It’s that time of year again! September is California Wine Month, which means a flurry of events are coming to commemorate the wine crush. You can celebrate by heading to one of Monterey County’s many harvest fetes or by visiting one of the region’s renowned wineries. After all, ‘tis the season!
For a taste of the wild west, visit Galante Vineyards’ “Galante Wine Gang Muster” on Sept. 9, which features a barbecue luncheon and tastings from Galante's own private barrels as well as selections of malbec and sauvignon blanc.
Also on Sept. 9, McIntyre Vineyards is hosting its “Annual Harvest in the Vineyard.” Guests will enjoy merlot, estate chardonnay and estate pinot noir along with a catered meal from Aqua Terra Catering. Attendees will even be able to take home their own etched glass and enjoy a guided tour by the McIntyre staff.
Or, head to Bernardus Vineyards & Winery on Sept. 21 for its “Pigs and Pinot on the Patio” event. Robert Baker will cater and live music will complement the delicious eats. Make sure to make your reservation early—this annual event is incredibly popular.
Wine Club Members can celebrate the actual wine crush with Joullian Vineyards & Winery. On Sept. 30, they’re inviting guests to get their “stompin’ feet” ready with a grape stomp competition, wine tasting, vineyards tours and a catered lunch.
Your pups can also get in on celebrating the wine harvest. Dawn’s Dream Winery is hosting “Pups & Pinot” on Sept. 17. Humans can enjoy wine tastings while the dogs enjoy a “dog bar” of treats. Best of all? If you bring your pup, you’ll get discounts on some of the available wines.
For a unique twist on celebrating the wine crush, head to the “Wicked Wine Run” on Sept. 16, which is hosted by Smith Vineyards along the River Road Wine Trail in Salinas Valley. Run in the evening and celebrate your accomplishment with wine and bites from food trucks. There’s also a 1k wine tasting walk for those who’d rather sip than sprint.
Must-try Local Wine Producers
While not every wine producer in the county is hosting events in September, you can still celebrate by paying a visit to the various vineyards and wineries in the region.
Celebrate women winemakers at Cima Collina or Scheid Vineyards. The former is the result of a collaboration between Dick Lumpkin and Annette Hoff Danzer, an expert when it comes to pinot noir. Danzer’s expertise comes across in the breadth of Cima Collina’s varietals, which show off the diversity of the county and its growers.
Meanwhile, Marta Kraftzeck of Scheid Vineyards is a wine industry veteran with more than 30 years of experience. As the first female winemaker in Monterey County, Kraftzeck brings her worldliness and knowledge of the best fruit to every bottle, which is made in Scheid’s state-of-the-art wine-producing facility. This facility has a crushing capacity of 30,000 tons. Scheid also has tasting rooms open to the public, including one in Carmel-by-the-Sea and another in Greenfield, while interested parties can book a private tour of Cima Collina or head to their tasting room in Carmel Valley.
Or, you might head over to Holman Ranch in Carmel Valley. Visit the tasting patio and wine shop for some dry rose of pinot noir or fruity pinot gris. On Saturdays and Sundays, there’s even live entertainment and small plate pairings to enjoy. Just down the road, Parsonage Vineyards allows for premium flights of five wines or reserve flights of three.
Pierce Ranch Vineyards’ tasting room is another great stop—housed on Cannery Row. Here guests can taste everything from their port to albarino. Like Holman Ranch, Pierce Ranch also boasts live music. Every Sunday night features different jazz musicians such as the Steve Abrams Trio, Kenny Stahl, the Ben Herod Ensemble and plenty more.
Talbott Vineyards also has a popular tasting room. Open daily from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., enjoy its Sleepy Hollow chardonnay or pinot noir as well as the fun motorcycle museum run by the owner just down the road. Joyce Vineyards should also be on your itinerary, its tasting room is open daily and offers weekly tasting flights of its releases as well cheese pairings.
No matter where you go in Monterey County during the month of September, you’re sure to stumble upon an impressive vineyard or winery—and the perfect spot to celebrate wine month. So book a private tour, grab a ticket for a wine harvest event or simply sip some wine alfresco while listening to live music—you simply can’t go wrong in Monterey County!