We have visited in January, May, twice in September and October. There are pros and cons to visiting at each time. We specifically haven’t gone in the summer due to the extreme dry heat. I personally can’t sip on red wine when I’m baking in the sun.
The perks of visiting in the winter are the crowds and prices. There are far less people visiting and this is the best time to stay at the properties that are out of your price range during peak season. Also depending on your wardrobe preference this is a great time to sport your cute fall fashion with sweaters, boots and cute coats. I also love this time of year to end my day of tasting with a glass of red and a hot tub!
If this is your first time to Napa, I would not travel at this time. It’s winter so obviously there isn’t as much greenery and the vines are bare. It’s not the best photo opportunity. Temps range from mid 50’s to upper 60’s and it gets cold at night. If the sun is out, outdoor tastings are amazing but at night even a heating lamp at the restaurants can’t help you.
Everything really starts to green up and come alive. The temps start to rise and the valley comes alive. I loved seeing the baby grape vines! Early spring temps are the best and range from upper 60’s to mid 70s. Fashion is fun at this time with rompers and sundresses. The food choices at restaurants reflect the brand new flavors of spring.
We visited end of May and that was a little to close to summer temps and it was already 80 degrees. These hot temps aren’t fun to be sitting outside with the sun beating down on you. The evenings are cooler and make a perfect dinner experience on a patio. Napa is always busy but this time of year requires planning ahead as it starts to get busier.
I really can’t speak much to this time of year as I have never visited and highly will never visit. The temps get into the 90’s and this girl can’t sip red wines when its hot. If you do visit during this time, visit places with cooler caves and wineries that focus on roses, whites and bubbles. I recommend Schramsberg for bubbles, Palmaz for their underground tour or Del Dotto for all of their caves.
Visiting in the summer can give you an opportunity to have some down time if you stay at resort with a pool. I have few properties saved for myself just incase we ever go; Meritage, Aurburge Resorts, Four Seasons or Alila. But honestly I go to Napa to drink wine, I will save my pool time for my tropical getaways.
The first time you visit Napa should be in the fall. If you visit during harvest, which is end of sept to mid October, you will see full vines and might even score a chance to try a grape off the vine. This is the best time to take photos! We loved the temps in Sept and Oct, mid 70s to low 80’s during the day and refreshing 50’s at night.
Many wineries also offer harvest parties at this time. Some are only available to club members but these events add a unique experience.
When we visited in October, we arrived right after the Glass Fire of 2020. Fall is the fire season and you always run that risk. It was so surreal to see the damage and luckily only one of our tastings was canceled. I still recommend going and supporting as much as you can. Napa valley is huge and some wineries still offer virtual tastings. Even though you aren’t getting the full experience, grabbing the bottles and doing your own tasting at your resort is fun!
Fall is high season so reservations are a MUST. It will be harder to get into restaurants and you will be paying top dollar for your hotel stays.
No matter when you visit you will have the best time. Follow for more Napa tips and itinerary’s.