Fall is a busy time of the year. Summer vacations are over, school is back in session, the weekends are filling with activities, and the days are slowly getting shorter. In wine country, it’s also harvest time which means the wineries are in full swing bringing in the harvest, crushing the grapes, and beginning the process of creating this year’s vintage. But does being busy mean we let this season fly by and rush right into the holidays? No way! Now is the time to celebrate what summer’s warmth has brought us and to delight in the transition of the seasons. The weather is cooler – practically perfect this week! Over the next several weeks we’ll be honoring the season here in Loudoun with a ton of festivals highlighting food, drink, and fall fun. So check your calendars now and set aside some time to revel in the bounty of the season before it’s gone.

Celebrate the Harvest Ends Sunday, Sep 17 Now in its fifth year, Celebrate the Harvest features products from the region’s finest producers beautifully showcased by the talented chefs in the Town of Middleburg. For nine days in September, participating restaurants create menu specials highlighting products from around the region. This year’s event includes over 17 restaurants and eateries including three of Loudoun’s nine destination restaurants: The Red Fox Inn, Market Salamander, and The Goodstone Inn & Restaurant.

The Taste of Italy Sep 22 Doukénie Winery’s annual Taste of Italy event is their largest event of the year. Feast on authentic Italian food, stomp grapes, taste wine, tour the vineyard, and learn some technical aspects of winemaking with the experts at Doukénie. Bring the whole family and enjoy face painting and live music throughout the day. 

 19th Annual Lovettsville Oktoberfest Sep 28-30 Loudoun’s most northern town, Lovettsville dates back from the 1730s when German immigrants settled there. Residents of Lovettsville celebrate the town's German heritage with annual Oktoberfest activities. This year’s event features an inaugural home brew competition, obstacle course, scarecrow making, and of course, lots of German food, music, and dancing.

 12th Annual Norton Wine & Bluegrass Festival Oct 6-7 To celebrate the harvest season, Chrysalis Vineyards in Middleburg hosts an annual festival focused on two things uniquely American: Norton, a native grape, and bluegrass music. This festival features live bluegrass music throughout the day, barbecue, vendors, hay rides, vineyard tours, and a special tasting of nine wines that includes all of Chrysalis’ Norton wines with a commemorative souvenir glass.

 Tarara Winery’s Fine Vine Oct 7 Tarara’s Fine Vine event is a fine dining experience like no other. Set next to Tarara’s Shadow Lake, this al fresco dinner features five courses from some of the region’s best restaurants paired with a selection of local wines. In addition to dinner, guests will enjoy a vineyard tour and wine tasting guided by winemaker Jordan Harris.

 Breaux’s Harvest Celebration Oct 13 Known for their annual festivals like the Key West Fest and Cajun Festival, Breaux has brought their harvest celebration back for 2012. This year’s event features live music, lawn games, wine tastings, facility tours, vendors, and New England treats from regional food truck, Red Hook Lobster Pound.