HELLO HARVEST: Few things gladden our heart like seeing the word "harvest" pop up here and there. Sure, various brands use it throughout the year on everything from juices to bedding, but once you see it showing upon events, you know that grape time and the mellow days of autumn are nearly at hand. (We've said before and we'll say it again: We love the word "mellow" when it pertains to fall almost as much as the word "harvest.") And when the winemakers of Livermore Valley go to the big H, they do it in a big way; the yearly Labor Day Weekend tasting celebration known as Harvest Wine Celebration is said to be the biggest on this particular wine country's calendar. So first we'll clarify what part of Labor Day Weekend it falls on -- that would be the Sunday and Monday, so Sunday, Sept. 2 and Monday, Sept. 3 -- and then we'll get to the details.
40+ WINERIES: There are still more wineries involved than years that the Harvest Wine Celebration has been around, but both numbers are pretty high; the winemakers number in the 40s and the celebration marks 31 years in 2012. The names on the labels will include Cedar Mountain Winery, En Garde Winery, and Nottingham Cellars, but given the dozens of partipating vineyards, figure you'll get to know someplace new, even if you're a repeat visitor to the Valley. The advance price is $55; that becomes $65 on Labor Day Weekend. Cheers, LV!