California Wine Month: To-Dos by the Glassful

It's that time of year and wineries (and towns and restaurants and hotels) shall live it up.

JUST ABOUT EVERY PLACE... that has entered our hearts and imaginations has a special pair-up that only arrives once or twice a year. It's the pairing that happens when both time and location align and something rather magical, or at least memorable, occurs. Think of the first snowfall in a quaint New England town. That couldn't happen in May and snow falling on a huge city, while pretty, doesn't necessarily boast that postcard-y charm. Picture the first spring flowers in a field or the corn at its very tallest in some field in the middle of the Great Plains. A patient person needs to wait for the right moment and spot for it all to come together, and that right moment, and spot, for those devoted to wine, is California in September. The ninth month of the year is, in fact, California Wine Month, that stretch of the year when vineyards are busy with crush and harvest activities. Many of those activities, and more beyond, are crafted just so the public can join in, making September, and California Wine Month, one very bustling period of time/place for the celebration-minded oenophile. So, where to go and when? Ah, that is the tricky, schedule-testing part. First take a look at the HQ for...

CALIFORNIA WINE MONTH: Thirty days, oodles of events, a whole swath of wineries in every wine-filled nook of the Golden State, and a wish to partake in everything. Some lovely possibilities include SIP Temecula, the valley's month-long tasting deal, and a Sample the Sierra Pop-Up Dinner on the Lake Tahoe Golf Course. Rutherford Ranch Winery is on the dinner-hosting act, too, and V. Sattui is throwing a grand Harvest Ball. Livermore's popular Front Porch Music Festival is on the roster, and the Preston Castle Tasting & Tour goes deep into a Gold Country landmark. Could you do everything? Nope, not all in one go, but with some planning and saving you could dip into several delights over the course of the month. And isn't it nice to have a time and place that so richly and visually and flavorfully fit together? California's vineyards and that late-summer-into-fall month, dear September, make a rather dashing duo, indeed.

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