Howdy! Happy Sunday Funday ya’ll! Before you start getting ready for the Super Bowl, why not visit Napa Valley with me! We’re going to discover why you should go, what you absolutely must do, and what makes Napa Valley so spectacular. So sit back and relax with your favorite glass of wine. Let’s go!
About Napa Valley & Getting There
Napa Valley is located in Northern California, about 50 miles northeast of San Francisco. You have the option of flying into several different airports. Oakland, Sacramento, and San Francisco International airport are all approximately 70 miles from Napa Valley.
There are several airport shuttles that can take you to Napa Valley or you can rent a car and make the beautiful drive. For an extra special visit, you can book limousine services! There are also public transportation options as well.
There are 5 towns that make up Napa Valley-Calistoga, St. Helena, Yountville, Napa and American Canyon.
The Vaca Range and the Mayacamas Mountains make up Napa Valley. The Vaca Range shields Napa from the heat of the Central Valley and the Mayacamas seperates it from the cooler, marine influences.
Napa Valley is home to over 400 wineries, 150 restaurants, including more Michelin stars per capita than any other wine region in the world, and more than 130 overnight accommodations to choose from. With is near perfect temperature year-round and it’s beautiful countryside, it’s a no wonder people keep coming back!
Wineries & Tastings
It is recommended you visit 2-3 wineries per day. Most experiences are 90 minutes at minimum and with travel between each one this will ensure you can truly enjoy each experience without feeling rushed.
You have countless options to choose from when it comes to traveling between each winery. Imagine cruising in a classic convertible! Or hopping on the wine trolley’s! You can even book private tours and party buses for the ultimate experience.
We highly recommend that you schedule your visits in advance. Especially since some of the more popular wineries and tasting rooms book up weeks in advance. And some wineries are so small they need to know when you are arriving so they can greet you. Others limit the number of guests that can visit due to permit restrictions so it is very important you plan in advance.
Most of the wineries due charge tasting fees. They can range anywhere from $20-$40 per person. You can add additional experiences, such as tours, lunches or seminars for additional fees if you really want to create the ultimate tasting. Some will waive tasting fees when you purchase bottles of wine.
Believe it or not, there is a specific way to taste your wine. Just remember the 5 S’s-see, swirl, sniff, sip, spit.
See-observe the color and clarity of the wine. Twirl the stem of the glass to get that swirl. This brings oxygen into the wine to open up the aromas. Sniff your glass a few inches away from your face and then put your nose into the glass and sniff. Take a sip, but let it linger in your mouth. And spit your wine into a dump bucket if you don’t want to get intoxicated.
What to Pack
Napa Valley has a very Mediterranean climate. This allows for optimal grape growing conditions and also provides you with the perfect year-round weather, I mentioned earlier. In the spring and fall your average highs are in the mid to low 70’s with average lows in the mid 40’s. Summer averages about 80 degrees and the winter highs are about 60.
With these perfect temperatures, jeans are always acceptable. For a more upscale visit, dark jeans are perfectly acceptable.
Layering is also recommended since the temperatures can vary throughout the day. In the spring and summer, ladies can wear sundresses and sandals. Men can pack golf shirts, khaki’s, dress shorts, and boat shoes or sneakers.
A light jacket is necessary for those cooler temperatures at night and some of the wine caves and cellars can be chilly as well.
It is also important to leave the heavy perfumes and lotions at home or your hotel when visiting the wineries. You don’t want their scents to muddle your senses when tasting.
Don’t forget your sunglasses, sunblock and umbrella. While it might not be sweltering hot, it is easy to get burned and during the summer and spring rain is likely!
Ready, Set, Let’s Go!!
Contact your Travel Guru today to curate your ideal Napa Valley adventure. There is more to Napa than wine, but wine is a must do while visiting. They can provide you with hotel options, price points, and your perfect tasting itinerary. If you need a payment plan to fund your Napa Valley adventure-we got those too!