It’s harvest season around many parts of the country, which makes October the perfect time to go wondering around the vineyards. And there are plenty of events that allow you to get out, enjoy the fall harvest and taste some great wines before the very last grapes are brought in.
Yorktown Wine Festival, Yorktown, Virginia, Oct. 1
Sample wines from over 15 Virginian wineries as you enjoy music, food & art vendors. A separate dinner event includes eight Virginia wines and a four-course dinner. Proceeds benefit Sister Cities Yorktown and The American Heart Association.
Great Grapes Wine Festival, Charlotte, North Carolina, Oct. 1
Taste 220 wines from 20 wineries while taking in food, music and the rich heritage of North Carolina vines. The event features a free kids’ area with arts and crafts, as well as gourmet items and a VIP Pavilion with special wines. The event benefits the Spirit of Hope Children’s Foundation.
Sonoma County Harvest Fair, Santa Rosa, California, Oct. 1-2
Enjoy over 300 wines from over 100 Sonoma County wineries. The events include: The World Championship Grape Stomp, the Grand Harvest Tasting and Taste the Best of Sonoma County. There will be chef demonstrations and seminars such as The Drunken Alchemist and a Port & Chocolate Pairing. The festivities actually begin on September 30.
Uncork a Cure, Cleveland, Ohio, Oct. 3
Uncork a Cure is a casual and fun evening that benefits the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Sip great wines and savor great cuisine presented at over 20 festive tasting stations, where the area's hottest chefs prepare their specialties just for you.
Spain's Great Match: Wine Food and Design, New York, New York, Oct. 5
Enjoy a night of Spanish wine, beer, food, design and music at the Frank Gehry-designed IAC HQ Building in Manhattan. Discover the most important Spanish grapes and regions with an extensive offering of over 300 Spanish wines. Or try a selection of craft beers from Spain and tapas created by New York City’s top Spanish restaurants.
Gruene Music and Wine Festival, New Braunfels, Texas, Oct. 6-8
Four days of live music, food, and wines from over 30 wineries from Texas and beyond. Events include: That's Right — It's Not From Texas, Rockin' with Texas Wine & Food, Texas Tastings & Tunes, and a Gospel Brunch with a Texas Twist. The festival benefits the local United Way of Comal County.
Wine & Garlic Festival, Amherst, Virginia, Oct. 8-9
It’s “Always a Stinkin' Good Time,” at this festival which features ten local wineries, five stages for magicians and 10 bands. And bring the kids. There will be a petting zoo and a bounce house. Oh, maybe bring some mints — because there will be a ton of garlic!
Celebration of Harvest Festival, Santa Barbara, California, Oct. 7-10
Enjoy four days of wine, food and fun throughout Santa Barbara Wine Country. Events include: Vintners Visa, Harvest Dinner with Older Vintage Wines (La Paulée style), a Women in Santa Barbara County Wine Seminar and the Festival Grand Tasting at Old Mission Santa Ines
La Jolla Art and Wine Festival, La Jolla, California, Oct. 8-9
Discover and enjoy regional and international wines from 17 wineries, as well as craft beers from seven brewers. Sample wines from California, France and more. Also enjoy art work from over 150 established artists. There will also be a silent auction, roving entertainment, a gourmet marketplace, and a family art center. Proceeds benefit underfunded programs such as art, music, science, physical education, technology, and on-site medical care at local public elementary and middle schools.
Autumn Reggae Wine, Music and Art Festival, Mt. Airy, Maryland, Oct 8-9
Listen to the sweet music sounds of the islands as you wonder the vineyards of Linganore Winecellars. Take in the Fall beauty as you enjoy wines, food, and shop the open-air market with hand-crafted and imported goods from around the world.
Wine & Spirits Top 100 Tasting, San Francisco, California, Oct. 10
Taste highly acclaimed wines from the top 100 wineries of the year from all over the world (as selected by Wine & Spirits Magazine). Meet the winemakers. Feast on delicious bites from new and notable Bay Area restaurants (also selected by Wine & Spirits Magazine). Enjoy fresh oysters, local cheeses and an array of artisan specialties. The event benefits San Francisco Baykeeper.
New York City Wine & Food Festival, New York, New York, Oct. 13-16
A four-day celebration of fine wine, food, and spirits in the Big Apple featuring intimate dinners, walk-around tastings, seminars, and hands-on classes. Events include: Barilla’s Italian Table, Haute Dogs & Champagne, Porchetta, Pigs and Pints, and Sparkling Wines from Around the World. Proceeds benefit the No Kid Hungry campaign and Food Bank For New York City.
Martha's Vineyard Food & Wine Festival, Edgartown, Massachusetts, Oct. 13-16
Some of New England's best restaurants and dozens of wineries from around the world will be on display on the island. Events include: Somm Throwdown, Oh Shucks!, Island Fare with a French Flair, Fresh off the Farm Dinner, a Grand Tasting, and the Joseph Carr Winemaker Dinner. The festival benefits: Island Grown Schools and Martha’s Vineyard Agricultural Society’s Farmers Program.
Wine Riot, Chicago, Illinois, Oct. 14-15
Taste over 250 wines from around the world at this way fun event, billed as “two parts education and one part revolution”. The event features interactive booths and crash courses with wine tips and tricks, along with a DJ, temporary tattoos, a photo booth, an Instagram station, and postcards.
Yadkin Valley Grape Festival, Yadkinville, North Carolina, Oct. 15
Taste over 20 wines from the heart of North Carolina Wine Country. There will be food, craft vendor displays and live music that will take place adjacent to the wine tasting area. All ages are welcome.
Wilcox Wine Country Festival, Willcox, Arizona, Oct. 15
Enjoy wines from 16 top Arizona wineries, as well as local farm and craft vendors, gourmet food by Dante's Fire, and live music. Events include: Bistro Wine Dinner with Chef Ken Foy, Wine and a Movie, and the main tasting at the historic Railroad Park in downtown Wilcox.
Delaware Wine and Beer Festival, Dover, Delaware, Oct. 15
The First State's official wine and beer festival! Featuring all of Delaware's breweries, wineries and distilleries. The festival includes live music, performers, games, and access to a select number of local eateries featuring Delaware delicacies.
Fort Ross-Seaview Wine Festival, Fort Ross, California, Oct. 15
Taste wines from over 12 wineries from the new Fort Ross-Seaview appellation. The festival takes place in front of old Fort Ross, a state historic park, on a sea terrace overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Events include: a Grand Wine Tasting, Pinot Noir — Elevated, Wine Growers Seminar, and harvest activities such as a horse and buggy ride, apple picking, and food trucks with delicious seasonal fare.
Sherryfest 2016, Chicago, Illinois, Oct. 16-18
Sherry is a Spanish fortified wine and it’s so fun that it has its own festival! Sherry from 10 different producers will be highlighted at events throughout the city, including citywide tastings, dinners, seminars, cocktail features, and a Grand Tasting.
Taste Philadelphia Festival of Food, Wine & Spirits, King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, Oct. 21-23
Enjoy the finest in wine, spirits and gourmet foods, along with the talents of local and celebrity chefs. The festival features over 50 wine and spirit sampling stations, tons of cooking demos on the Celebrity Cooking Stage and more than 150 local and national vendors selling and sampling specialty food and entertaining products.
Wine Spectator New York Wine Experience, New York, New York, Oct. 20-22
Events include Critics’ Choice Grand Tastings with more than 250 wines rated 90 points or better, seated lunches paired with wines, and black-tie Grand Award Banquet—a lavish dinner with special wines and star entertainment. Proceeds support the Wine Spectator Scholarship Foundation, which provides grants and scholarships to a wide variety of wine-related and culinary programs.
Pinot on the River, Healdsburg, California, Oct. 23
A festival with a focus on limited production West Coast Pinot Noirs. Enjoy the Grand Tasting with over 100 wineries plus guest artisan food vendors, all in the downtown Healdsburg Plaza Square. Proceeds benefit the Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Sonoma County.
Wines of Portugal Producer Showcase, New York, New York, Oct. 27
Experience and discover the range of Portugal's wines. Taste dry reds of Bairrada and refreshing whites from Vinho Verde. Then try wines from the newly-renamed Tejo and Lisbon regions, as well as the progressive offerings from the Douro. Taste over 400 Portuguese wines along with light appetizers which will showcase how Portuguese wines easily pair with food.
Alex Parr, Senior Tasting Correspondent for The Sip, was raised in California's Russian River Valley and has been covering wine tasting events for Bottlenotes for over 10 years.