When is the best time to visit Napa and go wine tasting?

I am planning a trip next year to Northern California. I want to make this a wine tasting trip. I want to visit Napa or Sonoma. I prefer red wines.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Personally, I'd go to Napa all year long.

    However, for a first time visitor, here's a few consideration.

    If you want plenty of crowd but beautiful scenery and lots of fun stuff to do, I would recommend early summer or early fall. Early summer is when the release of many wines are happening. There is a major auction in Napa called the Premier Auction, and around this time, there are so many parties and special events in every winery the entire valley is turned into a major tourist destination. It is fun to go, but you have to be aware of the pitfalls - the rare Napa traffic jam, the lack of hotel spaces, long lines of waiting. Another good time is late September/early October, known as Crush season, since that is when grapes are picked and crushed, and it is fun to see the grapes being turned into wine. Lots of parties at that time as well.

    If you want the entire valley to yourself, then I would go early in the year. I have been in Napa in February and March, and it is quiet there. I love it when I am the only visitor to the wineries, so I get special attention. Being that I go to Napa a lot, I know plenty of people there and get nice treatment. However, the undivided attention is hard to get when there are plenty of crowds. Napa is practically dead last time I was there in March.

    If you want to visit, I too have a few tips.

    1) Get the limousine. There are a lot of limousine for rental, and they will take you to different wineries without you having to risk driving after drinking. Besides, for a first time visitor, it is more convenient than having to look up at maps for every winery and have to worry about whether they need appointment or not. These limousine people know and have connection to get you in if they can.

    2) Get your room early. My favorite motel - El Bonito. If you are willing to pay high dollar, I'd go with Auberge d'soleil - absolutely stunning. Nice bed and breakfast is fun, but supposedly, one of them might be haunted (can't tell you which so I don't get into trouble, but you can find it online).

    3) Plan ahead. Know where the wineries are approximately located, so you can hit several in the same area, if you are interesting in staying for a few days. That way, you won't waste time traveling back and forth. Also, make the necessary reservation - many nice wineries will need reservation and a decently high tasting/touring fee.

    4) Plenty of great restaurant in Napa. Love the Rutherford Grill, Martini House, Brix, Taylor's. Many other great food. Don't forget CIA is there - Culinary Institute of America, which has a good restaurant as well as being a teaching restaurant (ie cheaper food for the items prepared by the student-chef) Also, can picnic in V.Sattui and at the parking lot of Dean and Deluga - always fun.

    5) Also make sure you visit the various wine stores - Groezinger's, Oakville Grocer, Dean and Deluga, St. Helena Wine Merchant, Bounty Hunter, etc. These are fun places to go. Don't forget COPIA in Napa - nice way to introduce you to wine and food.

    6) There are plenty else to do in Napa - mud bath, balloon ride, golf, shopping (has 2 outlet malls there).

    7) Shipping wine can be a challenge, but many wineries will ship wine for you. All else fails, use Buffalo Shipping in Napa - they will ship anywhere. Just remember - no carry-on liquid in airplane, but you can check in a case of wine.

    Source(s): Frequent Napa at least 3-4 times a year
  • 4 years ago

    Best Time To Visit Napa

  • 1 decade ago

    Anytime in Napa is great. Plan any trips to be over by 4:00 or 5:00. Napa is beautiful but nothing goes on after the wineries close down. It was like a ghost town when we hit a couple bars and walked outside. Still it was one of my best vacations. You have to go to the Frances Ford Coppula winery now called the Rubicon Estates. It is one of the original wineries and completely restored, great tour and great wine. It was worth $20 (for tour and tasting fee).

  • Anonymous
    5 years ago

    This Site Might Help You.

    RE:

    When is the best time to visit Napa and go wine tasting?

    I am planning a trip next year to Northern California. I want to make this a wine tasting trip. I want to visit Napa or Sonoma. I prefer red wines.

    Source(s): time visit napa wine tasting: https://tr.im/YGuks
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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Both Napa and Sonoma are known for their quality red wines. I visit both of these areas throughout the year and find that it is fun no matter what time of year you visit.

    Napa is most crowded during the summer....and especially on summer weekends. The weather is probably best in fall or spring....but winters can be gorgeous. One weekend while I visited we woke up Sunday mountain and the mountains surrounding Napa were blanketed with snow. A rare treat!

    Get info on wineries, restaurants, and lodging in Napa and Sonoma at http://www.cheers2wine.com/

  • 1 decade ago

    Any time is good, Late spring through early summer for picturesque beauty. The emerald green grass on the hills and flowers in bloom. The best wine time is in the early to mid-fall after the harvest. The weather is awsome and there's a lot going on for you to see in the wineries.

    Have a great trip! It's worth the $$$

    Best wineries: V. Sattui (excellent wines and a free picnic area) Stag's Leap Winery (Tours by appt. only, #1 Petit Sirah by far!) Korbel Champagne cellars, Domaine Chandon

    Source(s): I live 20 miles from Napa. http://www.napavintners.com/wineries/
  • 1 decade ago

    I recommend the fall, as some of the reds are coming into their own, although ANY TIME is a good time

  • anytime, baby, woooo!!!!

    but the thing is, wineries usually include a mix of red, whites, and sometimes rose in their wine tastings.

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