7 Summer Festivals for Wine Lovers

From the country's oldest tasting in Maui to classical music in Napa, seven events oenophiles will love.

Landov ; Park City Food & Wine Classic ; Getty Images ; Corbis

Landov ; Park City Food & Wine Classic ; Getty Images ; Corbis

Summer and wine are the perfect pairing—add a seafood feast, a classical-music performance, or a pre-sipping yoga class and you've got a day that approaches perfection. From Sonoma to the Finger Lakes, here are seven summer wine festivals where tasting is just the beginning.

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Sonoma Wine-Country Weekend

Aug. 31 - Sept. 2

This Labor Day weekend celebration kicks off with a new supper-club dinner at Francis Ford Coppola Winery. After dining on delicious local fare with pairings from the winery, attendees can work off their meal by dancing under the stars in Alexander Valley. Winemaker lunches and dinners take place over the next three days, as does the 33rd annual Taste of Sonoma event at MacMurray Ranch in Headelsburg, where more than 170 wineries will be pouring their finest vintages, paired with nibbles from more than 60 wine-country chefs. Serious collectors should also plan to attend Sunday’s Sonoma Valley Harvest Wine Auction at Chateau St. Jean where, in addition to bidding on top bottles, they can expect live entertainment and more wine and food tasting.

Courtesy of Park City Food & Wine Classic

Park City Food and Wine Classic

July 5-8

More than 100 wineries, breweries, and culinary artists will descend on the picturesque Utah town of Park City for this four-day event in July, commencing Thursday night with a party at St. Regis Deer Valley, where wine selections from the property’s 12,000-plus bottle collection will be paired with cuisine from celebrity chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten. The weekend continues with a long list of activities for oenophiles, like wine-blending seminars, tasting classes, and Saturday’s Grand Tasting. The Classic is particularly perfect for wine lovers who also enjoy the great outdoors thanks to events like the “Mud, Sweat & Cheers” mountain-bike ride followed by lunch from Stein Eriksen Lodge, with pairings from Fisher Vineyards and David Arthur Vineyards. See a complete list of events and purchase tickets here.

Courtesy of Kapalua Wine & Food Festival

Kapalua Wine & Food Festival

June 8-10

For wine tasting set in paradise, it doesn’t get much better than this festival in Maui. Highlights of the longest running food and wine event in the U.S. include Friday’s Festival Golf Tournament, winemaker dinners, and Sunday’s Seafood Festival showcasing cuisine from Maui’s top chefs paired with more than 100 wines. When you’re not busy tasting, hit the beach or unwind with a treatment at the spa. Get information about festival packages at the Ritz-Carlton Kapulua, where most events are held, here.

Ross William Hamilton, The Oregonian / Landov

International Pinot Noir Celebration

July 27-29

Mecca for all things Pinot Noir, this three-day festival at Linfield College in the heart of Oregon Wine Country is exclusively dedicated to the varietal the area has become famous for. Events include winery tours, lunches, and a “University of Pinot” where guests will be schooled by experts on a wide array of Pinot Noir–related topics, from climatology to geology. Our favorite event of the weekend is the Walkabout, a grand tasting that includes samples from each of the 70 featured wineries, plus food from top chefs from across the Pacific Northwest. See the complete itinerary of events and purchase tickets here.

Riccardo S. Savi / Getty Images

Aspen Food & Wine Classic

June 15-17

This annual event from Food & Wine magazine brings together famous chefs, winemakers, editors, and enthusiasts for three days of outstanding meals and top-notch wine. From cooking demos (with Emeril Lagasse, Bobby Flay, and Ming Tsai, just to name a few) to wine seminars to reserve tastings, there are innumerable options to keep attendees busy. Several new events have been added this year, including a late-night dessert bash featuring a lengthy list of sweet treats like buttercream-frosted cakes, meringues, and parfaits, plus a 30th-anniversary benefit dinner and concert, with music from Elvis Costello & The Blue Beguilers and food from chefs like Mario Batali.

Crista Jeremiason, Savor via Newscom

Festival del Sole, Napa Valley

July 12-22

Wine lovers who are also classical-music fans should plan a visit to Napa Valley during the second and third week in July for the Festival del Sole. Guests will drink and dine at some of the region’s most beautiful venues, from vinter’s luncheons at spots like Kenzo Estate, Merryvale, and Black Coyote Chateu, to al fresco dinners at Hall Winery and Far Niente. Spend the warm, summer nights taking in performances by classical artists including soprano Danielle de Niese and mezzo-soprano Susan Graham, as well as performances by dancers from the Bolshoi, San Francisco, and Boston Ballets. Fitness fans should also plan on rising early one morning to downward dog among the vines with winemaker and yoga instructor Nicole Abiouness, followed by rosé tasting at her winery. See the entire calendar of events and purchase tickets here, and find a list of hotels and resorts offering special discounts for festivalgoers here.

Dennis Macdonald / Getty Imges

Finger Lakes Wine Festival

July 13-15

Attendees of the Finger Lakes Wine Festival, the largest showcase of New York wines, can expect tastings from more than 80 wineries from across the state. The event kicks off with a Launch of the Lakes festival featuring wine, cheese, live music, and fireworks. Cooking classes, wine seminars, and VIP events are scheduled throughout the weekend, with a Taster’s Banquet featuring cuisine from chef Paul Mach paired with several of the featured wines on Saturday night.