This piece originally appeared on VinePair.com
Fall is a great time to visit wine country. The leaves are changing, the air is cooling and grapes are finally getting picked and turned into wine. While the obvious activity of bouncing from tasting room to tasting room is a ton of fun, that’s not the only way to experience wine country in the fall. With that in mind, here are a few other wine country activities we love to do in the fall.
1. Take A Bike Ride
Riding around wine country during the height of summer or the dead of winter is absolutely no fun at all, but the fall is a different story all together. With no risk of overheating or freezing to death, you can leisurely pedal through the vineyards, stopping every once in a while for a refreshing glass of wine. And the added bonus of biking from vineyard to vineyard is that you never get too intoxicated – at least one hopes you don’t, or you may forget how to pedal!
While there are tons of great wine areas in which to ride, here are a few we particularly love:
New York’s Finger Lakes
This picturesque area was just meant to be toured by bicycle. Start your visit in the town of Ithaca with a cup of coffee at Gimme to map out your course, then head to either Seneca or Cayuga lake for some great riding.
Napa and Sonoma
Seeing two of the country’s most famous wine regions is totally different on a bike. Say goodbye to the traffic and breathe in the fresh fall air as you head from vineyard to vineyard. Rent a bike and then follow this handy map for great trails categorized based on difficulty.
The entire state of Oregon is bike friendly, so we would expect nothing less of its fantastic wine regions. If you want to bike in Oregon’s famous Willamette valley, head on over to Tommy’s Bicycle Shop, they have great route recommendations.
2. Check Out A Wine Festival
One of the best ways to determine the types of wine you like, or experience a new wine region, is by attending a wine festival, and fall is one of the best time to do it. Fall is not only when wineries harvest the grapes from the current season, but also the time they release the wines from previous seasons that have been sitting in barrel and are now finally ready to drink. And trust us, the wineries are eager to share.
Here are the festivals we’re most excited about:
This fest has everything you’d expect to find in Brooklyn: incredible artisanal food, great wine and an unpretentious vibe.
Check out wines from twenty different Maryland wineries at this outdoor festival while you rock out to live music.
This festival is so large, it lasts for four days! With over fifty wineries represented, you’re sure to find a bottle you like.
3. Work A Harvest
One of the best ways to learn how wine is made is by volunteering to work a harvest. Wineries need all the help they can get; in California they’re even turning to inmates because labor is so expensive. From picking out in the field to sorting the grapes and helping with the crush, after a day of manual labor you can be assured of at least a delicious liquid reward. Admittedly much of harvest is already done at this point – it can happen early – but there are still a few regions that haven’t picked all their grapes yet. Simply call a winery you enjoy and ask if you can help out!
Originally from VinePair.com