Tickets on Sale: Sonoma Valley Crush

It's one of the hands-ons-iest events of the harvest season.

HANDS-ON HARVEST: We're often said to live in a season-less world, at least in terms of how easily accessible every type of fruit and every type of beverage and, truly, every type of experience is in the modern era. Planes and the internet and other newfangled contraptions assure this is mostly so. (Question: Are there ever "oldfangled" things?) And while this is delightful and we're very lucky to call the now our own, one longs for moments that only come around once a year, the better to anticipate them and look forward with fun and joy.

WINE COUNTRY MOMENTS... are those kind of moments. Because for all of the newfangledness that has indeed entered the wine-making industry over the last few decades, harvest time still rules. It's all about the season and the weather and the grapes and the crush, and that time-honored system has yet to be improved upon. With that in mind, events like Sonoma Valley Crush, which happens in the heart of the harvest season, become very special happenings indeed.

BECAUSE... there's the hubbub of wine production all around you. Yes, that happens all year long at many a winery, but August through October brings a different rhythm to things. Sonoma Valley Crush is all about putting wine lovers in the middle of harvest activities, or at least very close. It calls itself a "hands-on experience," meaning you may find yourself playing a role in wine-makery that you wouldn't at any other time of the year.

OH... and you'll drink a lot of great vino, too, along the way. The dates are Friday, Sept. 27 through Sunday, Sept. 29 -- aren't those perfectly harvesty dates? -- and tickets to the Crush are now on sale. Cost is $35 per person for the weekend. You'll want to eye all the area wineries that are jumping in and all the stuff you can do at each spot. It's fun, lively, and oh-so-seasonal. Call it a point won for slowing down our get-everything-all-at-once world.

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