Get ready for the fall festival season in Sonoma County

The "Follow This Story" feature will notify you when any articles related to this story are posted.

When you follow a story, the next time a related article is published — it could be days, weeks or months — you'll receive an email informing you of the update.

If you no longer want to follow a story, click the "Unfollow" link on that story. There's also an "Unfollow" link in every email notification we send you.

This tool is available only to subscribers; please make sure you're logged in if you want to follow a story.

Please note: This feature is available only to subscribers; make sure you're logged in if you want to follow a story.


As summer starts to fade away, it’s tempting to assume that the festival season is nearly over. But no, in Wine Country the fun goes on, even as fall weather settles in.

Whether you want food, wine, music, art, film or just a day to enjoy nature, you’ll find plenty of choices. Here’s a quick early sample:

Sept. 9-10

Russian River Jazz & Blues Festival: The 41st annual celebration devotes one day each to jazz and blues. The first day’s jazz lineup includes Stephanie Mills, Stokely, Lenny Williams, Julian Vaughan, Frobeck and West Coast Jam with Richard Elliot, Rick Braun and Norman Brown.

On the second day, look for blues by Tower of Power, the Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band, Beth Hart, Con Brio, Southern Avenue and Mitch Woods and His Rocket 88s. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. both days. Weekend pass: $90-$190; single-day passes: $55-$110. Johnson’s Beach, 16241 First St., Guerneville.

Sept. 11-16

Sonoma Plein Air Festival: The 15th anniversary salute to the art of painting outdoors will feature 36 internationally known artists who will spend the week painting in Sonoma County.

The week culminates with a gala dinner and auction Sept. 15 at Buena Vista Winery in Sonoma, and a sale and free art show from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sept. 16 at Sonoma Plaza. For more information:

Sept. 16

Petaluma River Craft Beer Festival: Taste the best from 23 local breweries in historic downtown Petaluma at the city’s fifth annual salute to beer with a down-home flavor, and food created to go with the beer.

Presented by the Petaluma Area Chamber of Commerce and the Rotary Club of Petaluma Valley. 1-5 p.m. General admission: $40; designated driver: $20. Water Street, downtown Petaluma. 707-762-2785,

Sept. 17

Sonoma Valley Uncorked: This popular wine and food tasting event features more than 40 wines produced by amateur Sonoma Valley winemakers. The event includes a silent auction of gifts and experiences. 2-5 p.m. $40 in advance; $50 at the door. Sonoma Veterans Memorial Hall, 126 First St. W., Sonoma.

Sept. 22-24

Wine Country Film Festival: The annual celebration of the unique pairing of cinema and wine marks its 31st anniversary with dozens of films of all kinds from all over the world, shown at a variety of venues, including Quarryhill Botanical Garden and the Kenwood Depot. For tickets, full schedule:

Sept. 23

Call of the Wild Gala: Performers bring the characters of author Jack London’s most beloved works to life under the stars in the winery ruins at Jack London State Historic Park. Enjoy a sampling of artisanal whiskeys, followed by dinner prepared by Stellar Catering, with wines from Kenwood Vineyards. 6-10 p.m. $200. Jack London State Historic Park, 2400 London Ranch Road. Glen Ellen. 707-938-1003.

Sept. 23

EarleFest: Hear national acts including Los Lobos, the California Honeydrops, singer-songwriter Tift Merritt and guitarist Nina Gerber, with Pam Delgado and Jeri Jones, on the main stage at this annual outdoor benefit event for the Earle Baum Center for the Blind, presented by SOMO Concerts. A second stage features local acts, including the Timothy O’Neil Band, Dirty Cello, Charley Peach and Emily Lois. The gates open at 3 p.m. and music starts at 3:30 p.m. Tickets cost $55. SOMO (Sonoma Mountain) Village Event Center, 1100 Valley House Drive, Rohnert Park.

Oct. 1

Kendall-Jackson Harvest Celebration: After 20 years of hosting the popular Heirloom Tomato Festival – devoted to “wine and all things tomato” – the Kendall Jackson Wine Estate & Gardens broadens its focus to launch this celebration of the bounty of the harvest. Enjoy fresh produce, including tomatoes, as well as wine, food, live music, seminars and demonstrations. $125; $175 with a box of assorted heirloom vegetables. Kendall-Jackson Wine Estate & Gardens, 5007 Fulton Road, Fulton. 866-769-3649,

Oct. 6-8

Sonoma County Harvest Fair: Now in its 43rd year, the county’s fall festival showcases world-class wines, award-winning beer and a taste of local cuisine. You must be 21 or older to visit the Grand Harvest Tasting Pavilion, open from 5 to 8 p.m. Oct. 6 and 1-4 p.m. Oct. 7-8. Admission to the pavilion costs $60 in advance or $65 at the event, and includes festival admission. Festival hours are 4-9 p.m. Oct. 6 and 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Oct. 7-8. Gate admission: $5. Sonoma County Fairgrounds, 1350 Bennett Valley Road, Santa Rosa. 707-545-4200,

Oct. 14-15 and Oct. 21-22

Tolay Fall Festival: It just wouldn’t be fall in Sonoma County without this iconic annual event, offering two weekends of outdoor family fun that includes hay rides, a pumpkin patch, farm animals to pet, a replica of a Native American Village, food vendors, picnicking and more. 11 a.m.-5 p.m. $5 for adults; $3 for children age 12 and younger. Tolay Regional Park, 5869 Lakeville Highway, Petaluma. 707-565-2041,

Oct. 19-22

Alexander Valley Film Festival: Expecting to host more than 40 screenings and events during its third annual gathering, the festival is expanding to include a screenwriter’s panel and an extra full day of films. Venues include the Raven Film Center in Healdsburg and the Clover Theater in Cloverdale. For schedule and ticket information:

Oct. 21

Funkendank Oktoberfest: SOMO Concerts presents live music by Motet, Dragon Smoke, Afrolicious, Frobeck, The Pulsators and Saffell, plus beer from two dozen top Northern California breweries. Doors open and the music starts at 3 p.m. $44-$140. SOMO (Sonoma Mountain) Village Event Center, 1400 Valley House Drive, Rohnert Park.

You can reach staff writer Dan Taylor at 707-521-5243 or On Twitter @danarts.

Show Comment

Our Network

Sonoma Index-Tribune
Petaluma Argus Courier
North Bay Business Journal
Sonoma Magazine
Bite Club Eats
La Prensa Sonoma
Emerald Report
Spirited Magazine