It’s the start of autumn, and the days are starting to get shorter and colder. The trees are ready to shed their leaves, gifting us with a brilliant display of colors before they part. Best of all, Fall is the season of harvest, and food and wine harvest festivals are sprouting up all over the northern hemisphere. If you’re a food and wine connoisseur, or, like me, just an ordinary human who lives to eat and drink, this season holds a lot of great travel opportunities for you.
Fall is usually the start of wine harvests in the U.S. and in Europe. I don’t know about you, but one of my to-do lists is to experience an actual grape harvesting. This little romantic dream of mine I can definitely attribute to that scene in a Keanu Reeves movie “A Walk In The Clouds”. You know the scene where the harvesters are fanning the vines with their “wings”? I was much younger then, but that scene, and several others, set the tone of the ultimate seduction plot for me. Think wine, music and bacchanalia. (For a quick history lesson, Bacchus, also known as Dionysius, is the Greek God of wine and the patron of agriculture). Or, if you just want to have fun, just imagine stomping grapes with your feet!
I’m not sure if they still allow that, but regardless, a wine and food harvest festival still holds a lot of things to look forward to. These festivals usually feature wine tasting seminars, cooking classes and demonstrations, live music, and the chance to buy the freshest and best produce. Best of all, you won’t have to go far to experience one. There’s California’s Napa and Sonoma Valleys; the state holds the distinction of being the fourth largest wine producer in the world. Or, tour any of the 50 states, such as New York, Washington, New Jersey, and Oregon, which also boasts of excellent vineyards. Of course, if you get the chance, go ahead and visit Austria, France, Italy, Germany or Switzerland, to have the full European experience. Just remember one tip for wine-tasting: Smell, sip and taste, but don’t swallow the wine! Unless you’re planning to get drunk, then that’s another story!