When budbreak starts in early March, it’s hard to believe the tiny buds we see on the vine turn into the beautiful grape clusters that make Sonoma Valley wines so delicious. An incredible team effort goes into making a vintage great, from the weather, soil and sun exposure of a given vine to the influence of the growers and winemakers—a concept wine-lovers call terroir. You can taste Sonoma Valley’s complex terroir in every glass of our wine, which is what makes the harvest so special. It’s a chance to appreciate all the factors and influences that turn a relatively fast-growing plant into a bottled icon of excellence to be enjoyed for years to come.

This is what makes the annual Sonoma Valley grape harvest celebration one of the highlights of the year. Since 1897, this season of fun begins every year with the ringing of the harvest bell by city officials at the Mission San Francisco Solano to kick-off the harvest. Generally beginning in mid-August and lasting though October, the harvest starts marks a season of celebrations in local wineries and restaurants, topped off by the beloved Valley of the Moon Vintage Festival, sponsored by the Sonoma Valley Vintners & Growers Alliance and Foundation.

This year, the Valley of the Moon Vintage Festival takes place on October 7th and 8th. Open to the public, the majority of festivities take place on the historic Sonoma Plaza on Saturday, October 8th, making for a full day of fun! Taking place from 10am to 4pm, you’ll experience all sorts of annual traditions from the Opening Ceremony and Blessing of the Grapes to the Grape Stomp and more. Drink and food tickets are available for purchase, allowing you access to some of the Valley’s finest wines, beers, and barbecue. Stroll throughout the Plaza to taste, visit the booths of local artisans and makers, and listen to live music. Best of all, you’ll take in the local flavors, history and hometown charm that makes Sonoma Valley so special. So, bring your loved ones and a picnic blanket and get ready to celebrate!

For those who want to enhance their wine experience, the festival offers two newly added, ticketed events: the Sonoma Valley Legends Dinner on Friday, October 7th and the Sonoma Valley Grand Tasting on Saturday evening. Friday evening’s Legends Dinner offers guests a chance to meet the who’s who of Sonoma Valley, including legendary winemaking Jean-Charles Boisset of Buena Vista Winery. Guests will enjoy passed hors d’oeuvres, a four-course sit-down feast, and iconic library wines sure to inspire your palate. Saturday night’s Grand Tasting, a walk-around event, offers guests the chance to sample wines from 30 different wineries from all six of Sonoma Valley’s AVAs, along with delicious bites prepared by notable chefs and restaurants.

Join us in celebrating the coming of the harvest, the 2022 vintage, and the incredible efforts that go into every bottle of Sonoma Valley wine. This year’s festival is one to remember!