There is something in the air during Harvest Season in Napa Valley. Maybe it’s the buzz of the vineyard workers or the influx of visitors at local Napa Valley hotspots or the smell of grapes being turned into wine. Every year from August through October, winemakers and vineyard workers race against nature to pick grapes at the peak of ripeness and get them into the fermenter to begin the fruit’s journey into a fantastic bottle of wine.
Harvest is peak season for visiting Napa Valley, mainly because there is so much to do. Between special parties and celebrations, like hands-on grape stomping and winemaking and opportunities to see the fields in action, it’s a season you don’t want to miss. We’ve rounded up a collection of fun activities for curious oenophiles and enthusiastic wine sippers planning an adventure to Napa Valley’s Wine Country this Harvest.
Wine Tasting During Harvest Season
Courtesy of Pine Ridge Vineyards
Before you book your tasting, check out if the winery offers any tours of their property, vineyards, or wine making facilities. Many local, Napa Valley wineries want to give insight into their process and allow guests to go into the cellar, see winemakers and winery teams in action, and maybe even try some wine straight out of the barrel. Stags Leap Districts’ Pine Ridge Vineyards
hosts two fantastic, interactive tours that offers access to their impressive network of caves with a tour care of their knowledgeable wine educators. Depending on which elevated experience you choose, your behind-the-scenes look ends in either a seated cheese and wine tasting or an impressive multi-bite meal in their beautiful Cellar 47 tasting lounge located deep in the cave.
Dining During Harvest Season
Courtesy of The Charter Oak, photography by Kelly Puleio
Napa Valley cuisine focuses on seasonal and local ingredients, and many restaurants are sourcing their wares from the region’s farmers and artisans. Visit the awarded The Charter Oak
for elemental, meat-centric menu care of famed chef, Christopher Kostow. Their dishes focus on one to two ingredients, and celebrates locally-inspired food in an airy space with a impressive central hearth. If you’re looking to meet the newest culinary talent of Napa Valley’s Wine Country, we recommend grabbing a table at the Culinary Institute at Greystone’s Gatehouse Restaurant
. As the capstone experience for aspiring chefs, guests can expect an innovative menu and creative cooking. There is lots of excitement during harvest, but there are also a lot of travelers. Be sure to make reservations at your favorite Napa Valley restaurants to ensure you have a seat saved at the table.
Events During Harvest Season
Many wineries have special harvest events going on during the season. We’ve compiled an extensive list of must-do events and winery experiences
for this exciting time of year. No matter what you do during your visit to Napa Valley during harvest, there is something special about being a part of the action and learning more about the dedication Napa Valley Wine Country’s vineyard owners and winemakers have to growing grapes and making the wine you love.
Jen Schmitz has been writing and producing creative content since 2014. She has written for VSCO, Lonny, and contributed to countless other outlets in and out of wine country. She is a lover of all things art, culture, and wine, and prefers to “summer” in Napa Valley to taste all it has to offer and to escape foggy San Francisco any time she can. Follow her on Instagram at @jeneschmitz.