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What is the best time of year to visit CA wine country?

phx
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What is the best time of year to visit CA wine country?

I am trying to plan out my vacation time for the upcoming year, and wondering when would be a good time to go. I am most interested in going when the weather is nice and crowds are minimal.

Columbus Ohio
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1. Re: What is the best time of year to visit CA wine country?

We are going next week. Got some great "off season" rates. Will post follow up to let you know how the weather is and crowds.

Napa,Ca.
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2. Re: What is the best time of year to visit CA wine country?

I am a Concierge here in Napa...

I highly suggest coming here either between march and may- Mustard Festival, and the wineries release white wines, or november-december. It typically not too cold or too busy. I hope I could help

~a Local~

Columbus Ohio
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3. Re: What is the best time of year to visit CA wine country?

Mamamego - Thanks for the info-We arriving in SF on the 13th then after a few days there head up to Napa. Was wondering if the weather will be nice. The last time we were in Napa in Nov. was beautiful!

Napa, CA
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4. Re: What is the best time of year to visit CA wine country?

lfelix-

This is a popular question. Here's a reply I posted almost exactly a year ago:

The wine country is beautiful almost any time of year.

It's quite slow from Jan 2 through most of March, with the exception of Valentine's Day and Columbus Day weekend, when the valley is packed to capacity.

Jan 2 through March is a favorite time of year for many repeat visitors-- it's when we have the Mustard Festival, with vibrant wild mustard blossoms growing in rows between the bare grape vines. This time of year is a "best kept secret" for many folks who come to the wine country every year for a visit-- things are slower, so they can linger at tasting rooms and learn more about each winery, restaurants have open tables, so they can enjoy their favorite spots, and both airfare and room rates are very low, meaning many people choose to stay here for a week instead of just a day or two. This is our favorite time of year, since we get a chance to visit with some of our guests a bit more (since they stay longer).

Things get more and more busy from April through August, to the point where most of our weekends are booked long in advance (we are already getting calls now, in November, for reserving rooms next September, a year from now!).

Sept and Oct. is our busiest time of year, when we harvest all of the wine grapes (also called "Crush"). Wineries are abuzz with activity, bringing in the grapes, making the wine, and getting the wine processed for storage into tanks or barrels. So there is lots and lots to see.

Since it's so busy during Sept and Oct, it's the one time all year that you'll have to reserve restaurants weeks in advance, and book wine tours several days or weeks ahead, if you want to go to some of the popular spots.

Staying at an Inn or Bed & Breakfast that offers full concierge services can really help, as they will book all of these hard-to-get-into spots for you ahead of time, making your stay here more enjoyable, and less frustrating.

Fall (late Oct through Thanksgiving) the grape vines look beautiful as the leaves change color (Napa is one of the only places in Northern California where people go for fall color tours).

Between Thanksgiving and Christmas, fewer people visit as everyone prepares for the holidays. This is a great time to come if you want reduced airfare, lower room rates, and like fall weather (typically in the 50s and 60s, with occasional showers). From room rates to airfare, this time is by far the best "deal" all year, especially .

The week between Christmas and New Years is very busy here-- and room rates reflect this. Also, wineries are closed on Christmas and New Years day, so there's less to do (unless you stay someplace with a big featherbed and a cozy fireplace :o)

Whenever you visit, I hope you enjoy all the magic that Napa and Sonoma have to offer.

-Russ & Sharon

Innkeepers

Napa Old World Inn

Napa, CA
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5. Re: What is the best time of year to visit CA wine country?

Bump to the top-- since this is a very popular question! :)

-The Innkeepers

Napa Old World Inn

Napa, CA
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6. Re: What is the best time of year to visit CA wine country?

Oops-- seems like we omitted part of the above post by accident:

"From room rates to airfare, this time is by far the best "deal" all year, especially if you like to chat w/tasting room staff-- since there are virtually NO LINES midweek!"

7. Re: What is the best time of year to visit CA wine country?

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