There’s never a bad time to raise a glass in California, but September is harvest time, and that means special wine-focused events all across the state to mark the 13th annual California Wine Month. Not only is this a great way to taste some new wines or savor a few favorites, but many of the special events scheduled throughout the month are also tied to charitable donations, so you can feel even better about that generous pour.

 

Northern California

The 33rd annual Winesong on September 8–9 is a charity auction benefitting the Mendocino Coast District Hospital, with vintages from Mendocino, Sonoma, and Napa served among the Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens.

Joining together 12 boutique wineries in Kenwood and Glen Ellen, Sonoma Valley Crush on September 8–10 is an opportunity to dive into the harvest season with activities including grape sampling and crush pad tours.

Wine Enthusiast Magazine named Calistoga one of the top 10 wine destinations in the world, and you can immerse yourself in the local wine culture on September 9 at the Calistoga Wine Experience in Napa Valley. The event features tastings from more than 40 Calistoga wineries, meet and greets, appetizers, and live jazz.

On September 23, downtown Los Gatos transforms into Eat Drink Los Gatos, an annual wine walk. The event includes booths featuring restaurant fare, plus live music, shopping, and, of course, wine tastings.

 

Central California

Thought of as one of Lake Tahoe’s premier events for foodies and wine connoisseurs, the Lake Tahoe Autumn Food & Wine Festival on September 8–10 includes three days of cooking demonstrations, culinary competitions, wine tastings, a Farm-to-Tahoe dinner, and live music.

Santa Barbara’s Taste of the Town on September 10 is described as “the ultimate epicurean adventure” with tastings from fine local wineries as well as breweries and restaurants. The event benefits the Arthritis Foundation.

The Lodi Grape Festival has been going on for eight decades, and the 80th annual event on September 14–17 features wine tasting, live music, and family activities.

The Santa Barbara Vintners Celebration of Harvest Weekend is four days of wine tasting, wine dinners, vineyard excursions, and open houses at various wineries from September 29 to October 2. The event also includes the Taste of Santa Barbara Wine Country opening night celebration on September 29, an outdoor tasting event with new fall releases, library wines, and tastes from top area restaurants.

 

Southern California

VINO-Palooza is a unique event combining wine tasting and live music on September 10 at the Marina Del Rey Hotel. The festival is being presented in part by platinum recording artist Ryan Cabrera, with tastings from boutique wineries, craft breweries, and local distilleries and live performances by popular artists. Proceeds benefit Matt Sorum’s Adopt the Arts Foundation.

Temecula Valley Crush is a showcase for more than 100 wines from Temecula Valley wineries on September 30, with food pairings and live music.