Top American Summer Wine Festivals

Food & Drink

Festival Napa Valley

(Photographer Bob McClenahan

There are few better ways to celebrate summer than with festival that honors the noble grape. Luckily, America is filled with a plethora of vintage-centric events where guests can toast the terroir to their heart’s content. Here are eight of this summer’s winningest wine festivals.

IPNC 2018 salmon bake

Andrea Johnson Photography

International Pinot Noir Celebration, McMinnville, Oregon

Those with a passion for pinot won’t want to miss this homage to the world’s most vaunted varietal. Oregon is one of America’s most celebrated wine regions and they are particularly renowned for their masterful pinots. Now in its 33rd year, the event offers guests the opportunity to partake in an unparalleled selection of pinot noirs from around the world. You’ll get to pal-up with flavorful pinots—all in a relaxed and welcoming atmosphere. The festival offers seminars, tastings, winery tours and mouthwatering meals by top northwest chefs. Be sure to attend the tasty Salmon Bake event, where wild salmon is slow roasted on alder stakes over a huge fire pit. July 26-28, 2019

FOOD & WINE Classic in Aspen

Jeremy Swanson

FOOD & WINE Classic in Aspen, Aspen, Colorado

This is one of the most coveted events in the wine world (and one of the biggest celebrity draws). Attendees will spend the weekend joined by celebrity chefs, stellar winemakers and more for a celebration like no other. Take in cooking demonstrations, plentiful wine tastings, as well as unique panel discussions that are led by some of the world’s best chefs and wine experts. One of the hottest tickets is the FOOD & WINE Collaboration Dinner, with Andrew Carmellini and Kate Williams. The two famed chefs collaborate on an unforgettable menu. Wine, food and festivities all with the majestic Aspen mountain as a backdrop. It’s an unparalleled event that should be on any oenophile’s bucket list. June 14-16, 2019

Lake Michigan Wine Festival

Elliott Sturm Courtesy of Lake Michigan Shore Wine Trail

Lake Michigan Shore Festival, Warren Dunes State Park, Michigan

Even if you’re a teetotaler, you’ll want to make a beeline for Michigan’s Lake Michigan Shore Wine Festival. It has a gorgeous location unlike few other wine galas. Taking place at Warren Dunes State Park, located on the coast of Lake Michigan, you’ll find yourself nestled between golden sand dunes and the sea as you sip away the day. The festival features regional live music, a VIP area and access to the beach. Best of all, you’ll be able to sample 17 local wineries showcasing over 70 vintages. You won’t know if it’s the views or the wine that’s making you lightheaded. June 15, 2019.

Finger Lakes Wine Festival

Courtesy of Facebook @FLWineFest

 Finger Lakes Wine Festival, Watkins Glen, NY

Described by many wine connoisseurs as the “the Napa of the East,” this Finger Lakes festival is not to be missed. Its the largest showcase of New York State wines, featuring tastings from over 80 wineries. Guests will also enjoy music, wine seminars and cooking classes, food trucks, art vendors and more. This 21+ festival makes a point of highlighting the fun side of the wine world by encouraging attendees to show up in togas or group costumes (after all you don’t want to get your everyday clothing all soaking wet during one of the festival’s foam parties). To encourage responsible drinking, the festival offers onsite furnished glamping accommodations and land plots for campers. July 12-14, 2019

CA Wine Festival, Santa Barbara

CA Wine Festival

CA Wine Festival, Santa Barbara, California

The California Wine Festival is a multifaceted event held in several cities all in an effort to put the spotlight on the state’s wine and culinary professionals. It showcases 250 wines from over 70 wineries, as well as 30 fine dining restaurants and gourmet food purveyors. Due to its stunning seaside location, Santa Barbara has always been one of the festival’s most popular locales. The Sunset Rare & Reserve Wine Tasting highlights rare and reserve vintages, including some that are no longer in distribution. At the Beachside Wine Festival, which is the festival’s signature event, oenophiles can sip and savor oceanside. There’s also lots of opportunity to sample microbreweries, gourmet foods and more. Wine, great food, sun and the sea—what more could you possibly need? July 19-20, 2019

Burlington Wine Festival

Courtesy of Burlington Wine and Food

Burlington Wine Festival, Burlington, Vermont

The slogan of this wine fest is “Eat Locally, Drink Globally,” and they mean it! The event focuses not only on wine but also showcases the world-class cuisine of Vermont’s farm-to-table food scene. There will also be 300 wines from around the world for sampling. Some of the unique events include incredible winemaker dinners, Ladies’ Night at Highball Social (which celebrates women in the wine industry) and Rockin’ Rose. A highlight is the Winemakers Roundtable where a select number of guests get to do tastings and dine with world-renown winemakers. Come experience just how marvelous eating locally and drinking globally can be. June 22, 2019

Telluride Wine Festival

Chef and Sommelier

Telluride Wine Festival, Telluride, Colorado

This intimate 4-day wine and food fete hosts an amazing roundup of 37 wineries from Colorado, California, Oregon, Washington, France, Italy and Uruguay. Events include a Bubbles Seminar with Camille Cox of Laurent Perrier, a discussion with celebrated sommelier Robert Bath about Alpha Omega Wines, a Women of Wine Luncheon and a seminar on Uruguay’s wine scene. There are also incredible culinary offerings like winemaker luncheons with top chefs and celebrated mixologists. Don’t miss the amazing Patron dinner at Kathleen Kennedy and Robert Marshall’s Gold Creek Ranch with a fantastic menu and wines from Uruguay. It’s an intimate, incredible and truly fun wine festival. June 27-30, 2019

Opening night at Meadowood Napa Valley

Photographer Bob McClenahan

Festival Napa Valley, Napa, California

You know Napa, America’s premier wine region, is going to throw a good party. What better way to honor the art of winemaking than with wine, food and art? The 14th annual Festival Napa Valley will pay homage to the 50th anniversary of the first moon landing with more than 60 themed concerts and events that showcase innovation and exploration. Performances include an orchestra performance of the score to Star Wars: A New Hope, as well as a film screening of the Apollo 11 documentary. The Taste of Napa event offers the chance to sample 70 local wineries and restaurants. Winemaking is an art after all, so why not enjoy a glass or two surrounded by world-class performers. July 12-21, 2019

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