Winter is the perfect time to visit wine country, there's no crowds and there's plenty of deals to be had.
really is not a bad time to visit wine country as each season provides
something special to behold. There are bright green budding vines and colorful
blooms dotting hillsides and vineyard rows in the spring. Summer months bring long
sunny afternoons made for sipping rose and lush vineyards dripping heavy with
clusters of the year's soon to be vintage.
Then there's the excitement of harvest and the changing colors in and
around the vineyards in the fall. But what about winter?
know wine country does not necessarily come to mind as a winter activity, but
we'll give you five reasons why it absolutely should.
Depending on the region, busy season
begins late spring and goes strong through October. This can mean tasting rooms
jammed packed with other thirsty visitors, difficult if not impossible to
book tasting reservations at most desired destinations,
distracted winery hosts and TRAFFIC a whole lot of traffic. In the
winter, however, this is not the case allowing you to book that coveted estate
and enjoy more engaging experiences as the staff will have more time to spend
with you. And, even better, you won’t be
stuck in as much slow-moving traffic so you can arrive on time and not be
Explore seasonal tastings for
unforgettable experiences. For just a
few weeks in the winter season, Dutton Estate offers a S’mores Winter Winetasting
that is sure to warm your heart and please your pallet. Mount Nittany in Pennsylvania is cooking up delicious
& Wine Pairing experiences, and Dry Creek Vineyards offers an
incredible flight of Zinfandels
of Dry Creek Valley. You can book
these and more winter wine experiences below.
Red Wine Season
Yes, there are seasons for wine. Think about it, which would you rather?
Sipping a big bold cabernet pool side on a sweltering summer day or a perfectly
chilled rose? Not that you cannot enjoy your preferred wines any time, but
there is a natural fit for some better than others. Winter leans toward dark red wines. This is the season for getting cozy by
crackling fires and indulging in more hearty fare like rich braises, roasts,
stews and pasta dishes all of which beg to be paired with bold and complex red
wines. Don’t worry, it’s not like all the white wines get locked up in a secret
vault somewhere, there will be plenty of whiles for you to enjoy as well.
Every season has its beauty and
winter in wine country is no exception.
While the weather and geography will vary depending on the region, the
season brings a peaceful serenity.
Colder days may bring snow or at least a little frost to the vines
creating a winter wonderland. When the rains taper off, sunshine breaks through
dark gray skies creating unimaginably vibrant rainbows. Be prepared for great
photo opportunities and pack cute rain boots and a brightly colored umbrella.
the Winter Blues
After all the holiday festivities and
celebrations, the weeks between New Year’s and Valentine’s Day can seem, well a
little dull. Planning a wine country
getaway can be just the spark you need whether it be a day trip or a long
weekend. In Northern California wine
country, late winter is when the wild mustard begins to bloom painting the
vineyard rows and open fields a vibrant and cheerful yellow that instantly
boosts your mood.
International Short Film Festival which takes place February 2nd
– 5th is a great reason to visit Napa Valley this February. Four fantastic days
filled with a bounty of short films, wine and culinary events. See you there!
Off season means lodging, dining
& even spa specials. Snag a great rate at that posh resort or boutique inn
you’ve been swooning over on Pinterest.
Many restaurants offer up exciting happy hour menus and specials this
time of year. If you’re a foodie, then put this on your calendar now: January 20th
– January 29th is Napa
Valley Restaurant Week when our favorite chefs create special dishes and
menus at even more spectacular prices so you can indulge in culinary
magnificence without breaking the bank. Check
with local spas to find out about their winter specials too and create a dreamy
wine country experience worthy of filling your Instagram with.
Insider's Travel Tip
When touring through wine country this time of the year, be sure to dress in layers. Even if the highs reach the high 60's, morning temperatures can be quite cold and you will be thankful you packed a warm coat and gloves.
As we all know, it's been a fairly wet start to the new year for many of us, so plan on wearing closed toe shoes or better yet boots. Parking lots and pathways may be a tad "squishy" and not ideal for cute strappy heels (save those for your summer visit). In the rainy season, I recommend a wide brimmed hat to protect your tresses from becoming a soggy mess. Unlike with an umbrella, your hands will be free to easily tote all that wine back to your hotel.
Winter Wine Experiences
Messina Hof Estate Winery and Resort
Sunday, January 15, 2023, 1:00 PM
Monday, January 16, 2023, 3:00 PM
St. Helena Chamber of Commerce
Tuesday, November 1, 2022, 12:00 AM
Wise Villa Winery
Wednesday, January 25, 2023, 6:00 PM
Saturday, January 28, 2023, 1:00 PM
Saturday, January 28, 2023, 11:00 AM
Bogle Family Vineyards
Monday, January 30, 2023, 6:00 PM
Yountville International Short Film Festival
Thursday, February 2, 2023, 6:00 PM
Anderson Valley Winegrowers
Saturday, February 18, 2023, 10:00 AM