Fall Wine Festivals In the United States
Annual wine festivals celebrate viticulture and usually occur after the harvest of the grapes which, in the northern hemisphere, generally falls at the end of September and runs until well into October or later. They are common in most wine regions around the world and are to be considered in the tradition of other harvest festivals. I have also shared several of the festivals, there are many fall festivals and harvest events all around the country. There is something to please everyone.
The Egyptian god Osiris was dedicated to wine, but the oldest historically documented wine festivals can be traced back to the Greek celebrations for their wine god Dionvsos. The typical ingredients of a wine festival include wine drinking, grape pressing, regional foods, music and, in many areas, religious ritual. The grape, and the extraction of its juice to produce wine, is more than a flavorsome food or drink. Both grapes and wine have immense cultural significance in many cultures and often religious significance too.
Autumn is the ultimate time of year for food festivals, and with the changing of the seasons on the horizon, it’s time to start planning trips that allow you taste the best the country’s various regions have to offer. Harvest season in New England and California’s wine country means festivals that celebrate local produce, while other events around the country feature the best beer, barbecue, oysters, and more.
As we are enjoying fall, wineries in the Northern Hemisphere are hard at work harvesting their grapes from the vines. So you’ll find that September and October make a great time to stop at a vineyard and enjoy a wine tasting. Another way to sample the wine from their vineyards is at a fall wine festival. Local wineries will offer samples of their wines for guests to try. Wine festivals are popular because they are an easy way to try a large number of different grapes, vintages, and wineries. At the end of the event, buy a couple bottles of your favorite wines and enjoy them later at home or at a BYOB. There’s also food and entertainment at the festival to make sure that everyone has a good time.
Harvest is a vintner’s celebration of the culmination of a year’s hard work. It marks the transition period in the winemaking cycle from vineyard to cellar. In physical terms, it is the process of picking ripe grapes from the vine. I am sharing some that are annual events in different areas, please realize this is but a small sample, and there are a wide variety around the country.
Long Island Wine Country. com cordially invites you to take part in their once-a-year activity by joining their annual Harvest Fest “Day in the Vineyard”. This full day event will take place at Laurel Lake Vineyards, in the quaint hamlet of Laurel, on the North Fork of Long Island. Laurel Lake Vineyards is a modern vineyard & winery focusing on producing premium quality estate wines. The winery building features a massive elevated wrap around deck that offers a picture perfect view of the vineyard below (and at other vineyards on the east end of the island).
Harvest Fest is a full day, fun-filled educational event. Attendees will gain a new appreciation for how wine gets into the bottle. Clip the vines, pick the grapes, and have the opportunity to custom blend your own bottle of wine! “attitude-free” wine!
Harvest Fest includes: (1) Food & Wine paring demonstration; (2) Welcome toast with sparkling wine; (3) Winemaking overview and presentation; (4) Picking grapes in the vineyard; (5) Live demonstration of the crush & winemaking process; (6) VIP Tour of the wine cellar; (7) VIP Barrel Tasting of pre-release vintages; (8) Delicious Vineyard Lunch; (9) Live Music; (10) “Barrel Rolling Contest” with valuable prize; (11) Tasting of artisan cheese & Ice wine; and (12) Optional-Blend your own bottle of wine of “Meritage” style red wine with the winemaker. Plus so much more. Harvest Fest is just one of many fall harvest related festivals taking place on the east end of Long Island at various vineyards. They are not to be missed.
Founded in October 1982, the Great American Beer Festival in Denver, Colorado is a celebration of the best brews produced around the country, with nearly 700 breweries represented at last year’s festival. When you’ve had your fill of beer, sample some of the artisanal cheeses, hosted by the American Cheese Society, or check out the Farm to Table Pavilion, featuring the best chefs working in the U.S.
The Annual Lynchburg Beer and Wine Festival takes place in Lynchburg, Virginia at the Lynchburg City Stadium on the third weekend of September. Over 16 area wineries are on hand with samples of their finest Virginia wines. Breweries from the state and beyond will have craft ales and lagers on tap with 76 different varieties for you to sample and buy. Artisans and crafters from around the state display their goods while area businesses are represented to feature their newest line of products.
Food vendors galore line the perimeter of the festival park with barbecue, ribs, wings and crab cakes. You will also find the all American favorites of hot dogs, hamburgers, pizza, ribbon fries and funnel cakes. This year they have added Mediterranean, Greek and Italian cuisine. There will be something to tempt every pallet. A festival isn’t a festival without the finest of entertainment. Their goal is to bring in local acts as well as featured bands from out of the area that will offer a different variety of music while still playing the favorite sing-a-long tunes that everyone loves.
Paw Paw Wine and Harvest Festival – Paw Paw, MI – (early September)
Wine tours, wine tasting, 4 stages of musical entertainment, grape stomp, carnival rides, car show, sports activities, arts & crafts show and more.
Dripping with Taste Wine & Food Festival – Dripping Springs, TX (mid-September). Enjoy live music on stage with top talent including the Billy Garza Band. View chef and drink demonstrations, grape stomping, a cigar booth, and a host of wineries, breweries, and family activities.
Virginia Wine Festival – The Plains, VA – Annual September event held at Great Meadows.
GrapeFest – Grapevine, TX – Mid-September Annual event. The Grapevine Wine Festival includes a People’s Choice Wine Tasting Classic with 100+ wine samples from 40+ Texas wineries so that guests can choose their favorite. The Grape Stomp competition is very popular.
Lynchburg Beer & Wine Festival – Lynchburg, VA – Mid-September
Voted one of the Best Beer and Wind Festivals by Lynchburg Living Magazine. Over 5,000 guests attend the event at Lynchburg City Stadium. More than 16 wine vendors provide samples and there are nearly 100 craft ales and lagers on tap.
Taste of Freedom Wine Festival – Montpelier, VA – (mid-September) Enjoy Constitution Day at James Madison’s Montpelier. Take the 11 mile round-trip Liberty Ride. Breweries and wineries, arts & crafts, food vendors, live music, children’s entertainment and more.
Stratford Hall Wine and Oyster Festival – Stratford, VA – (mid-September) Sample Chesapeake Bay seafood recipes, have a beer, view craftsmen and ride the Bay Transit Trolleys. Experience colonial chocolate making, kid’s rides, and much more.
Texas Reds Steak & Grape Festival – Bryan, TX – (late September) Downtown Bryan hosts this annual festival featuring a steak cook-off, craft beer, artist showcases, vendors, food, and Texas wineries.
Fredericksburg Area Wine Festival – Fredericksburg, VA – (early October)
Ten wineries offer samples and the opportunity to purchase more than 100 varieties of wine from Virginia, Beer garden hosted by the All-American Girls. Food vendors, live music, arts & crafts and more.
Chesapeake Virginia Wine Festival – Chesapeake, VA – (early October) Back for another year is this wine tasting event from over twenty premier Virginia Wineries. All activities are at the Chesapeake City Park.
Virginia Wine & Garlic Festival – Amherst, VA – (early October) “Always a Stinkin’ Good Time”. This popular event is held at Rebec Vineyards, 2229 N. Amherst Hwy, Amherst. It features live music, arts, crafts, tastings, and over 150 arts and craft vendors. This is Virginia’s largest agricultural festival.
Wine & Unwind Wine Festival – Salem, VA – (October) Sample wines, taste food, dance to good music and enjoy the arts and crafts. Held annually at the Salem Civic Center.