Friday, September 25, 2015

BRAMBLES: Harvest Wine Events

Field of Harvest Dreams: Pomace
Harvest signs are everywhere on these warm, late summer days.  Trucks of assorted sizes, configurations, and loads dot the local highways and byways in a seasonal procession.  Casual drives across this Sonoma landscape offer the distinct aromas of the season, one green pocket at a time.  New to the local mix of agricultural perfumes are the notes of the recently pressed juice and solids of freshly harvested grapes(must) and the separated, solid remains of the following grape fermentation, pomace(marc).  In these local AVA's(American Viticultural Area) there is once again the last of the early morning fruit harvesting and the beginnings of another season of harvest dreams. It is nearing the end of a repeated annual cycle that started early in the calendar year with local vines awaking from their required winter dormancy. It is harvest, and a time to celebrate.

Every week here there are numerous and varied wine events around this beautiful county to explore and celebrate our local agri-industry.  The recently lauded Sonoma Wine Country Weekend remains the longstanding grand scale standard-bearer, of course. Small events dot this landscape too, including the newly inaugurated Grenachistas celebration by Sonoma's delicious Suite D's. From the annual August Bodega Seafood, Art & Wine Festival, to the upcoming Kendall Jackson Heirloom Tomato Festival(Sat. 09/26), there are countless ways to dig in and enjoy the diversity of the contemporary local wine culture.

For many, a lingering question may be 'why go to a local event? For the neophytes, it can be the desire may be to find something new, to learn more about wines, or to support local businesses and to gain some of that delicious insider knowledge. Those of us that crave socialization will have the scheduled opportunity to interact with others of the same or similar desire, or to join what may be perceived as a 'free' meal and a joyous party. Many who are passionate about the lifestyle may thrill to the idea of enjoying(celebrating) a lively and broad wine experience, or even evaluating scores of diverse wine stylings. But any celebration, wine events included, are amplified by the size and nature of the gathered crowd.  We all love to be part of a happy group, and wine lovers are no exception. It has been that way almost since there was wine, and that is a long time!

What better opportunity than the season of harvest to celebrate with friends, new and old.  An annual chance to renew the worn spirit and reward those local efforts that brought us the delicious bounty we will enjoy currently and into our future. It is the nature of wine, after all.  And another delicious reason to celebrate another California Wine Month.

Taste of Atlas Peak (Sat. 09/26)
Sonoma Valley Crush (Fri. 09/25-Sun. 09/27)
Valley of the Moon Vintage Festival (Friday 09/25-Sun. 09/27)
Sonoma County Harvest Fair (Fri. 10/02-Sun. 10/04)
Food & Wine Affair (Sat. 11/07-Sun. 11/08)