How To Have The Coziest California Fall

Grape harvest is nearly halfway finished, the leaves are changing color, and although it's still warm here in California, fall is most definitely in the air. This Indian Summer we're having will soon fade, but we'll be sipping our blush wines year-round because that's just what we do here in California! In the spirit of harvest and one of my favorite seasons, here are the ways I embrace fall:

Fall candles are arguably some of the best candles. They make a home instantly cozy and there are so many out there that range from baking spices to fall fruit. Our favorites are Capri Blue's 'Pumpkin Clove', Diptyque's 'Figuier', Antique Candle Co.'s 'Apple Pickin', Queen Bee's 'Big Sur', and Brooklyn Candle Studio's 'Cardamom'

I'll be the first to admit that I'm not a big fan of the PSL at Starbucks; however, Trader Joe's Pumpkin Spice coffee blend is incredible and not overpowering, plus it's not as expensive or sweet as other iterations. Starbucks does make a nice Fall Blend medium roast if you're looking for minimal spice. Another favorite, also from TJ's, is their Autumn Maple Coffee, which goes great alongside Sunday waffles. You can also add Pumpkin Spice whipped cream to your coffee, if you're feeling really festive. Add some pumpkin pie spice seasoning to homemade whipped cream (whipping cream + powdered sugar) or add a sprinkling atop canned whipped cream.

Whitney recommends the show Yellowstone, which calls for a pot of freshly-brewed coffee and all the Pendleton blankets. Starring Kevin Costner as the patriarch of a family of ranchers, the show is written by the same people who wrote Sicario and Hell or High Water. Her other cozy recommendations include classics like Gone With The Wind or any John Wayne western. Essentially, movies that allow you to cozy up for a lengthy period of time.

On the other hand, I love returning to longtime favorites like Gilmore Girls, which is set in the cozy, relatable town of Stars Hollow, Connecticut. The relationship between fast-talking, single mom Lorelai and her studious daughter Rory is one of my favorites on TV and can be enjoyed at all ages. I also love revisiting Parenthood, an ensemble show that really reminds me of my own family at times and also stars Lauren Graham from Gilmore Girls. As far as movies, you can't go wrong with Meg Ryan classics like When Harry Met Sally and You've Got Mail. If you want a good cry, Fly Away Home and Stepmom are two great ones that showcase fall and family drama.

Natalie is a fan of In The Dark, a show about a blind woman who discovers her friend's dead body and vows to solve her murder. I have yet to dive in to this one, but it sounds dark and moody - perfect for the month of October!

Pick out a mix of varieties and colors for a cute, rustic look - warty ones, Cinderella-esque ones, those cute mini ones, classic orange ones - and arrange them on your front porch, fireplace, or on your dining table for a beautiful centerpiece. If you're feeling really festive, buy some mums, wheat, or decorative corn to go alongside your display! We got three wagons full of pumpkins from Pirate Pete's Pumpkin Patch off of Boonville Rd. in Ukiah. There's something so nostalgic and fun about going to a pumpkin patch as an adult; I highly recommend it! If you live in a city where pumpkin patches are hard to come by, Whole Foods and Trader Joe's also have a decent selection.

When fall hits, I immediately go to my cookbooks or Pinterest to find inspiration for new dishes. Here are a few recipes that I am inspired to cook this fall: Balsamic Beets with Goat Cheese and Pistachios + Fall Cobb Salad with Sweet Potatoes and Beets from What's Gaby Cooking; Ranch Chili Con Carne with Jalapeno Corn Bread from Nathan Turner's I Love California; Butternut Squash and Ricotta Bruschettas + Cider-Roasted Pork Tenderloins with Roasted Plum Chutney from Ina Garten's Cooking For Jeffery; and Kadota Fig Tart with Mascarpone Cream + Pear Tarte Tatin with Ginger Ice Cream from Christine Hanna's The Winemaker Cooks. I can see many of these pairing beautifully with our 2018 vintages of Rosé of Carignane and Sauvignon Blanc, which you can find in our Shop!

Rosé is not meant just for spring or summer! Take a cue from the French (or us Californians) and drink pink year-round. It's perfect for a fall picnic or to pair alongside heartier food since it can cut some of that richness, plus it's uplifting as we head into darker days. All of the recipes I mentioned above with pair beautifully with a rosé or orange wine.

Throw on a cute, cozy sweater and walk the streets of your hometown! You can admire the changing leaves, pop into your coffee shop for a warm drink, and even pick up a few fall reads at your local bookstore. Sounds like the perfect Saturday morning to me!

Fall is a busy yet exciting time of year for farmers, especially those who grow wine grapes! Celebrate with us at Harvest Days, presented by Destination Hopland. The Mendocino County event will be held at Brutocao Schoolhouse Plaza on October 19th from 2 PM - 6 PM. 20+ wineries will be under the Big Tent, as well as local cider makers, distilleries, and breweries. We'll be there with both vintages of Boeket, so come see us for a tasting! And if that isn't reason enough, our favorite Croux and Co. will be catering the event and their food is incredible! Get your tickets here.

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