Harvest is like Christmas come early in Napa Valley. Starting in September, the sweet smell of fermentation permeates the air during the busiest and most exciting time of the year to visit Northern California’s Wine Country. You don’t want to miss out on the magic, so we’ve rounded up the top 10 ways to celebrate Harvest in 2019 — which may or may not result in grape-stained feet and fingers and plenty of amazing pours.
Release your inner Lucy. These Napa Valley wineries will let you crush freshly harvested grapes into wine the old school way.
August 30 through October 27, 2019, 10 AM – 3:30 PM
Cost: $50 per person, $20 per minor
Grgich Hills founder Mike Grgich grew up stomping grapes in Croatia and has continued that tradition in Napa Valley for more than three decades. Every year, the winery invites the public to join them for their annual Blessing of the Grapes to kick off the harvest season, which includes an outdoor reception and free grape stomping until noon. This is also the only winery in Napa Valley that hosts daily grape stomps throughout harvest. The experience comes with a tasting of three estate wines (adults only) and after you’ve crushed the grapes to juice, you can stamp your wet feet on a commemorative t-shirt.
1829 St. Helena Highway, Rutherford, CA 94573, (707) 963-2784
September 20, 2019, 6:30 – 10 PM
Cost: $135 per person, $115 for wine club members (+ $25 extra for stomp competition)
What better place to make wine like the old days than a castle? Assemble your army and storm the Castello di Amorosa crush pad at the winery’s annual Grape Stomp Competition. The team who stomps the most juice gets the throne (for the night). Stomping is optional and the evening will also include harvest and winemaking demos, a tour of the castle, a Wine Country dinner buffet paired with the house wines, plus a live band and dancing.
4045 St. Helena Highway, Calistoga, CA 94515, (707) 967-6272
September 28, 2019, 2 – 5PM
Cost: $125 per person, $90 for wine club members
Celebrate the 2019 harvest with by partaking in some good old-fashioned grape stomping. Paraduxx’s signature grape stomp competition is a chance to pay homage to this old winemaking tradition, but even those who don’t participate will enjoy educational opportunities throughout the day to learn about the harvest process. Nosh on Wine Country fare, best your friends at lawn games, and listen to live music from the Michelle Lambert Duo. It all adds up to be a wonderful day in Wine Country.
7257 Silverado Trail, Napa, CA 94558, (707) 945-0890
August 17, 2019, 10:30 AM
Cost: $175 per person, $150 for wine club members
Peju Winery takes their annual grape stomp competition very seriously, so you’ll want to start rounding up a large-footed team member and designing costumes now (prizes will be awarded to the stomp champions, as well as teams with the best theme and costume). After the stomp, sit down to a delicious farm-to-table lunch paired with Peju wines.
8466 St. Helena Highway, Rutherford, CA 94573, (707) 963-3600
You can’t properly celebrate the grape harvest without getting your hands a little (or a lot) dirty. Don’t worry, your hard work will be rewarded.
September 8, 2019, 10 AM – 3 PM
Cost: $200, $175 for wine club members
At their annual Harvest Boot Camp, the historic Trefethen Vineyards will take you step-by-step through the harvest process. Start by picking grapes out in the vineyard and then follow them back to the crush pad where they’ll soon become juice. While the juice starts the fermentation process, you’ll have the chance to sample past vintages right from the barrel. The day culminates in a bountiful, al fresco lunch under the shade of an ancient walnut tree.
1160 Oak Knoll Avenue, Napa, CA, 94558, (866) 895-7696
October 5, 2019, 10 AM – 3 PM
Cost: $250 per person, $200 for wine club members
Have you ever wondered what it’s like to be a winemaker? The Day in the Life experience at Round Pond Estate will give you an idea. Over the course of this five-hour day, you’ll work closely with the winemaking team as they go about their daily harvest responsibilities, sampling the wares along the way. You will most definitely be covered in sticky grape juice by the end of it, but in return, you’ll enjoy a guided tasting of Round Pond’s estate olive oils and an artisan lunch under the pergola.
875 Rutherford Road, Rutherford, CA 94558, (707) 320-2575
Celebrate the 2019 vintage with wine, food, and outright fun at one of these Napa Valley winery harvest parties.
September 14, 2019, 5:30 – 11 PM
Cost: $285 per person, $260 for wine club members
Don your finest threads for V. Sattui’s Harvest Ball. Now in its 35th year, this is by far one of the most lavish affairs of the Harvest season, complete with fine wines, a multi-course dinner prepared by Michelin-starred Chef Stefano Masanti, and live music from a top tribute band. Following dinner, the after party heads underground to the barrel cellar for dessert and dancing.
1111 White Lane, St. Helena, CA 94574, (707) 963-7774
September 21, 2019, 7 – 10 PM
Cost: $300 per person, $225 for wine club members
Inglenook’s iconic Rubicon Release Party sells out quickly every year, but it should definitely be on your radar so you’ll want to jump on tickets fast (or set a calendar alert for next year). If you’ve never had the chance to visit the historic Inglenook Chateau, this popular event is a great excuse. Food, wine, and fun is promised during a wildly magical evening at this Francis Ford Coppola estate, which celebrates Inglenook’s flagship wine since 1978. Rubicon is made from the best estate fruit, including cabernet sauvignon first planted back in the 1880s.
1991 St. Helena Highway, Rutherford, CA , 94573, (707) 968-1144
October 5, 2019, 12 – 5 PM
Cost: $95 per person, $65 for club members
Tamber Bey’s ’s biggest party of the year is a chance to revel in the harvest season. Celebrate the grapes being brought in and the release of five Yountville Appellation red wines with mouthwatering food, live music, and free-flowing wine. While the crew may or may not be taking a break to join the fun, the only heavy lifting required of you is bringing delicious food and wine up to your mouth.
1251 Tubbs Lane, Calistoga, CA 94515, (707) 942-2011
October 5, 2019, 5 – 8 PM
Cost: $155 per person, $135 for wine club members
Sequoia Grove’s most popular event draws wine lovers near and far for its family-style lobster dinner paired with wine. Savor this delicious lobster feast from the patio before joining the highly-competitive, entertaining grape stomp contest — the perfect excuse to work off all that mouthwatering seafood.
8338 St. Helena Highway, Napa, CA 94558 (707) 944-2945