December is one of our favorite months for great, festive events around Napa Valley. Celebrate the holiday season with some of our suggestions of the best things going on including a parade, a Santa train ride and a holiday gift bazaar.
Calistoga Winter In The Wineries
1133 Washington St.
Passport holders will delight in swirls and sips in celebration of Winter in the Wineries, the leading up valley event in the storybook city of Calistoga. Participating wineries include Chateau Montelena, featured in the 2008 Hollywood film, “Bottle Shock.” Another well-known stop to take on the trail is Sterling Vineyards, where guests can take a tram ride to taste and take in breathtaking views, while a wine tasting at Castello di Amorosa, the authentically-styled 13th-century Tuscan castle, will entice aficionados eager to taste wines rated 90-plus points in Wine Enthusiast magazine.
Additionally, passport holders will receive special restaurant offers and discounts at several of Calistoga’s lodging properties and downtown shops.
A Taste of HALL- Party Pairings, Stags Leap Cab & Chef Polly Lappetito
December 11, 12-2pm
401 St. Helena Highway
Helena, CA 94574
It’s never easy to host holiday parties, especially if you’re cooking. Perfect holiday party wine pairings is the theme of HALL Wines’ monthly cooking and wine workshop, A Taste of HALL. Chef Polly Lappetito will teach attendees how to cook a three-course meal featuring the 2013 HALL “Stags Leap District” Cabernet Sauvignon in the winery’s fantastic demo kitchen. Founded and owned by Kathryn and Craig Hall, HALL specializes in “crazy good cabernets” crafted by winemaker Steve Leveque. He creates 15 different Cabernet Sauvignon wines for each vintage.
Riedel stemware is sponsoring and everyone gets to leave with a free Riedel wine glass. Attendees will also learn which stemware is best used with varietals.
Santa Train-Napa Valley Wine Train
1275 McKinstry Street
Napa, CA 94559
The Napa Valley Wine Train’s annual Santa Train is a family tradition featuring music, an interactive experience, hot chocolate, cookies and wine on a picturesque train ride through the valley. Guests are given “magical wristbands” that light up at points during the train ride and “transform the experience.” The train journey is so popular that it runs seven days a week from November 19 through December 29 (it won’t run December 24 and December 25). The train runs nightly at 5pm and 8pm. Rides start at $55 and Napa Valley residents get special prices Mondays through Thursdays with an ID.
Visitors can tour Napa Valley vineyards while eating and drinking on vintage Pullman train cars on the Napa Valley Wine Train. A professional photographer can take pictures of families with Santa Claus at the station before the train leaves and the photos can be purchased at the end of the ride.
The Nutcracker at the Lincoln Theater
December 17 (2pm and 7pm performances) and December 18 (2pm performance)
Napa Valley Performing Arts Center at Lincoln Theater
100 California Drive
Yountville, CA 94599
It’s not the holidays without taking in a performance of the Nutcracker. The iconic music of Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky and the talent of the dancers of the Napa Regional Dance Company will delight audiences of all ages. This is the dance company’s 16th annual production of the classic ballet. The Lincoln Theater is home to Symphony Napa Valley and hosts a variety of world-class touring artists. The theater is also very active in arts education in local schools.
The theater is in close proximity to Yountville which is filled with fantastic restaurants. Discover our favorite Yountville restaurant picks