Napa Valley’s Cabernet Season: Why Go Now

December 8th, 2021

On the heels of Napa Valley’s harvest is Cabernet Season, which stretches from November to April. During this time, visitors can get a taste of newly released cabernets while taking advantage of the region’s slower pace, lower hotel rates, wider access to winemakers,  and new tasting experiences. Not to mention, nabbing reservations at Michelin-starred restaurants has never been easier. Photo opps are also endless with brilliant swaths of mustard flowers popping up everywhere. Here’s a Napa Valley winter travel guide blending new and noteworthy.

This year marks the 12th annual Winter in the Wineries Passport program. For $60 per person, guests receive complimentary wine tastings at 14 participating wineries in Calistoga, Lake Country, Pope Valley, and St. Helena. Other perks include complimentary corkage at participating restaurants and discounts at Calistoga hotels, spas, and shops. Visitors who are especially interested in St. Helena should consider the “Little Book of Big Experiences” wine passport, a $75 purchase with an $800 value. That gets you wine and food pairings, tastes of rare-batch wines, and private wine tastings at 14 of Napa Valley’s top wineries.

While Napa Valley’s wineries are always a draw, keep in mind that the vines only account for nine percent of the county—in other words, there are plenty of other activities to do beyond wine tasting. With off-season temperatures hovering around the mid 60s, it’s an ideal time for getting outdoors, whether that means hiking the trails that crisscross the Mayacamas and the Vaca mountain ranges, biking the Napa Valley Vine Trail, or lacing up your sneakers for the Napa Valley Marathon on March 6, 2022. Don’t miss a walk through the Napa Rail Arts District. Inspired by Wynwood in Miami,  the two-mile stretch of murals turned forgotten outdoor spaces into large-scale works of art.

No cool-weather visit to Napa Valley is complete without a warming spa therapy in the town of Calistoga – originally built around abundant, natural hot springs. Detox at the new outdoor treatment rooms at Dr. Wilkinson’s Resort & Spa or opt for the signature mud bath treatment at Four Seasons Napa Valley, which opened in November 2021.

America’s premier wine region not only lures visitors with its stunning vineyards and Michelin-starred cuisine, but also with its selection of accommodations – where the fireplace rivals the pool as the must-have amenity. The best rates can be found now through March enticing guests to stay longer and experience boundless activities. A selection of offers include third night free at Carneros Resort & Spa, Vista Collina Resort, Silverado Resort, Solage, an Auberge Resort, and River Terrace Inn while at Milliken Creek, Lavender Inn, Maison Fleurie and Estate at Yountville, travelers can enjoy 30 percent off two nights or more.


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