Pacific Rim
March 1, 2023 | wine | Pacific Rim

Have You Been to Any of These Winter Wine Festivals?

Over the past three decades, winter wine festivals and winter wine activities have become increasingly popular, attracting thousands of wine lovers across the US. Many different cities each host their own festival, which offers great opportunities for wine lovers to travel, explore the country, try new foods, and, of course, taste different types of wines. For those of you interested in expanding your wine knowledge, enjoying sightseeing, and experiencing different foods, here are some winter wine activities that you will love!

1. Christkindlmarkt.  Located in the center of Chicago's loop district is the Christkindlesmarkt (there are two locations now). The winter wine festival usually runs from November 16 to December 24 each year, with an atmosphere more like a food festival. Besides sweet and savory foods, including candies, many new wines and German beer are available. Admission is free. The place does get crowded, and reservations for a table are recommended.

2. Winter Wineland – Northern Sonoma County, California. This is the place to come if you want to experience the taste of quality wines from many wineries. The festival offers a great opportunity to taste limited-production wines, library wines, and new releases. In addition, there are several hundred participating vendors, and you can even join the winemakers for a casual Northern California breakfast. 

3. Taos Winter Wine Fest – New Mexico. This festival lasts for four days and features exotic foods and wines in 24 nearby Taos restaurants and over three dozen wineries. The festival is held in the scenic village of Taos Ski Valley, where you can also spend time doing snow-related activities

4. Winter Wine Festival – New Castle, New Hampshire. This month-long wine and food festival is held at the posh location of Wentworth by the Sea hotel. Located on a tiny island on the New Hampshire coast, it is the ultimate wine festival with premium wines from around the world. 

5. Naples Winter Wine Festival – Naples, Florida. This is perhaps the most prestigious charity wine auction. Guests enjoy Michelin-quality foods with top-quality wines during romantic dinners in private homes. Of course, the festival fee is not cheap, and there are only a limited number of tickets available each year. 

6. New York Ice Wine & Culinary Festival – Fairport, New York. This winter wine festival showcases the traditional ice wines made in this region. The winter wine activities include wine tasting, ice wine seminars, horse-drawn wagon rides, and plenty of food. In 2023, it will be the 8th annual New York Ice Wine & Culinary Festival. The location for the festival is Casa Larga Vineyards in Fairport, New York. The one-day festival ran on Feb 13, 2023, from 11 am to 6 pm. There is an admission fee that covers the wine tasting and winter wine activities.

7. Long Island WinterFest – Long Island, New York. This is fast becoming a major winter attraction for wine lovers. The four-week winter wine, music, and performing arts festival takes place in many historical venues, hotels, and breweries. It runs from February 1 to March 21 (2023). There are numerous wine and beer-tasting venues with a range of local restaurant options.

8. South Beach Wine & Food Festival – Miami Beach, Florida, is a five-day winter wine festival that attracts some of the best winemakers, chefs, and culinary personalities. The event takes place at various locations in south Florida and attracts thousands of people. The festival runs from February 23 to 26, 2023, at various locations in Miami-Dade and Broward County. There is plenty of food to eat.  Prices depend on the type of event and package.

9. Vancouver International Wine Festival -- Vancouver, BC. Step outside of the US! A visit to the largest wine festival in Canada is highly recommended. Besides top-quality wines and delicious food, there is a champagne reception followed by a Bacchanalia gala dinner. More of a Spring fest, the festival will take place between April 22-30, 2023, at the Vancouver Convention Centre and other venues in Vancouver.

11. San Diego Bay Wine + Food Festival -- San Diego. This festival offers some of the best scenery for wine lovers. The sandy beaches, sailboats, and tranquil Pacific Ocean provide the ideal backdrop for the wine festival that is held in November each year. The weeklong festival attracts both domestic and international wineries with celebrity chefs and legendary winemakers. This crowd-pleasing wine festival is always jam-packed and will run in the fall, between November 8 - 12, 2023. 

Choose one or more of these fantastic winter wine festival experiences and make great memories!


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