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Festival Season

Ease into the holidays with music, food, and film.



Old Grove Festival / COURTESY OF STEWARDS OF THE COAST AND REDWOODS

Fall is a special time of year in Wine Country, when everyone heads outdoors to celebrate the region’s bounty. From apple harvests and grape stomps to concerts and street fairs, here’s where to go to make the most of these months.


The Barlow Street Fair

(through 10/30) Head to the heart of The Barlow to browse handmade crafts and art installations. There’s also live music, local eats, and—of course—wine. Thursdays along McKinley St. in Sebastopol, thebarlow.net/streetfair.
 

Old Grove Festival

(9/13) The Mother Hips headline this year’s show at the historic open-air Redwood Forest Theater built in the 1930s. Show up early to eat dinner, and get a sneak peek during sound check. 17000 Armstrong Woods Rd., near Guerneville, stewardscr.org.
 

Much Ado About Sebastopol

(9/13–9/14) This 16th century Renaissance fair celebrates the apple harvest. Expect parades, sword fighting, and encounters with costumed travelers. Ives Park, 7400 Willow Ave., Sebastopol, muchadoaboutsebastopol.com.
 

Russian River Jazz and Blues Festival

(9/20–9/21) Larry Graham & Graham Central Station, Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue, and Roy Rogers & The Delta Rhythm Kings are just a few of the top acts at this waterside festival amongst the redwoods. Johnson’s Beach, Guerneville, russianriverfestivals.com.
 

Valley of the Moon Vintage Festival

(9/26–9/28) Live music, more than 50 wineries, and specialty shops mark California’s oldest festival (since 1897) in Sonoma’s historic downtown plaza. Friday night kicks off with a gala under the stars. Sonoma Square, valleyofthemoonvintagefestival.com.
 

Sonoma County Harvest Fair

(10/3–10/5) Three days of chef demos, food workshops, the World Championship Grape Stomp, and wine, beer, and cider
tasting at the fairgrounds. 1350 Bennett Valley Rd., Santa Rosa, harvestfair.org.
 

Fort Ross Harvest Festival

(10/18) Celebrate autumn with singing and dancing, apple harvesting, horse and wagon rides, canyon firing, and children’s activities. Fort Ross Historic Park, 19005 Coast Hwy., Jenner, fortross.org.
 

COURTESY OF FLAVOR! NAPA VALLEY

Trinitas Halloween Party

(10/31) Meet the mad scientist in the tasting room, boogie down to DJ Gentleman Jim Gavin, and win prizes for your killer costume at Meritage Resort and Spa’s haunted wine cave. 875 Bordeaux Way, Napa, (707) 251-3017.
 

Napa Valley Film Festival

(11/12–11/16) Three hundred filmmakers, 150 wineries, and 50 chefs come together for this five-day celebration of independent films and world cinema. Flicks are shown at 12 different venues. Event locations vary, napavalleyfilmfest.org.
 

Flavor! Napa Valley

(11/19–11/23) From dual culinary demos with Michael Chiarello and Todd English to dinners with Napa Valley winemakers, this five-day event celebrates food, wine, and fun to benefit scholarships at the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone, in St. Helena. Event locations vary, flavornapavalley.com.
 

Yountville Festival of Lights

(11/28) Kick off the holiday season in a twinkling winter wonderland, with live music, art auctions, and tastings from more than a dozen wineries. Downtown Yountville, yountville.com.

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Top Events

Stomp, speed, and sip your way through harvest season in Wine Country.

Baby, you can drive my car

A collection of rentable vintage cars sets hearts racing for auto enthusiasts.

On Top of the World

You strap yourself into the creamy leather seat, the engine whirs evenly, and the helicopter flutters gently upward. Within seconds, you’re getting an unfamiliar view of Napa Valley, appreciating—perhaps for the first time—the way the valley narrows just north ofSt. Helena, the interlocking triangles of Chappellet’s winery roof, and the oxbow curve of the Napa River.

Festival Fun

Head to these fests for good ol’ times.

The Zen of Horseback Riding

Drive 15 minutes east of Napa to the slopes of Mount George, and you can discover both Zen-like wine tasting and an adventurous return to Napa’s past.

Wine Made Easy

Become a vintner with Wine Country’s posh new wine club.

Luxury Glamping

Go camping in Style at Autocamp Russian River.

Retro Revival

Sleep in vintage style at the revamped Astro in Santa Rosa.

Pedal for Pinot

Explore Wine Country off road and up close with Napa Valley Bike Tours’ unique Cycling in the Vineyards program.

The Music Man of the Napa Valley Opera House

With Peter Williams at the helm, the Napa Valley Opera House heats up.

Gaining A New Perspective

Artist Gretchen Kimball opens a painting studio in Napa so she can help open others' eyes to the joys of art

Inn Style

Three classic wine county lodgings get contemporary updates.
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