Lake County Wine Auction at Boatique Winery in Kelseyville will have food, wine and dancing. Information: winealliance.org. Zinfandel Advocates and Producers will hold “Zinfandel: Stories from Napa Valley” on Sept. 22 at the Culinary Institute of America at Copia in Napa. There will be a seated panel presentation, discussion and tasting featuring four leaders in Napa Valley Zinfandel followed by a walk-around tasting of 30 different wineries. Information: zinfandel.org/events.
There is more going on this month in the Bay Area and Southern California. Visit discovercaliforniawines.com/californiawinemonth to view the full list of regularly updated events and to order a copy of the 2018 California Wine Month poster.
Contact Bob Highfill, marketing and communications manager with the Lodi Winegrape Commission, at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @bobhighfill and @lodi_wine.