Now that September's here, it's time to once again raise a glass in honor of California Wine Month.
The annual proclamation, ordered this year by Gov. Jerry Brown, salutes the state's $61 billion wine industry, the 330,000 California jobs generated from wine and the wine lovers who make all this happen.
California Wine Month arrives right in time for the annual grape harvest, which so far is slated to be one of the best growing seasons in years. Unlike the spring frosts and unseasonably cool summers of years past, 2012 is shaping up to be a bountiful harvest.
Given the talk of supply shortage in the state's wine industry, it looks like Mother Nature finally may be providing some relief.
But back to the wine and more important, the celebrations during California Wine Month. One of the largest events is going down now through Oct. 6 in Lodi's wine region. More than 45 wineries are taking part in LoCA Road Trip Passport, which includes special events, tastings, restaurant specials.
Some of the participating wineries: Harmony Wynelands, Michael David Winery, Macchia, Klinker Brick Winery, LangeTwins Family Winery & Vineyards, Van Ruiten Family Winery and Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi.
The price? Each passport is $15, good through Oct. 6, and can be used as many times as you deem fit. For more information: www.lodiroadtrip.com or (209) 365-0621. These tickets must be purchased by 5 p.m. Sept. 28.
Passports also can be picked up in person by Oct. 5 at the Lodi Wine & Visitor Center (2545 W. Turner Road, Lodi; 209-365-0621).
S.F. wine event
If you're looking for a wine-related road trip, and also look forward to some time in San Francisco, head to the Ferry Building Marketplace (One Ferry Building, San Francisco) on Sept. 22.
This California Wines Road Trip 2012 includes pours from more than 60 wineries, plus cheeses and salumi.
Tickets cost $35. For more information: http://cawinesroadtripsf.eventbrite.com/