Napa Crush

The Napa Crush is in full force, and it is tremendous fun. If you would like to witness the harvesting and crushing of the grapes, this is a fantastic time for a visit to the Napa County Wineries. It is their busiest season, so you need to plan ahead for inn and restaurant reservations. The timing of harvest and processing of the different varieties is weather-dependent, and scheduling is an ever-evolving process.

When you arrive check with your innkeepers and local merchants for news on which wineries are harvesting or crushing that day. You can also find out who is doing special pourings (verticals or special old vintages), and the news on other events like grape stomps.

If you can’t make it in the next few weeks, no worries. Halloween through the first two weeks in November is the best kept secret for wine lovers, because the entire valley has slowed down after the crush. The lines at the tasting rooms have diminished, and reservations are easy. Best of all the entire valley still smells like new wine now that the grapes are fermenting in their tanks. Also the winemakers are more rested and relaxed.

Harvest time is wonderful in the valley, however there are interesting things going on in other seasons including pump-overs, transfers to barrels, topping off, and bottling…so much to learn and discover. If you want to go deeper still into the experience, visit a barrel tasting at a winery where you can sample wines directly from the barrels before they are bottled. An incredible experience for wine-lovers!

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