Summer is coming to an end in the northern hemisphere, and vineyards will soon show off their beautiful golden and red colors as temperatures mellow during the day and become pleasantly cool at night. It is the peak of the most beautiful and active season for winemakers and wine lovers: the grape harvest season!
The grape harvest is a crucial part of the winemaking process because the moment that the grapes are picked determines the acidity, sweetness, and flavor of the wine. The exact date of the harvest depends on when the grapes reach the appropriate degree of ripeness, and it varies year to year as weather conditions do. However, it is typically between August and October, depending on each wine style and region.
For food and wine lovers, September is the perfect month for getting involved during this essential part of the wine producing process. Harvest is a time for celebration, and each wine region has a special way of enjoying the season.
Here is a list of what’s happening around the world in this wonderful month.
What events are happening in September?
Everywhere in Italy – September 2015 – Cantine Aperte in Vendemmia
In September, the fragrance of grapes and must attracts wine lovers to the open wineries all around Italy. An enchanting time to visit vineyards, participate alongside winemakers in the harvest and the first stages of production. Wineries organize art exhibitions, shows, concerts and much more. Considering that harvest takes place at different dates around Italy, it is possible to visit various regions during this season.
Prosecco region, Veneto – September 11-12, 2015 – 100 Miglia sulla Strada del Prosecco Superiore
Take a tour in a vintage car between the splendid hills of Conegliano and Treviso (40 miles from Venice). This is the perfect occasion to discover the extraordinary foods and wines of Italy’s oldest wine route. The tour starts from Valdobbiadene following a route between vineyards and charming towns, ending in the city of Conegliano, with stops at some of the most renowned wineries.
Sonoma County – September 4-6, 2015 – 8th Annual Sonoma Wine Country Weekend
Sonoma Wine Country Weekend is a nice opportunity to indulge in Sonoma’s tradition of wine and gastronomy, while raising funds for a charitable cause. The program includes a wine auction, winery barbecues, dinners, wine tastings and much more.
Bordeaux – September 7, 2015 – Medoc Marathon
Routed through beautiful vineyards in the fabled villages of the Medoc wine region, this marathon is built on pillars of health, sport, conviviality and fun. It offers you gourmet food and local wine on the way to the finish line. The course is more like a prestigious wine list rather than a race course, as you pass Chateau Lafite Rothschild, Chateau Mouton Rothschild, Lynch-Bages, Pichon Lonqueville, Beychevelles, among others. The pre-race "Milles Pate Party," along with the next-day recovery walk, lunch and celebration party, are some of the events you can’t miss.
Everywhere in France – September 25-27, 2015 – Fête de la Gastronomie
Banquets, picnics, food lovers’ trails and many other events will take place throughout France. To mention one: 27 top chefs will create a special 5-euro recipe using seasonal products from their region. This is the perfect occasion for planning a trip to your favorite French destination and head to the streets with family and friends to celebrate the richness of the French gastronomy.
Budapest – September 9-13, 2015 – Budapest Wine Festival
Enjoy countless events, including a Wine University, a wine auction, an arts festival and several live performances. The Wine Festival in Buda Castle Hill is a great opportunity for wine lovers who want to learn more about the art of winemaking and taste some of the best Hungarian wines, all while enjoying Hungarian gastronomy and folk music in a spectacular setting.
Mendoza – September 10-11, 2015 – Intercontinental Wine Expo
With the participation of over 80 wineries across the country, the Intercontinental Wine Expo has positioned itself as one of the most prestigious wine tasting events in South America. This is a great occasion to discover Argentina’s top wines while interacting with the main protagonists of the sector.
London – September 11, 2015 – Turkish September
This is a magnificent evening with some of the best Turkish wines and canapés, under the guidance of Master of Wine, Sarah Abbott, who has been working with the Turkish wine sector for many years.
Haro, La Rioja – September 18-19, 2015 – La Cata del Barrio de La Estación
Credit: lopezdeheredia.com by Jesús Rocandio
For the first time ever, the seven historic wineries of Haro's Barrio de la Estacion (which is the greatest concentration of hundred-year-old wine cellars in the world) join forces to organize an extraordinary wine tasting event. This is a premiere tasting of new vintages and an exclusive dinner, served among vineyards for wine sector professionals, as well as wine tastings and tapas for the general public.
Logroño, La Rioja – September 20-25, 2015 – La Rioja Harvest Festival
This festival pays homage to San Mateo, patron saint of Logroño, turning the city into a scene of several festive events, with wine as the main protagonist. Music concerts, a bullfighting festival, an international fireworks contest, evening aerial dance shows and public tastings are part of the sensational program. There will be a special wine train to transport visitors from Logroño to Haro, so why not attend both Rioja events?
Franschhoek – September 26-27, 2015 – Franschhoek Uncorked
Join Franschhoek, as the wineries open their doors at the annual Franschhoek Uncorked Festival. What better way to celebrate Franschhoek’s enogastronomic heritage than over a glass of delicious local wine paired with typical food cooked over an open flame!
Douro Valley – September 26-29, 2015 – Harvest Film Festival
This is a festival that combines cinema, food and music at the splendid UNESCO World Heritage Douro Valley, home of the world famous port wine. Join this exceptional festival and take the opportunity to visit Douro’s historical wineries and cellars that tell its century-old tradition in winemaking.
Dubrovnik – September 26-29, 2015 – Wine & Jazz Festival
Credit: Dubrovnik Wine & Jazz Festival Facebook timeline
Each year, Dubrovnik becomes the wine, art and jazz enthusiasts’ favorite destination. This unique festival combines all these pleasures at the Rector’s Palace in the gorgeous Dubrovnik’s old town. So if you are a wine and jazz lover, plan your trip to enjoy this perfect combination.