3 Harvest Getaways
Not into olives? Take a little road trip and celebrate what else has cropped up in California.
California Avocado Festival
When: October 7-9
Who: Musicians, guac lovers, and more than 40 nonprofit groups
Why: Turns out the third largest avocado producer on this countinent is Santa Barbara County, and Carpinteria contributes bigtime. Admission is free for a smashing day of food, music, and family activities. Don’t miss the contests for Best Guacamole (snag the winning recipes online) and Largest Avocado. avofest.com
Harvest Wine Weekend
When: October 21-23
Where: Paso Robles
Who: More than 150 wineries
What: This one takes some planning. Choose to attend a winemaker dinner, vineyard tour, blending seminar, picnic, food pairing class, wine sale, or climb in a one-ton bin and stomp grapes at places like Cass Winery, Riverstar, or First Crush Winemaking Experience. Go to pasowine.com to search by winery, day, or activity.
21st Annual Harvest Celebration Barrel Tasting Weekend
When: November 5 and 6
Who: 34 wineries in the Temecula Valley Winegrowers Association
What: Buy tix for the two-day event and stay overnight, or do Sunday only. Hitch a ride with the Grapeline Wine Country Shuttle—they have a set route, or bring a DD and sample appetizers and wines, some of them up and coming (like from the brand new Europa Village label) or not available to the public (meaning unbottled or still brewing—hope you like tannins!). temeculawines.org.