When people image a visit to Napa Valley, they often picture the jewel tones of fall, lush vineyards, and harvest activities – but the real pros know that winter is one of the best times to visit! From beautiful scenery and fewer people to VIP access and hard-to-get reservations, we believe that winter is an ideal time to plan your trip the Napa Valley.
Fewer Crowds: During the quieter winter months, it’s easier to travel up and down the valley with little-to-no traffic, snag reservations at some of the hottest restaurants, and get special pricing on lodging and spa packages!
Fuzzy Friends: At it’s heart, winemaking and grape growing are agricultural activities, and with agriculture, often times animals are a part of the process. Many wineries like Round Pond Estate bring sheep into the vineyard for more sustainable farming practices than using tractors or pesticides to control weeds.
New Winery Experiences: Be one of the first to try a brand new tasting as many wineries spend the winter months perfecting new experiences for guests in the new year, meaning that you can be one of the first to try these great new offerings without the far-out booking times that may come in busier months. In our newly reopened Olive Mill, we’ve crafted a gourmet olive oil tasting providing a complete culinary immersion with a gourmet tasting plate featuring five delicious bites prepared by our Estate Chef to highlight our oils.
Mustard Season: While the vines lay dormant in the colder months, there is still tons of activity happening in and around them in the vineyard. Mustard season is always a beautiful time to visit as the vibrant yellow flowers pop up across the valley. This vineyard cover crop is not only picturesque, but it also helps prevent soil erosion and recharges the soil with nitrogen to aid in the vine development. Don’t miss your chance for your perfect photo-op among the wildflowers (but do stay respectful of vineyards, private property, and posted signs!) – mustard starts to pop up in mid-January and stays through March when budbreak begins.
One word – Truffles: Every January the Napa Truffle Festival offers 3 full days of culinary temptations paired with Napa Valley wines to highlight this highly-coveted ingredient. Learn how truffles are grown and harvested, attend culinary demonstrations, go on an expert-led mushroom foray, or shop the marketplace for you own truffles to bring home. No matter how you experience it, it’s a delicious weekend you won’t soon forget!
Seasonal Menus: While many think of summer as the most bountiful time of year for produce, the temperate winter weather means we are able to plant seasonally all year long, showcasing different dishes and produce you might not see any other time of year! Our Estate Chef crafts the Il Pranzo experience around the seasonal produce from our culinary gardens used in dishes to highlight and enhance our exceptional wines, so no matter what time of year you visit, you won’t have the same menu twice!
No matter when you chose to visit Napa Valley, there is always something new and fun to discover — we hope to see you soon!