The beauty of Sonoma County hits an all-time high as the fall season makes it debut. The abundance of foliage across the green landscape allows locals and visitors to experience vibrant colors as the final stages of the growing process get underway in the vineyards. Wine lovers will enjoy the opportunity to learn more about the grape-growing and fermentation processes, and for those who appreciate the variety of farm-to-table restaurant options in the region, autumn presents changing menus and new, fresh meal offerings that are worth getting excited about. Of course, there are also numerous fall events that draw vacationers and residents of the wine country together every year to enjoy the mild weather and a festive, fun time. Below are some of the best Sonoma County fall events to check out.
Russian River Jazz and Blues Festival
When: September 10-11, 2016
Where: Johnson’s Beach – Guerneville, CA
The 40th annual Russian River Jazz and Blues Festival is not one to be missed with a lineup that includes Chaka Kahn, Johnny Lang, Sheila E., Brian Culbertson, and more. Over the course of two days, attendees will gather right on the Russian River at Johnson’s Beach in Guerneville to enjoy the live musical performances coming from the different stages, as well as a wine garden and a variety of vendors offering food, art, clothing, and gift items. Camping is available at the venue along with water activities, such as canoeing, kayaking, and paddle boating.
Sonoma Valley Crush
When: September 16-18, 2016
Where: Deerfield Ranch Winery, La Rochelle, Loxton Cellars, Manzanita Creek Winery, Mayo Family Winery, Muscardini Cellars, Orpheus Wines, Paradise Ridge Winery, Spann Vineyards, St. Anne’s Crossing Winery, Ty Caton Vineyards
Sonoma Valley Crush allows participants to go way beyond the typical wine tasting experience and get hands-on in a harvesting adventure. Tickets include a meeting with different winemakers, wine tastings, grape samplings in the vineyards, crush pad tours, and samples of fresh-pressed juice. There is also the possibility of tasting a wine while it’s fermenting and learning how to read a refractometer. This is the perfect opportunity for wine enthusiasts to gain a deeper understanding of how their favorite bottles are made.
GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma
When: September 16-18, 2016
Where: Sonoma Raceway
The GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma is the last event to take place on this year’s racing schedule, and it gives attendees the opportunity to see who is going to come out on top as the champion. The Verizon IndyCar Series has a jam-packed weekend itinerary of racing and off-track activities to look forward to. There will be a Patriots Jet Team air show, driver autograph session, pre-race concert with a performance by Pop Rocks, and more.
Kendall-Jackson Heirloom Tomato Festival
When: September 24, 2016
Where: Kendall-Jackson Wine Estate & Gardens – Fulton, CA
Celebrating its 20th anniversary, this year’s Kendall-Jackson Heirloom Tomato Festival will feature food and wine pairings, live music by Beaufunk, wine and garden seminars, and the annual chef challenge. The tomato-inspired festivities are a tribute to the 150 different types of tomatoes that are grown right on the Kendall-Jackson estate. Williams-Sonoma has partnered with the winery to hold a pre-event farm-to-table kickoff dinner the night before the festival. Proceeds are used to benefit local charities.
Sonoma County Harvest Fair
When: September 30-October 2, 2016
Where: Sonoma County Fairgrounds – Santa Rosa, CA
The Harvest Fair is a favorite activity for many every fall. Now in its 42nd year, it’s still one of the best places to experience delectable food pairings and wine, craft beer, and cider tastings from more than 150 regional wineries. Aside from the Tasting Pavilion, there are plenty of events going on all weekend, including cooking demonstrations, a classic car show, art shows, llama petting zoo, live music performances, pumpkin carving, apple slingshot, grape stomp competitions, and beer making workshops.
Sonoma Music Festival
When: ctober 7-9, 2016
Where: Field of Dreams – Sonoma, CA
For the last 30 years, the Sonoma Music Festival has been a fall season staple event, which was previously held at B.R. Cohn Winery before being moved to downtown Sonoma. The headlining acts include Creedence Clearwater Revival founder John Fogerty, Steve Miller Band, and Toby Keith, with supporting performances by Andy Velo, Dave Mason, Lyndsey Elm, and more. The annual festival is held in support of several charities, and proceeds from ticket, food, and wine and beer sales will be donated.
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