RING IN THE GRAPE HARVEST
Sip and savor at area wine festivals, which include food, music, and art.
WRITTEN BY ELIZABETH PENNEY
PHOTOS COURTESY OF EVENT ORGANIZERS
WINEderlust Renegade Wine Festival in Lotus
Late summer and early fall mean harvest season for vineyards across Northern California. To celebrate the grape picking and subsequent crushing, many wineries and viticultural areas host festivals where local winemakers showcase their latest releases. The following is a roundup of fall wine festivals in Amador, El Dorado, Sacramento, and Yolo counties.
The Barbera Festival celebrates the food-friendly Italian varietal beneath the oaks at the Terra d’Oro Winery in Plymouth. Attendees can taste Barbera and other varietals from more than 80 wineries from across California, as well as craft beer from local breweries. Gourmet food will be provided by top restaurants, including Zagat-rated Taste in Plymouth, and a vendor fair will showcase the work of local artisans.
11 a.m. – 4 p.m. Sat., Sept. 15
Terra d’Oro Winery
20680 Shenandoah School Road, Plymouth • 209-245-6942 • Barberafestival.com
Big Crush Harvest Festival
The annual Big Crush Harvest Festival invites wine connoisseurs to celebrate the harvest at participating wineries throughout Amador County. Tickets include wine tastings, food pairings, live music and entertainment, behind-the-scenes tours of vineyards and winemaking facilities, and a commemorative Big Crush wine glass to take home. Many of the 40-plus participating wineries also will have special offers for ticket holders.
11 a.m. – 4 p.m. Sat. – Sun., Oct. 6 – 7
Amador Vintners Association
209-245-6992 • Amadorwine.com
Legends of Wine 2016 in Sacramento
EL DORADO COUNTY
Placerville Wine and Art Fest
Wineries from throughout El Dorado County and beyond will be pouring their wines during the Placerville Wine and Art Fest. Tastings are held within the shops along historic Main Street, with some merchants pairing wines with food. Local art galleries will open their doors after hours, and musicians will perform throughout the evening.
6 – 9 p.m. Sat., Oct. 20
Historic Downtown Placerville
530-303-8186 • Placerville-downtown.org
WINEderlust Renegade Wine Festival
Held along the south fork of the American River near Lotus, WINEderlust showcases wines grown in the mountain vineyards of El Dorado County. In addition to wine, festival offerings will include food, craft beer, and artisan vendors. Live music performers will be folk singer-songwriter MAWD, John Mellencamp tribute band Cherry Bomb, and bluegrass/folk band MerryGold. Three riverfront campgrounds will provide accommodations to those wanting to make a night of it.
2 – 9 p.m. Sat., Sept. 8
Henningsen Lotus Park
950 Lotus Road, Lotus • 800-306-3956 • Eldoradowines.org/winederlust
Capay Crush 2015
Legends of Wine
The annual Legends of Wine event highlights the best wines from the Greater Sacramento area as selected by wine experts Darrell Corti and David Berkley. Wines will be paired with local cheeses and other small bites. Legends will be held on the west steps of the State Capitol, which offers sunset views of Capitol Mall and the Tower Bridge.
6 – 9 p.m. Sat., Sept. 20
10th Street and Capitol Avenue, Sacramento • 916-808-7777 • Farmtofork.com/events/legends-of-wine
Capay Crush grape stomp
Capay Crush Festival
The annual Capay Crush Festival, hosted by Capay Organic/Farm Fresh to You, celebrates fall on the farm. The family-friendly event will feature local wines, food, music, and activities. Visitors can reserve campsites and sleep beneath the stars in the orchards.
4 – 9 p.m. Sat., Sept. 22
23804 State Hwy. 16, Capay • 530-796-0730 • Farmfreshtoyou.com/events
Farm to Fork Uncorked
On weekends in September, wineries at the Old Sugar Mill in Clarksburg will offer free wine education, tastings, and a commemorative glass to attendees. The event is free, but participants must preregister online. Uncorked also will include music and farm-to-table food truck fare.
10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays, Sept. 1 – 23
Old Sugar Mill
35265 Willow Ave., Clarksburg • 916-744-1615 • Oldsugarmill.com/events
Elizabeth Penney is a freelance wine, food, and travel writer based in Sacramento.