HARVEST TIME & THE CRUSH

Post is written by admin on : 2017-08-12

Every year during late summer and early fall, workers tend the fields from dawn until dusk, clipping grapes and preparing them for the juicing process. Many wineries have ceremonies (mostly small and private) to honor the land and pay tribute to all of the hard work tending the bounty of grapes. During this time, tasting rooms may be short-staffed—an all-hands-on-deck policy is required to get grapes crushed and their juice into tanks as quickly as possible. Some wineries celebrate by hosting pre- or post-crush parties with wine tasting, food, and live music. Sparkling wine purveyor Schramsberg holds a weekend-long fall harvest camp, where guests join in to harvest grapes. Grgich Hills Estate and Schweiger Vineyards have old-fashioned grape stomping events (roll up your pants and jump in). And V. Sattui hosts annual harvest balls and crush parties.

Cradling California’s most famous wine country, these two world-famous wine regions, both about an hour’s drive north of San Francisco, boast rolling hills planted with some of the most coveted grapes in the world. Napa Valley reigns as the land of grand estates, expansive tasting rooms, quaint towns and elegant accommodation, many lining the celebrated Silverado Trail. Sonoma County tends to have a more intimate feel, especially as you head further north towards the Russian River. Whether they’re in a castle or renovated barn, the hundreds of wineries in Napa and Sonoma Valleys earn their gold medals and international accolades.

When to visit? Each season has its charms: spring brings brilliant green new grape leaves and lush hillsides, and fields of yellow mustard add brilliant contrast. Summer warms up, both with events and crowds, so start your day early to avoid both. Autumn brings the crush, and vineyards bustle with workers in the vineyards and the wineries. Winter brings a cool hush—insiders know this is a time to snag reservations at the region’s Michelin-starred, in-demand restaurants, shop for holiday gifts in spruced-up towns and relax in peace at luxurious spas. #VISITCALIFORNIA

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