Just when summer seems to be coming to a close, the excitement of harvest is getting started in Sonoma Wine Country. That’s right, harvest time is around the corner and with it comes plenty of ways to experience the convivial spirit surrounding the season. From grape stomping and parades to live music and gourmet food, here are eight fun and unique events fit for celebrating harvest 2019 in Sonoma County.
September 14 – 15 and 21 – 22, 2019
Cost: $119 – $129 for 1-day tickets, $249 – $259 for a 2-day ticket, VIP tickets start at $259 for 1-day passes and $499 for a 2-day pass
If you’re looking for a music festival in Wine Country without the huge crowds, then you’ll want to check out the more intimate Sonoma Harvest Music Festival, presented by BottleRock. Nestled amongst the vines at B.R. Cohn Winery, this festival pairs a great lineup of musical performers — including Ben Harper & The Innocent Criminals, Iration, Walk the Moon, and CHVRCHES, to name a few — with artisanal food, craft beer, and wine from B.R. Cohn. And, because it’s limited to 4,000 people, you’ll be able to groove to the music while enjoying an up-close view of the stage. It all promises to be a rockin’ good way to celebrate the harvest season in Sonoma.
15000 Sonoma Highway, Glen Ellen, CA 95442, (707) 938-4064
September 27 – 29, 2019
Cost: Free for some events, $100+ for Friday Gala, $25-$65 for Sunday Races
As the oldest festival in California, the Valley of the Moon Vintage Festival has been attracting wine lovers to Sonoma for an astounding 122 years. The festival, which supports Sonoma community projects, kicks off with an opening night gala on Friday, featuring live music and dancing alongside wine and tapas from regional wineries and local chefs. The fun continues well into the weekend with a lively grape stomping competition fit for all ages, free live music in Sonoma Plaza, and an entertaining evening light parade. On Sunday, don those sneakers and join the 5k, 12k, or Tiny Tots race for a heart-pumping way to close out the weekend.
453 First Street E, Sonoma, CA 95476, (707) 996-2109
October 4 – 5, 2019
Cost: $5 for Gate Admission, $65 – $70 for the Grand Tasting, $120 for a 2-day tasting pass
Often recognized as one of the best annual festivals in Sonoma County, the 45th Annual Sonoma County Harvest Fair offers a chance to celebrate the region’s top winemakers, growers, microbrewers, and artisans throughout this multi-day event held in Santa Rosa. Expect plenty of opportunities to taste award-winning wine, savor thoughtful wine and food pairings, and get inspired by people dedicated to their craft. Don’t miss the Grand Tasting, featuring regional cuisine, craft beer, and wine from over 100 wineries, or the World Championship Grape Stomp, an action-packed competition where teams vie for the ultimate reward of World Championship title (plus a hefty $1,500 grand prize).
1350 Bennett Valley Road, Santa Rosa, CA 95404, (707) 545-4200
October 5, 2019, 11 AM – 3 PM
Cost: $60, $40 for Club Members
Located at the foothills of the Mayacamas Mountains in Sonoma Valley, Landmark may be known for its selection of small-production chardonnay and pinot noir — many available only at the winery — but they also draw crowds for their fun, yearly events. When harvest rolls around, Landmark invites guests to help them honor this special time of year with their annual Harvest Festival, a celebratory event that includes bbq food and live music, plus a fun selection of new release wines.
101 Adobe Canyon Road, Kenwood, CA 95452, (707) 883-0053
October 5, 2019
October is a beautiful time to visit the Sonoma Coast, where cooling temperatures and fall colors make it easy to get into the spirit of the harvest season. Pack a picnic and head to Fort Ross State Historic Park for the Fort Ross Harvest Festival, an annual event which celebrates the Old World charm of this 19th century Russian settlement. Start the day picking heirloom apples and pears in the historic orchard before sampling seasonal selections and singing and dancing to traditional Russian music.
19005 Coast Highway, Jenner, CA 95450, (707) 847-3437
October 6, 2019, 9:30 AM and 2 PM
Cost: Free for Club Members (up to 2 tickets), $30 for non-members
Take in the beautiful colors of fall during this one-hour hike through Benziger’s Sonoma Mountain Estate, led by Chris Benziger. You’ll hear insights into the winery’s Biodynamic farming practices, details on the vineyard and wines, and interesting stories on the family and the history of the estate. Of course, all that hiking around deserves a refreshing glass of wine, which you’ll be able to enjoy on the Terrace Bar. Those on the morning hike will have the option of adding a post-hike lunch, with wines by the glass and bottle available for purchase.
1883 London Ranch Road, Glen Ellen, CA 95442, (888) 490-2739
October 19, 2019, 1 PM – 4 PM
Get a glimpse of life as a winemaker during the bustling harvest season with this behind-the-scenes experience hosted by Sonoma-Cutrer’s Director of Winemaking, Mick Schroeter. The day will start with a welcome glass of sparkling wine before heading into the cellar for an in-depth look at the winemaking process. Afterwards, you’ll get to enjoy a seated wine and food pairing lunch prepared by Winery Chef Kevin Markey before closing out the day with a round of croquet or, for an even more leisurely afternoon, simply sipping a glass of wine on the terrace.
4401 Slusser Road, Windsor, CA 95492, (707) 237-3497
November 2 – 3, 2019, 11 AM – 4 PM
Cost: $95 for the weekend, $75 for Sunday only, and $35 for designated drivers
Celebrate harvest with a weekend of wine and food throughout the scenic Alexander, Dry Creek, and Russian River Valleys of Sonoma. During this 21st Annual Wine and Food Affair you’ll be able to sip world-class wine at participating wineries while sampling produce from local farms. Each of the wineries will have a favorite recipe prepared for guests to try alongside the wine, and if you want to recreate anything at home, all the recipes will be available online.