Best Places to Visit for California Wine Month in September

Best Places to Visit for California Wine Month in September

While every month may feel like wine month in California, September’s California Wine Month brings harvest season festivities at hotels throughout the state. From on-property vineyards and tasting dinners to bespoke winery visits and private air balloon rides among the vines — hotels across the Golden State are savoring the best of winemaking this harvest season.

MacArthur Place | Sonoma, CA

Set in the heart of Sonoma, the 64-room iconic MacArthur Place Hotel & Spa caters to travelers looking for a one-of-a-kind quintessential visit, with a spotlight on bespoke specialty vineyard excursions. This harvest season, guests of MacArthur Place are invited to sip wine through two different curated experiences including:

  • Durell Vineyards with Three Sticks Wine: Available every Saturday and Sunday from August through October, this immersive vineyard visit includes an off-road ride on a Kubota through the vines and volcanic terrain of the 610-acre property. La pièce de résistance – a private, locally curated luncheon paired with five Durell Vineyard estate wines concludes the day.
  • Behind the Cellar Door: In partnership with Bohemian Highway Travel Co. guests explore three off-the-beaten path wineries who are not normally open to the public for an in-depth look at the vineyards and winemaking process, followed by a chef-prepared farm-to-table lunch with the Mayacamas mountain range as the backdrop.

The Estate Yountville | Yountville, CA 

Set on 22 acres in the heart of Napa Valley, there’s no better place to experience the annual harvest season than The Estate Yountville - ideal for guests in search of a tranquil respite or those in need of a playful retreat after a day among the vines. Soar over Yountville and the majestic Wine Country in a hot air balloon with the property’s signature 5-hour experience, which  includes a private balloon ride with Napa Valley Aloft, photos, brunch at Ottimo, and more. For a relaxing evening, join The Estate for a complimentary red and white wine tasting from local winery partners paired with light bites every Friday in September from 5-6 p.m.

Carmel Valley Ranch | Carmel Valley, CA (pictured)

 The charming Carmel Valley is pleasantly rustic and scenic, best known for its wineries, farm-fresh cuisine and blue skies,  as it’s considered the sunniest place on the Monterey Peninsula. In the fall months, visitors can enjoy harvest in full swing for fresh bounty from the county along with near-perfect 70-degree days in September. The region is one of the largest wine-growing and producing regions in California made famous by unique microclimates and diverse growing conditions that produce 32 varietals. While in town, stay at Carmel Valley Ranch  – a family-friendly summer-camp-inspired resort situated on 500 wild acres in the foothills, surrounded by its own vineyard. Located on three and a half acres of ideal soil with good drainage, bathed in warm sun and cool ocean breezes, the property’s young vineyard epitomizes the region’s recent coming of age in the wine world. With the help of Ian Brand, San Francisco Chronicle’s 2018 Winemaker of the Year, Carmel Valley Ranch’s Swing label tells the story of Monterey County through an Estate Reserve Pinot Noir, along with a Sauvignon Blanc, Rosé, and Pinot Noir made from property owned vineyards further inland. Pick up a bottle at The Market accompanied by a tasting of goat cheese and honey sourced from the property, order a glass at dinner, or just enjoy a stroll down The Ranch’s beautiful, winding Vineyard Path.

Hotel Cerro | San Luis Obispo, CA

On the fertile stretch of the central California coast, roughly halfway between San Francisco and Los Angeles, you’ll find the charming town of San Luis Obispo full of undeniable appeal, buzz-worthy farm-to-table restaurants, funky art galleries, and a hidden gem wine region. Between Paso Robles and San Luis Obispo County, there are more than 250 wineries spread among the major wine grape-growing regions and visitors will find relaxed winemaker towns nestled in the coastal hills filled with tasting views and vineyards. The cheaper and more laid-back counterpart to its neighboring Santa Barbara and Napa Valley allows guests to savor Chardonnay from Arroyo Grande Valley, Syrah and Viognier from Edna Valley, Merlot and Zinfandel from Paso Robles, and Cabernet Sauvignon from York Mountain. Stay at Hotel Cerro, located in the heart of downtown SLO, and book the Wine Tour Package to explore the best of the hidden gem wine region with tastings at multiple wineries, round-trip luxury transportation, and the option to add-on a gourmet picnic lunch or charcuterie board from Brasserie SLO. Or head to Brasserie SLO for a pre-fixe tasting dinner with Tablas Creek Winery on September 1st and Rag Tag Wine Co on September 22 (with a Bacchus costume theme to honor the harvest.)

The Garland | Los Angeles, CA 

In celebration of the 50 years since Hollywood icon, Beverly Garland purchased the property, The Garland is rolling out the orange carpet to debut their first wine label, Sky Ranch Rosé! Beverly Garland’s daughter, Carrington, purchased what is now Sky Ranch back in 2021. She works alongside Fidencio Flores of Flores Family Vineyards, who designs, plants, and cares for the vineyard at the ranch, which expands over five acres with four grape varieties in the Santa Ynez Valley. She dedicated their first harvest to the family business — The Garland! They’ll soon be pouring this beautifully blended rosé at the hotel’s signature restaurant, The Front Yard, but guests can already purchase a bottle to take home from The Store.

LUMA Hotel San Francisco | San Francisco, CA

The newly opened, first-ever hotel in San Francisco's Mission Bay neighborhood, LUMA Hotel invites wine enthusiasts to celebrate harvest without having to trek to the vineyard with its “Sip Sip Nom Nom” urban tasting experience. In partnership with neighboring Mission Bay Wine & Cheese, this package includes:

  • A stay at LUMA Hotel SF in a sleek and modern guest room
  • Curated tasting flight for two paired with charcuterie and cheese board at Mission Bay Wine & Cheese
  • 10% off any wine you wish to purchase during your tasting (shipping available for additional fee)
  • A delicious opportunity to live like a local