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Harvest time in wine country is one of the most beautiful, enjoyable, and exciting times to visit. The weather is divine and you can feel the electricity in the air. There is so much going on that sometimes it is hard to decide where to spend your well-deserved time off.

I mean you have spent the last year planting, growing, cultivating, and harvesting, right? I mean those hands are seriously callused after all that pruning and picking. No? Okay, so maybe you didn’t actually grow the grapes yourself but that doesn’t mean you can’t celebrate in the accomplishments of all those that did, and enjoy the literal fruit of their labor!

Annual wine festivals can be traced back to the Greek celebrations of the wine god, Dionysus. Festivals typically include family, friends, grape pressing, food, music, and of course wine. Well, Napa, never a city to pass on an excuse to party, throws some of the best harvest celebrations in the world.

Some of my personal favorites are the family friendly St. Helena Harvest Festival, the delicious Rutherford Ranch BBQ, and the famous Castello di Amorosa Harvest Fest.

If you haven’t made it out for the annual Castello di Amorosa Harvest Fest yet, 2016 should be the year! Here are my top 10 reasons you need to experience Harvest Fest at Castello di Amorosa:

1. It is the LARGEST harvest festival celebration in the United States. The castle is 121,000 square feet. 2. It takes place at a castle. Yes, a real castle. One of the largest castles in the United States. Catello di Amorosa is an authentically built, thirteenth century Tuscan castle and winery. 3. There are fun and educational, yes, they can be both, harvest and winemaking demonstrations with Castello di Amorosa’s world renowned Winemaking Team. Also, enjoy interesting presentations by local barrel coopers. 4. There’s a grape stomping competition. Just imagine that new profile picture of you doing your best Lucille Ball impression. 5. You get to compete in teams of 10 for the grape stomping competition. Sounds like a drinking game to me! 6. Underground cave and cellar tours. 7. Dance the night away with some of the best live music Napa has to offer played in the castles’ courtyard. How often do you get to dance in a castle courtyard? 8. This hype video. 9. It’s the perfect excuse to escape the Bay Area traffic for a weekend and enjoy the idyllic, natural beauty of Napa in the fall. 10. Um, wait there is one more reason … the best reason of all … WINE! And not just any old wine, but world-class, award winning, heaven-in-a glass Napa Valley Wine!

Put on your best grape stompin’ shoes and join me on September 23rd at Castello di Amorosa’s annual Harvest Fest. Wear white at your own risk. You better hurry because tickets are selling fast! This is a celebration sure to make even Dionysus proud. You do not want to miss it.

What is your favorite way to celebrate the fall harvest? Do you or your family have any traditions that you look forward to? If you don’t have any traditions yet, is there an event or activity you would like to try and see if maybe you’d like to make a new fall tradition? I’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences on fall traditions and harvest festivals. Please leave a comment below and I’ll be sure to check it out.

The Details: What: Harvest Fest Where: Castello di Amorosa 4045 Saint Helena Highway Calistoga, California 94515 When: Friday, September 23, 2016 Time: 7 p.m. – 10 p.m.

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