You certainly don’t need to be a wine enthusiast to know that California is considered one of the best wine regions in the world. The US is currently the fourth largest wine producing country with the Californian vineyards contributing around 90% of that. California has become so synonymous with wine that its wineries have become the second biggest attraction in California, only beaten by Disneyland. Amongst the LSI students at our schools in Berkeley and San Diego, the winery excursions are extraordinarily popular and at LSI Berkeley we even run an English with Wine Tasting programme.
Whilst you can visit the wineries at any time of year, September, known officially as California Wine Month, is particularly magical. September is harvest season when the grapes are fully mature on the vine and the scent of crushed grapes is in the air. Vineyards and wineries right across the state roll out the figurative red carpet, putting on a series of events designed to entertain, inform and indulge their visitors.
Some events are very hands-on, or feet-on, allowing the visitor to join in aspects of wine production. You might be invited to hand-pick the grapes or get involved in the crushing with an old fashioned bare-foot ‘grape-stomp’. Due to California’s climatic and geographic diversity, over 100 grape varieties are grown in the state. ‘Crush Pad’ tours offer visitors the chance to sample grape varieties, freshly pressed juices, and even fermenting wines. You’ll be able to meet the growers and top winemakers, take a vineyard tour, listen to expert talks and of course indulge in wine tasting. After a few days in California wine country, you’ll definitely come away more knowledgeable and have had a lot of fun into the bargain.
You can find out more about California Wine Month at Visit California or about specific events at Discover California Wines . Did you know that despite the fame of California’s northern wine areas, the Napa and Sonoma valleys, wine production first started in southern California? The Christian missions established by the Spanish between present day Los Angeles and San Diego were the first to plant vineyards as far back as 1779. We’re celebrating this little known fact and marking California Wine Month with a free Wine Tour for our students at LSI San Diego. For full details contact LSI San Diego.