Celebrate California Wine Month in September

September marks the 13 th annual California Wine Month, and it's the perfect time to experience the annual harvest season. Wine enthusiasts can enjoy special tastings, festivals, concerts, wine and food offerings and more at wineries and other venues throughout the state.

Vines have been grown in California for nearly 250 years, and the state is the fourth largest producer of wine in the world. California Wine Month was created to honor the culture of tradition and innovation built by the state's 4,700 vintners and 5,900 growers and to recognize wine's many contributions to the state and nation.

California is the most visited state in the U.S. for food and wine-related activities, with 24 million visits to the state's wine regions each year. California wineries offer a vast array of activities and amenities such as music, art, theater and gardens as well as hands-on visitor experiences.

Visit discovercaliforniawines.com/californiawinemonth to view a full list of events by date and order a copy of this year's "2017 California Wine Month Facts at a Glance" poster. Or, download a map of California wine regions and the 138 American Viticultural Areas (AVAs) here. Event highlights include:

North Coast

Celebrate Sept. 1-3 with Sonoma Wine Country Weekend at Sonoma State University where top winemakers, growers and chefs will come together to celebrate the region's finest wine and food. Stay in Sonoma for the Sonoma Valley Crush which offers hands-on harvest experiences at 12 boutique wineries Sept. 8-10.

Winesong, now in its 33 rd year on Sept. 8-9, invites attendees to stroll through the lush Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens while enjoying vintages poured by wineries from Mendocino, Sonoma, Napa, and beyond. The wine and food tasting is accented by various musical groups performing jazz, classical, blues and more.

Voted on as one of the top 10 wine destinations in the world by Wine Enthusiast Magazine, the Calistoga Wine Experience on Sept. 9 in Napa Valley features wines from more than 35 Calistoga wineries and a chance to meet the owners and winemakers, enjoy appetizers and live jazz at a spectacular harvest setting.

The Lake County Wine Auction Sept. 16 is a gala evening under the stars at Cache Creek Vineyard and Winery. The evening begins with a tasting of food from a selection of 10 juried purveyors paired with local wines. Guests enjoy a gourmet meal in the farm-to-table spirit as the sun sets, followed by the live auction and dancing, all to benefit the arts and health and community organizations

San Francisco Bay & Santa Cruz Mountains

On Sept. 3 of Labor Day Weekend, wineries celebrate the exciting crush season at the Livermore Valley Harvest Wine Celebration. Wine lovers have enjoyed this unique event the last 35 years. Later in the month on Sept. 23, Livermore hosts a live auction with prizes ranging from wine to vacations to private dinners and more. The event will benefit underserved children in the East Bay with nutrition, healthcare and education.

Also on Sept. 23, the annual Eat Drink Los Gatos features restaurant food booths, live music, and shopping in charming downtown Los Gatos. Sip tastings from dozens of local wineries while touring through downtown Los Gatos enjoying wine and food at local shops and restaurants.

Central Coast: Monterey to Santa Barbara

As the sun sets Sept. 2, the Highway 46 West Harvest Block Party will take place at Dark Star Cellars. This mini wine festival is one of the more popular events on the Central Coast.

Enjoy an afternoon at Santa Barbara's Taste of the Town featuring area wineries and more for the ultimate epicurean adventure in Santa Barbara. The event, which benefits the Arthritis Foundation, will take place on Sept. 10 at Riviera Gardens. Later in the month on Sept. 29, kick off four days of wine and culinary experiences at The Taste of Santa Barbara Wine Country. Attendees can expect to enjoy library wines, fall releases and small bites from local restaurants.

Whether you have a grand car to show or just want to stroll through the gold course enjoying the views or tasting the best of Central Coast wines, the Automotive Concourse at Monarch Dunes, on Sept. 24, offers something for everyone. Admission for spectators is free.

Inland Valleys

The 80th Annual Lodi Grape Festival celebrates Lodi agriculture while raising funds for community and charitable projects. The event is on Sept. 14-17 and will feature live music, activities for families and kids and a Friday wine tasting with Lodi wines.

On Sept. 15, guests 21+ are invited to celebrate Madera Wine Trail's California Wine Month Celebration. This event will offer wine tasting from local wineries, food by a variety of local restaurants and live music. The Madera Vintners Association will also honor and award partners and associates that have influenced the local wine industry, the MVA and its winery members.

Sierra Foothills

Lake Tahoe Autumn Food & Wine Festival takes place the weekend of Sept. 8. Enjoy three full days of cooking seminars and demonstrations, culinary competitions, wine tastings, a Farm-to-Tahoe dinner, live music, a gourmet marketplace, and more. This is an incredible opportunity to sample the culinary and winemaking talents of regional chefs.

In South Lake Tahoe, Sample the Sierra is a unique farm-to-fork festival held on Sept. 16. The festival offers the chance to taste the creations of local Sierra NevAda Talent from food, wine and spirits to fresh produce and art. The event's Sierra Chefs Challenge features local chefs competing for the coveted Sierra Chef title.

Southern California

At the Los Angeles Times' The Taste, wine and food are the stars Sept. 1-3. Celebrate Southern California's vibrant culinary scene at Paramount Pictures Studios iconic backlot, presenting five events with leading chefs and restaurants in L.A. and tastings. Guests can learn more about wine and food during special seminars and live demos.

On Sept 10, enjoy complimentary tastings from more than 25 wineries at VINO-Palooza a wine & music festival at The Marina Del Rey Hotel, LA.

Celebrate California Wine Month Temecula style at CRUSH, a Wine & Culinary Showcase on Sept. 30. This harvest festival features 100-plus wines from more than 30 Temecula Valley wineries, paired with food from local restaurants and farms and live music. Wine lovers can purchase a SIP, Temecula Style passport, which offers savings at up to five of the 19 participating wineries any weekday during the month of September.

California Wine Month Partners

California Wine Month is supported by restaurant, retail, hotel, media and association partners in California and throughout the U.S. including:

National/Regional: California Pizza Kitchen, Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants, PF Chang's, Safeway and Tavistock Restaurants

California:

1313 Main, Albertsons, Bistro Boudin, California Restaurant Association, Compline, Dean & Deluca, Ferry Plaza Wine Merchant, Giordano Brothers, Napa Valley Wine Train, Pavilions, San Francisco Wine School, Visit California and Vons

New York/New Jersey: Astor Wine & Spirits, BevMax, Bottle King, Chambers Street Wines, Fairway Market, Flatiron Wine & Spirits, Gary's Wine & Marketplace, Shop Rite, Verve, Wine Awesomeness

Visit www.discovercaliforniawines.com for information on wine regions, wines and winery amenities to plan a trip to California wine country. Established in 1934, Wine Institute is the association of nearly 1,000 California wineries and wine-related businesses with the mission to initiate and advocate state, federal and international public policy to enhance the environment for the responsible production, consumption and enjoyment of wine. See: www.wineinstitute.org.

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