Sonoma County in September is a glorious sight with changing foliage, crisp night air, and a multitude of events and festivals you can add to your weekend plans. For 2015, we’ve compiled some of the best events happening in Sonoma. Start your fall with a fabulous weekend trip by going to some of these great events below.
September 2, 2015
Imagine at Paradise Ridge Winery
– Santa Rosa, CA 8:00 p.m.; $29 Lawn Seating, $50 Premium Table Terrace Seating, $75 VIP Table Terrace Seating Fill the amphitheater at Paradise Ridge Winery and your ears with imaginative and groundbreaking music of Transcendance singer-songwriters. Taking attendees through the stages of creating and bringing a song to life, you’re in for an enlightening experience with artists who have been in Mama Mia and Mary Poppins on Broadway, Riverdance, and national tours. Artists include: David R. Gordon, Carrie Manolakos, Sheri Sanders, Stephan Stubbins, James Sasser, Will Reynolds, Daniel Zaitchik, and Divya Maus.
September 4 – 6, 2015
Sonoma Wine Country Weekend
– Locations across Sonoma County, CA All day Friday – Sunday; $85+ for different wine weekend events Save your appetite and thirst because this year’s Sonoma Wine Country Weekend is overflowing with lunches, dinners, BBQs, auctions, and tastings at vineyards across the region. Scheduled for Labor Day weekend, you can opt to spend one day at a particular vineyard or book several events to attend. Sonoma Wine Country Weekend has raised $16 million to date and is the region’s largest charity fundraiser for education, children, farmers, and farm workers.
September 4, 2015
Starlight Sonoma at Francis Ford Coppola Winery
– Geyserville, CA 6:30 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.; $125 general admission, $175 reserved seating Start Sonoma Wine Country Weekend off with an elegant dinner under the September night sky. Happening at Francis Ford Coppola Winery, guests will mingle poolside and enjoy dinner, wine, dessert, dancing, and live music. With over 25 local wineries set to attend, you’ll be able to sample familiar and new flavors from the heart of Sonoma. If you decide on reserve seating, you’ll also get exclusive access to a Reserve Wine Bar where bartenders will be pouring some of the finest wines of the evening.
September 5, 2015
Taste of Sonoma at MacMurray Estate Vineyards
– Healdsburg, CA 11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.; $165 general admission The Taste of Sonoma is one of the biggest food and wine tasting events happening during Sonoma Wine Country Weekend. Located at MacMurray Estate Vineyards, guests will have the choice to sip different wines from 200 wineries and sample food pairings from 60 chefs. Stroll through the lovely grounds, watch demonstrations, attend a wine seminar or two, and simply enjoy yourself at one of the “10 Best Wine and Food Events in the United States” according to Celebrated Living magazine.
September 5, 2015
Summer Concert featuring George Benson at Rodney Strong Vineyards
– Healdsburg, CA 4:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.; $75 general admission, $110 VIP This marks the 25th anniversary of the summer concert series at Rodney Strong Vineyards and they’re celebrating with 10 time Grammy winner, George Benson. With his ability to combine pop, R&B, and jazz into timeless music, you’ll be out of your seats and dancing all night in this picturesque vineyard.
September 12, 2015
Tour de Fuzz
– Santa Rosa, CA 8:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.; $79 – $99; sold out This isn’t your normal bike race. Ride 35, 53, or 100 miles through gorgeous Sonoma County with pit stops for wine tasting at one vineyard and refreshment breaks including fresh fruit and cookies. Every rider will follow one of three routes and end at the finish line with the reward of free Lagunitas beer and Francis Coppola wine, BBQ, swimming, and music. If riding isn’t your style, you can still pack a picnic and spend your day cheering on the racers or waiting at the finish line too—and drinking wine of course. All proceeds go to benefit two law enforcement agencies in the region, so it’s both fun and for a good cause.
September 12 – 13, 2015
Russian River Jazz and Blues Festival
– Guerneville, CA 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.; $55 general admission single day, $90 general admission weekend pass The 39th annual Russian River Jazz and Blues Festival has a two-day lineup that is nothing short of impressive with ten bands, including Taj Mahal Trio, Jackie Greene, WAR, and the Rad Trads, you can pull up a chair or bring your own blanket to lay on and listen to the music by the river’s edge. If you own a kayak, canoe, or tube, you can even enjoy the music from the river itself. If you get hungry, there will be a variety of wines and types of cuisine from vendors across the region. Even swing by the wine tasting booth if you’d like to gain a little more culture while you’re there.
September 18, 2015
13th Annual Sonoma Plein Air Week Gala and Auction
– Sonoma, CA 5:30 p.m.; $500 tickets Collectors of fine art will appreciate Plein Air’s week dedicated to painting. During the week of September 14 – 18, 37 renowned artists will set out to paint in and around Sonoma Valley. Inspired by impressionist painters, each artist will create 8 – 10 pieces that will then be judged and auctioned off at the Sonoma Plein Air Gala on September 18. Guests of the gala will be able to mingle with the artists and bid on their work in a silent auction over cocktails, dinner, and dessert at the Le Bistro Plein Air. Those who bid can feel good knowing that 40% of profits will go to the Plein Air Foundation—a foundation dedicated to bringing the arts to students.
September 9, 16, 23 and 30, 2015
Wines & Sunset at Paradise Ridge Winery
– Santa Rosa, CA 5:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.; $5 for Wine Club members, $8 general admission, $10 at the door Most Wednesdays from May 12 to October 28, guests can come out to Paradise Ridge Winery to enjoy wine, dessert, food, and live music in front of a blazing sunset. Combined with the spectacular views over the Russian River Valley, it’s a night to remember and come back for again and again. Some of the bands set to take the stage this fall are Blues Burners, Solid Air, and Carlos Herrera. Guests can also look forward to dining on dinner and dessert every evening from vendors including Coldstone Creamery, Tri Tip Trolley, Wurst Grill, and more.
September 25 – 27, 2015
Valley of the Moon Vintage Festival
– Sonoma, CA Free except for some ticketed events For 118 years, Sonoma has celebrated their culture, food and wine at the Valley of the Moon Vintage Festival. This year, there will be a three-day event dedicated to music, food, wine, art, and family-friendly events in downtown Sonoma on the Plaza. Come out on Friday evening for the opening night gala featuring wine tasting, food, and live music by popular band, Mustache Harbor. Get together with friends for a night of dancing and celebration. Bring the whole family for a day of fun on Saturday for more live music, shopping at the art festival, kid-friendly activities like carnival games, a family grape stomping competition, and the “Get your glow on” nighttime parade. End the weekend on Sunday by participating in the 5K or 12K or cheering from the sidelines and tasting a few brews in the famous Vintage Festival Beer Garden Tent.
September 25 – 27, 2105
Sonoma Valley Crush Festival
– Sonoma, CA 11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.; $35 wine tasting pass Most wine drinkers only experience wine once it’s in the bottle… or in their glass. Get your hands a little dirtier and expand your knowledge about wine by participating in the winemaking process during the Sonoma Valley Crush Festival. At a number of vineyards, including Paradise Ridge Winery, Little Vineyards, Eric Ross Winery and many more, ticket holders will be able to taste grapes fresh off the vine, sample fermenting wine, and enjoy fresh pressed juice. You will also be able to spend time with the knowledgeable winemakers of the vineyards. This will give visitors the unique opportunity to ask the experts about everything from the science behind fermentation, sugar levels, and acidity to which wines they should try.
Main Image Source: Valley of the Moon Fringe Festival