Wine Buzz: A monthlong celebration of wine at harvest time

Published: Wednesday, Sep. 4, 2013 - 12:00 am
Last Modified: Wednesday, Sep. 4, 2013 - 1:38 am

The summer of 2013 reached its symbolic end now that Labor Day weekend’s one for the books. But for those who love wine, there’s still plenty to savor with the arrival of September.

September marks the ninth annual “California Wine Month.” It comes complete with a proclamation from Gov. Jerry Brown toasting the state’s wine industry, which reaped an estimated retail value of $34.6 billion in 2012. The celebrations are held during the heart of the wine grape harvest, which this year finds many crops being picked earlier than usual because of a dry summer with significant heat spikes.

But beyond the number-crunching and harvest reports, California Wine Month also features activities and tastings around the state. That’s especially true in Lodi, the state’s largest wine grape-growing appellation, home to 100,000 acres of grapes and 750 growers.

Lodi wineries will commemorate California Wine Month with the “Lodi Road Trip,” in which dozens of wineries will host open houses with tastings and hands-on opportunities to learn more about bottling and blending. The festivities will last through Sept. 30, and a “passport,” which includes tastings and related activities, costs just $20.

Participating wineries include some of Lodi’s biggest names and choice boutique producers: Michael-David, Woodbridge, Lucas Winery, Klinker Brick, LangeTwins and more than 40 others.

For more information:, (209) 365-0621.

Those who are looking for a taste of Lodi but don’t want to trek down Highway 99 or I-5 can get a table at Evan’s Kitchen (855 57th St., Sacramento) on Sept. 16. That night’s wine dinner, dubbed “Stuck in Lodi Again” from the Creedence Clearwater Revival song, features four courses plus dessert paired with wines from Lodi’s Oak Farm Vineyards.

Menu items include carnitas “lollipops” paired with Oak Farm Vineyards’ verdelho and a grilled peach “dessert lasagna” with a peach-flavored sparkling wine. The dinner costs $75 per person; call (916) 452-3896 for reservations.

For more information about California Wine Month events as a whole, visit

Call The Bee’s Chris Macias, (916) 321-1253. Follow him on Twitter @chris_macias

Read more articles by Chris Macias

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