Travelers looking to experience first hand the labors of the fall harvest can now pay for that privilege. From cooking classes to apple picking to hands-on vineyard visits, seasonal experiences are part of deals at hotels this fall.
Preserving the fruits of fall in New Mexico
In Santa Fe, N.M. the Sunrise Springs Spa Resort is offering a Savor the Harvest all-inclusive package for $420 per night (package value is $735 per night). In addition to three meals daily with ingredients sourced from local farms, guests can join harvest-inspired activities such as cooking classes, including one where participants learn how to make their own fruit leather and preserves, and another that offers tips on how to preserve the season’s fruit and vegetables for the winter.
Stomp Grapes in Portugal
To make wine grapes must be crushed, and many workers still do this the old fashioned way: with their feet. (Don’t worry, the fermentation process kills the germs.) The exercise is grueling, and some vineyard workers make it more fun by dancing and drinking while they complete the task.
The port company, The Fladgate Partnership invites visitors to crush grapes at two of its estates in the Douro Valley: Quinta da Roêda and Quinta do Panascal. The company also invites select guests to an old port house in Vargellas, where workers tread grapes up to their knees in granite tanks.
Craft fall wines in Napa Valley
Guests at the 11-acre Vista Collina Resort in Napa, Calif., can step into the shoes of a vintner with the Crush Camp package for $284 per night (compared to $359 per night). The rate includes a two-hour vintner experience that features evaluating grapes, de-stemming, learning about fermentation and a guided tasting of wines at different levels of maturity.
Apple picking in upstate New York
The Hudson Valley Getaway promotion at Mohonk Mountain House in New Paltz, New York offers up to 20 percent discount on midweek stays ($584 per night based on double occupancy compared to $730 per night). The rate includes three farm-to-table meals per day, fitness classes and lake activities such as paddleboarding. The hotel recently launched a collection of Hudson Valley Excursions ($65 per person) providing round-trip transportation to places like DuBois Farms to pick your own apples and snack on apple cider doughnuts, or a visit to Whitecliff Vineyard for a behind the scenes tour and tasting.
A romantic autumn getaway in Kentucky
At the Kentucky Grand Hotel and Spa in Bowling Green, Kentucky, discounts are available on suites through November 30th. A one-night suite stay includes a couple’s massage and bottle of champagne for $400 (package value is $560). Nearby Jackson’s Orchard offers autumnal activities including apple picking ($2 per pound), pumpkin patches and hay rides ($4 per person, free for children under 3). The hotel can arrange transfers for the 10-minute drive to the orchard.
Dine on (and with) grapes in Oregon
Anna Maria Ponzi, the president of Ponzi Vineyards that sits on top of the rolling Chehalem Mountains in Oregon’s Willamette Valley, has seen a rise in visitors during harvest. “For most of the year there is nothing to see,” she said. “But during harvest you can drive into the vineyard and you can see the fruit on the vine for a change. You can smell the fruit being crushed. It’s very visual for people. There is activity.”
In response to this growing interest, she launched a lunch series this year which takes place select Sundays from now until October 21. For $125, guests are guided around the vineyard by a winemaker and shown what goes into harvesting grapes. “You will get an idea of how hard it is to make wine,” Ms. Ponzi said. Then guests sit down for an extravagant lunch, complete with wine pairing, in the heart of the vineyard.