Five Reasons to Go to Napa for Harvest
There’s never a bad time to visit California’s wine country, but harvest season gets our vote for all the harvest galas, bottle release parties and old-fashioned grape stomps. Crowds might come when the vines are at their thickest, but we’ve got a special collection of crush pads to accommodate them. And in case you need more reasons to see (and taste) those rolling vineyards this fall, we’ve got five for you.
PARTY ANIMALS Go early for the harvest galas, tasting parties and family-style farm-to-table dinners many wineries and vineyards host each harvest. Need to loosen your belt? Walk it out at the Napa Valley Art Festival, the Wine Country Ukulele Fest or the Napa River Wine & Craft Fair, to name a few.
RESERVE A RESERVE Many wineries will host release parties for their reserve labels in August and September. Stock up for the winter at Clos Du Val’s Reserve Release Party in August.
KISS THE COOK What is wine without the food? During harvest, Napa’s Farmer’s Market hosts a weekly cooking class with local chef Julie Logue-Riordan. Learn how to master homemade ricotta crostini, rotisserie chicken and pear clafouti, all from NorCal produce and ingredients.
IT’S A GOOD YEAR The Napa Valley Grapegrowers says that 2012 will be a good year for vintage wines, which they predicted in their April 25 harvest report — one of the earliest reports they’ve released. Leave your mark this year by participating in the old-fashioned grape stomps many wineries host during harvest.
INDIAN SUMMER Although fall temperatures are typically in the low 60s, it’s not uncommon for them to peak to the upper 80s during an Indian summer in mid-October. Get a second wind when wine country and bay area are ready for their closeup. Don’t forget the camera.
Napa Valley photos by Kate Maxwell