The start of the school year can be a hectic time: back-to-school shopping, signing up for activities, sports practices, the list goes on and on. But as the kids settle into the groove, it’s time for you to take some much-deserved time out, and nothing spells relaxing like a fresh glass of wine from local grape growers. 7×7 Magazine has put together a fabulous list of urban wineries in the Bay Area, which will turn a frantic fall into a soothing and delicious autumn.

The 2011 growing season, which will forever be remembered as cool, damp and unpredictable for Northern California, is coming to a merciful close. But don’t feel bad if you didn’t make it up to Wine Country to experience the full thrill of harvest (trust us, the traffic was terrible anyway). This week, the grapes are coming to you.

The following urban wineries are still bringing in fruit and they wouldn’t mind one bit if you stopped by to lend a hand, taste some juice, and find out once and for all what the difference is between wild and cultured yeast.

Dogpatch WineWorks’ shiny new crushpad will be awash with Merlot and Petite Verdot from the Coombsville area of Napa this week. And, to complete their Bordeaux-style blends, superstar cousins Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc will be arriving the week of October 24th. If you’re interested in playing winemaker, ask about the WineWorks’ custom crush options and next year, you can be the one deciding whether or not to inoculate.

If you’re more into Rhone varietals or would just like to know what a “Rhone varietal” is, Carlotta Cellars, a label that uses the WineWorks facility, will be competing for space on the crushpad to process their Carignan, Grenache and Mourvedre this week and next. Email proprietor David Grega if you are interested in swinging by.

Dogpatch WineWorks – 2455 Third St. (at 22nd Street), 415-525-4440

To see more great wineries, read the full 7×7 article here.

Written by Courtney Humiston

This is our weekly guest post from our friends at 7×7, a site that keeps you up on the best of SF. We’ve teamed up for an exciting partnership to bring you a fantastic Date Night idea each week. Be sure to check out their blog for hourly doses of the best of SF.