To paraphrase a famous line from a famous war movie…
“I love the smell of winegrapes in the morning.”
Particularly during the harvest season.
And you can experience that unique, addictive aroma if you head for California’s Sonoma Valley on the last weekend of September.
The fall winegrape harvest will be in full swing, and that heady aroma of fermenting grape juice acts like a magnet. Rather than driving directly to your intended destination, you’re lured off the road toward winery buildings as the just-picked fruit is hauled in and crushed.
Even the fact that seemingly millions of tiny fruit flies have followed you on this detour seems inconsequential. One of life’s great pleasures is in its formative stage, and itâ€™s almost impossible to ignore.
Perhaps that’s why I’m such a big fan of the Valley of the Moon Vintage Festival in Sonoma County. Sure, the festival itself is great… but the time of the year in which it’s held is perfect.
This year, the Vintage Festival is scheduled for September 27-29. As usual, it kicks off with a patron’s night gala on Friday (well worth the ticket price, by the way), and includes additional wine-tasting opportunities, live music, grape stomping, art displays, a parade and even a firefighters’ water fight.
In short, it’s a ton of fun… and a great way to say so long to those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer.
Last I checked, the festival’s Web site (sonomavinfest.org) was in the process of being updated. Meanwhile, you can get some information at sonomavalley.com.