Leigh Castelli Photography
Spend the first weekend of November in Temecula Valley at the region's annual Harvest Celebration? Sounds toast-worthy to us.
MAKING COMPARISONS: Many of us are ardent admirers of wine and wine-makers, but far fewer have worked in the incredibly intense and rewarding biz. So we non-industry folks try to imagine what harvest must be like, and how busy, and how bustling, and all of the various hoops -- and, er, grape-pressing devices -- a wine house must jump through to tie things up before heading into the holidays. We're not sure there's a comparison in our individual lives, though harvest must be, for the vineyard chief, akin to what the final week before holidays is for all of us, when we're hosting a dozen family members and have to spend every waking second preparing, preparing, and preparing some more.
THUS THE FACT... that many California wine regions take pause during their happily hectic harvest seasons to, well, raise a toast to another harvest well done is pretty admirable. If it were us, and our holiday prep, we'd probably look for the nearest corner to nap. But not the good people of the Temecula Valley Winegrowers Association. They're throwing their annual Harvest Celebration on Saturday, Nov. 2 and Sunday, Nov. 3, a tried-and-true-and-tasty affair that's been around for neeeearly a quarter century. So are their returning wineries to the convivialities? You bet, just like many of the same fans return year after year. Those vino buffs come back to sip from barrels -- ooh la la, exclusive -- and check out the finer and special offerings from over 30 member wineries. Nice doings, all over the nice first weekend of November.
SPEAKING OF WHICH... is there a more ideal time to try new wine than early November? Leaves are still pretty foliage-nice, the air is brisk, and you're feeling Cabernet-cozy. Wellll. June is pretty nice, too. And July. And March. And December...