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2014 Wine Harvest Festival Guide

2014 Wine Harvest Festival Guide

Posted by Liliana Castaño on September 24, 2014

As major wine regions around the country prepare for harvest season, the celebrations are starting as soon as this weekend. If you live or travel near these popular wineries, plan to participate with this breakdown of harvest happenings.

CALIFORNIA

These are the biggest celebrations to catch in the extensive wine countries of The Golden State, mainly around the harvest weekends of late September and early October.

Napa Valley

Castello di Amorosa Harvest Celebration and Stomp, September 20

This ancient-styled Tuscan castle winery is holding its seventh annual wine stomp competition with wine harvest demos, food and wine stations, live music and underground cellar tours to ring in the season. Reservations are required and tickets start at $95 for members and $115 for guests.

4045 North Saint Helena Hwy, Calistoga, Calif., 707-967-6272, castellodiamorosa.com

Peju Winery Harvest "La Masquerade: Rouge et Noire", September 20

Unlike other harvest parties, this one takes place at night upon the lit up Peju signature 50-foot tower. The night of dancing in the garden entails an unveiling of barrel samples and new releases by the Peju family, a blessing of the grapes under the stars and an outdoor four-course dinner with select wine pairings. Tickets are $205 for members and $225 for guests.

8466 St. Helena Hwy, Rutherford, Calif., 800-446-7358, peju.com

Clif Family Winery Farm Fest, September 27

The Clif Family Winery is throwing its sixth annual Farm Fest for the harvest on their bountiful farm in Pope Valley. Guests can taste wines, tour the farm, and enjoy food and wine pairings from the farm and local food artisans. Children's activities will keep the kids busy while you sip. Tickets start at $50 for members and $75 for guests.

709 Main St., St. Helena, Calif., 707-968-0625, cliffamilywinery.com

The night of dancing in the garden entails an unveiling of barrel samples and new releases by the Peju family.

NEW YORK

The harvest weekend in The Empire State seems to hover around late September, with a few surrounding events. Here are five harvest parties in the state's three main regions to check out.

The Finger Lakes

Keuka Lake Wine Trail Harvest Celebration of Food & Wine, September 13-14

Explore the seven member wineries of the Keuka Lake Wine Trail for a full taste of the Finger Lakes wine country harvest season. The celebration allows guests to taste newly released wines of the trail, learn a thing or two from the tasting room staff and indulge in delicious bites made from the region's local produce. Each winery will showcase a seasonal menu of dishes. Tickets are $30 for a weekend ticket or $24 for Sunday only.

Harvest in the Square at Union Square Park, September 18

If you're in the city and can't make it to wine country, this year's 19th annual Harvest in the Square celebration is showcasing 17 wineries from the 2014 Finger Lakes Wine Alliance. The city's original wine and food tasting festival will pair local wines and microbrews with foods served by chefs from 40 of the area's best restaurants using the freshest produce right from theUnion Square Greenmarket. The event brings in more than 1,200 visitors from near and far, and tickets to attend are $125.

Union Square Park North Plaza, New York, N.Y., harvest.unionsquarenyc.org

25th Anniversary Hunt Country Harvest Festival, October 4-5

Join Hunt Country Vineyards for classic activities like grape stomping, hay rides, cellar tastings, a winemaking facilities tour, wine tastings, cooking presentations, musical performances, and food from local chefs and restaurants. Hunt Country will also be releasing five new wines at the event for tastings and for sale. Guests can taste foods like Lake Country egg rolls, lamb Barbacoa burritos and sausage samplers prepared by culinary arts students of Penn College's School of Hospitality. Admission is free and various events are priced separately.

4021 Italy Hill Road, Branchport, N.Y., 315-595-2812, huntwines.com

Other events in the region include the Harvest Game Dinner at Glenora Wine Cellars on October 25 for a five-course meal and wine pairing, the Montezuma Winery Hoedown Harveston September 13 for an evening of dancing, and the Six Mile Creek Harvest Festival on September 13 for tastings, performances and autumn activities.

Guests can enjoy a sunset picnic in the vineyards, too.

OREGON

The big wine harvest celebrations are scattered throughout September and October, so pick one (or a couple) of the five that fit your travel schedule.

Willamette Valley

The Carlton Crush Harvest Festival, September 13

The Willamette Valley Wineries' Annual Carlton Crush features 17 area wineries, a Grape Stomp Competition, a Wine Thief Relay, Barrel Rolling Race, helicopter rides, a watermelon eating contest and various activities for kids. An artist market and food will accompany the delicious local wine, cider and beer tastings. Admission is free for all guests.

Upper Park, Main St., Downtown Carlton, Ore., 216-533-6968, carltoncrush.com

Oregon Grape Stomp Championship and Harvest Celebration, September 20-21

This annual competition at the Estate Vineyard brings in participants from all over the country in groups of two, Stomper and Swabbie, for the title to compete at the World Grape Stomp Championships in Santa Rosa, Calif. The event includes Willamette Valley Vineyards tastings, a vineyard tour, live music and food pairings served by the winery chef. Admission is $10, stomping is $10 per team and other activities cost extra.

8800 Enchanted Way S.E., Turner, Ore., 503-588-9463, wvv.com

St. Josef's Estate Vineyards & Winery Grape Stomp Festival, September 20-21

St. Josef's Grape Stomp is the Northwest's original grape stomping event. Celebrating 32 years, the festival derived from the German harvest traditions of a "crush" season kick-off. Aside from grape stomping in a 1,200-gallon oak barrel, enjoy music from an "Original Donaumusikanten" German Band, more than 400 pounds of St. Josef's sausages and homemade sauerkraut, and wine tastings and tours with the winemaker. Admission is $10.

28836 S. Barlow Rd., Canby, Ore., 503-651-3190, stjosefswinery.com

Sample grapes among vines, tour crush pads, taste fresh juice and get a full look at the winemaking process.

VIRGINIA

Harvests are taking place throughout October and early November at these four Virginia locations.

Western Virginia

Mountain Rose Vineyard Harvest Festival, October 4

This grape stomp and harvest festival has a lineup of events, like wine and grape tastings, winery and vineyard hayride tours, a grape stomp contest, a luncheon, a corn hole tournament, and vendors providing sweets and kettle corn. Admission is $5 and lunch is $16.

10439 Reservoir Rd., Wise, Va., 276-328-2013, mountainrosevineyard.com

Northern Virginia

Doukenie Winery Harvest Festival, October 18

During Virginia Wine Month, bask in the harvest with barrel tastings, new wine releases and live music by The Short Hill Mountain Boys. Monks BBQ, voted the "best food truck in Washington, D.C," will provide the event's food. Admission is free for club members and $15 for guests.

14727 Mountain Rd., Purcellville, Va., 540-668-6464, doukeniewinery.com

Eastern Virginia

Ingleside Vineyards Harvest Celebration, October 18

Join Ingleside for their 35th Harvest Celebration with a tour of the vineyards and winery, wine tastings, live music, hayrides, dancing, food and artwork. This year's focus on local brings area farms' products and Denson Market and Oyster Bar to the event to shuck fresh Chesapeake Bay oysters on the half shell. Admission is $15.

5872 Leedstown Rd., Oak Grove, Va., 804-224-8687, inglesidevineyards.com

View the harvest process at Millbrook Winery.

WASHINGTON

Below are four harvest tours and "stompings" at varying wineries in the state starting this weekend and trailing 'til November.

The Olympic Peninsula

Olympic Peninsula Wineries' Harvest Wine Tour & Scarecrow Contest, November 8-9

Tour the region's seven artisan wineries in two days in the heart of fall traveling through the towns of Port Townsend, Sequim, Chimacum and Port Angeles. The tours are self-guided and tickets are $30.

Various winery locations, olympicpeninsulawineries.org

Yakima Valley

Alexandria Nicole Cellars' Harvest Party in the Vines at Destiny Ridge Vineyards, September 13

Celebrate the vineyard's 10 years as a winery and the harvest at the Hollywood Glamour-themed event. Enjoy a steak and lobster dinner, wine tastings with fall releases, a wine balloon toss, grape stomp, barrel rolling competition and skeet shooting. Tickets are $75 and certain activities are an additional cost.

158422 W. Sonova Rd., Paterson, Wash., 509-242-9979, alexandrianicolecellars.com

Catch the Crush, October 11-12

This extensive event celebrates the harvest with exclusive wine tastings and releases, grape stomps, harvest crush activities, tours, hors d'oeuvres and live music at the many participating wineries. Forty-two wineries from the Yakima Wine Community, the Zillah Winery Community, the Prosser Wine Community and the Red Mountain Wine Community are each holding harvest parties during the weekend. Premier passes are available online for $30.

Various winery locations, wineyakimavalley.org

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