Summer might be coming to an end, but Californians are excited because September equals wine, and lots of it. September is California Wine Month, celebrating wineries, vineyards, and growers of all types of vino.
California Wine Month was created to recognize how much the state of California benefits from the wine industry in terms of economy and lifestyle. California produces 90% of the wine in the United States and is the fourth-largest wine producer in the entire world.
There is plenty to do all month, according to VisitCalifornia.com:
“During this statewide celebration of the Golden State’s rich wine history, you can participate in events from picking and crushing grapes to VIP tours to tastings, concerts, and so much more.”
According to our Travel Insights, the two most popular locations to visit in the California Wine Country are both on the North Coast: Napa, with 26.4% of all travelers heading that way, and Sonoma, with 24.4%. Most travelers go for a romantic weekend getaway, with the most common party size being two and the most common reservation requests made for just one or two days.
Sunset Magazine describes the most-visited location, Napa Valley, as
“the best wine region in the New World. Period. Back when our neighbors to the west were taking the prune market by storm, Napa was uncorking our national appetite for fermented grape juice, giving it a seat at the table alongside the great wines of Europe.“
There are so many different types of California wine to choose from, including: Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Merlot, Pinot noir, Sauvignon blanc, Syrah, and Zinfandel. Over 700 miles of winegrowing areas include more than 100 American Viticultural Regions full of different types of wine and people.
In Bon Appetit Magazine, renowned Napa chef, vintner, and TV host Michael Chiarello explains how to choose which winery to go to:
“Wine tasting shouldn’t be a crapshoot where you’re just stopping at every shop that you see. Prioritize the wineries you want to hit on your journey. Even if you’re a neophyte, if you’re going to wine tasting, there’s a good chance you’ve had wine before—start by researching a varietal you like, agnostic of brand. Then, when you get to the tasting room, let your preferences be known (‘Hi! I’m here for the pinot noir!’), and let the staff guide you from there.”
Wine is not just something you drink with dinner: it has a history, a culture, and it brings people together. So what are you waiting for? Grab that special someone and take a weekend adventure to the California Wine Region.
If you are worried about not knowing how to properly taste the wine, check out Wine Enthusiast Magazine’s article on How to Taste Wine.