A Traveler’s Guide to Sonoma and Napa Valley Seasons

Wine country in California is full of idyllic scenery that will be a beautiful sight for your sore eyes. For the past 2 years, we have been gawking at our computer screens for work and entertainment. Californian wine country will give your eyes and your mind a fresh experience that will completely rejuvenate you.  Let’s explore two of the most popular counties with this guide to the Sonoma and Napa Valley seasons. 

Spring Season

Sunny and rainy days constitute the spring season in Sonoma and Napa. But it can be a beautiful season to visit the location. The only drawback of visiting in this season is that you will find the vines to be bare as the shoots are still sprouting. If you don’t mind that, you are good to go! 

Typical temperatures are between 60 to 70 F. Nights are a bit cooler with the temperatures ranging between 40 to 50 F. 

Events to look forward to: 

  1. Farm to table Kendall-Jackson dinner series: Although the event runs for spring, summer and fall, the tickets sell quite early. In the event, you will get access to a massive feast in the gardens of the Kendall-Jackson estate. You will be able to taste the finest wines and curated menu. The feast is prepared by the culinary team along with the assistance of a master gardener and winemaker. 
  1. Napa Valley Marathon: If you are into running marathons, you must check out the Napa Valley Marathon during spring. 

Summer Season

Bright, lush green vines are typical in the summer season. You will have longer and warmer days to check out the vines and find winemakers grooming their vines. Also, you will get to check out the very first cluster of grapes before harvest. 

This is also the season when Napa and Sonoma are crowded with travellers from different regions. The overall temperatures are quite warm, somewhere around 80F. No rain so it is a perfect season to visit the wine country. 

Events to look forward to:

  • Music in the Vineyards: Enjoy chamber music with the finest wines in an intimate setting during the summer at this event. The event is hosted up until August. 
  • Festival Napa Valley: Get an exciting exposure to the food, wine, and culture of Napa Valley with this event. The event usually begins in mid-late July. 
  • Independent Events: All the wineries host independent events during the summer season. And these events have varied themes. You can find events starting from a simple film screening, and extended wine tours in Sonoma Valley to yoga retreats. To find the exact schedule, you can check out the official calendars of local tourism. 

Fall Season

The peak season to visit Sonoma and Napa Valley! Fall is the season where tourism and wine events are in full swing. 

The main reason is that the fall season is also the harvest season. Most wines are heavily loaded with fully grown clusters of grapes that are ready to be harvested. The harvest of grapes takes place during the night to maintain cooler temperatures. However, during the day, curious visitors fill the tasting rooms. 

This is also the season where each winery will host different events to showcase the best wines respectively. You will get in-depth wine tours, blending sessions, make your wine sessions and so much more. 

Events to look forward to:

  • Napa Valley Film Festival: Enjoy the fall season, sitting amongst celebrities watching wonderful films at the Napa Valley Film Festival. 
  • Schramsberg: Not a fan of movies, don’t worry! This sparkling wine producer has got in-depth and hands-on wine experience just for you. It is like a wine camp for visitors of all types. Whether you have wine-making knowledge or not, you can learn to make wine from start to finish. 
  • Sonoma Harvest Music Festival: Popular musicians land in Sonoma Valley to serenade you with the finest music during this festival. While you are enjoying the festival, you can also visit different Sonoma County wine tours.
  • Jordan Winery: When you want to get the complete wine country experience, you must visit the Jordan Winery event. This is a series of outdoor lunches that has a curated menu inspired by the family recipes. The lunches are around a theme and will serve the finest wines from the winery. And you will also get winery cuvées which have won numerous awards. 
  • BottleRock: If you are a fan of rock music, make sure to visit the BottleRock festival in Napa Valley. 

Winter Season

If you are not a big fan of huge crowds and want to have a peaceful and calm visit to the wine country, the winter season must be your pick. Although you will find bare vines again that will sprout next year.

Wine country winter is still milder as compared to other parts of the country. Temperatures are in the 50s to 60s F. You will find yellow mustard flowers growing around the region giving it a serene and scenic look. 

Events to look forward to:

  • Lighted tractors parade: Calistoga, the town in Napa Valley, hosts this vibrant and festive parade on the streets. This happens during December. 
  • Napa Valley restaurant week: Get discounted menus of delicious food paired with the finest wines in restaurants all January. 
  • Armstrong Redwoods State Natural Reserve: Go on hikes on the trails located in this natural reserve. You can marvel at the towering redwoods in the region. 
  • Handmade Crafts Affair: Santa Rosa hosts this event to provide exposure to local artisans. You can buy different types of handmade crafts and products. It’s a super chill event and you get local snacks to enjoy. 

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