Dear Wineloving Friend or Friend I Suspect Likes Wine, What The Heck:
Just to make sure you don't miss it, the Livermore (Northern California) Wine Harvest Festival is Sunday and Monday September 2nd and 3rd - the holiday weekend - noon to 5pm.
Full details and a link to buy tickets: http://www.livermorewine.com/next_event.html
How It Works: There are 35 wineries participating - 35! You can't hit them all. You can't even drive among them without hitting something! So buy your ticket early, park at the main parking lot in Livermore (or take BART and the shuttle), then shuttle busses take you along the four or five routes to the various wineries. Your biggest problem will be deciding which route to take - I usually pick at random because they're all good. It's actually easier to take than the fabulous ZAP because the delays while you wait for the next shuttle let your body adjust to the last round.
There are tastings and munchies at each winery and often music and trinkets for sale. Most wineries also offer, for an extra five bucks or so, to let you try their SPecial Stuff in the barn in the back -- and invite you to buy wine or to buy futures. I've bought futures and been *very* happy with my selection. But you can have quite an afternoon just drinking the stuff up front without paying extra.
Some years it is very hot in the Valley; last year it was quite pleasant. No way to tell.
Livermore has some of the oldest wineyards in California and currently has some of the most interesting winemaking operations. THis event is a memorable one and well worth setting aside your Sunday or Monday for. I enthusiastically recommend you check it out -- and let me know if you will be going so I can keep a tipsy eye out for you as we jitney by!
Ping me if you have questions.