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Cheers to California Wine Month: A time to celebrate

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It's true, an entire month is dedicated to celebrating wines, specifically California wines. September marks the 10th anniversary of California Wine Month... A time to raise a glass and say 'Cheers!' to one of the state's signature agricultural products.

As an homage to grape growers and vintners statewide, several local restaurants and wine bars are offering great deals on glasses, flights and bottles of vino. The popular seaside restaurant, Cafe del Rey in Marina del Rey is extending a discount to diners on select bottles of California wines. A few miles away in Westwood, Napa Valley Grille is offering a special wine tasting and pairing mid-month.

Interested in celebrating further away? Vintners throughout the famed Central and Northern California wine regions are offering tours and tastings as varied as the wines themselves. Several wineries will also have food pairings, festivals, wine immersion experiences, and live music.

Since September is also harvest season for many wineries, some lucky visitors will get to kick off their shoes and enjoy an old fashioned grape stomp.

If this wine 'holiday' seems undeserving, here are some fast facts from the California Wine Institute to ponder over a Pinot:

  1. California is the #1 wine producing state in the country
  2. California is #1 in wine consumption
  3. California is the fourth largest wine producer behind France, Italy and Spain
  4. It takes 600-800 grapes to make one bottle of wine
  5. Wine is fat-free, cholesterol-free, and lo-cal (4 ounce glass has 80-100 calories)
  6. One barrel of wine makes about 24 cases
  7. Roughly 44 million bubbles are in one bottle of sparking wine/Champagne
  8. Wineries and vineyards are the second most popular tourist destination in California after Disneyland
  9. More than 15 million tourists visit the state's wine regions each year
  10. Overall economic impact of the wine industry on California's economy is $61 billion

Now, that's worth celebrating!

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