Harvest Season in the Napa Valley Posted On: August 20, 2018 By: admin The Napa Valley grape growing season is coming to a close. The labor and love put into the vineyards is meant to be celebrated, and the Napa Valley knows how to do just that. Here’s everything you need to know about the Napa Valley harvest season. From Vine to Wine The vineyards are now at their fullest and the season’s bounty is ripe for the picking. Farmers may start sampling the grapes weeks before harvest time. If the grape seeds are easily chewable, and the fruits are sweet with no hint of bitterness, it’s time to start picking. First to go are the early ripening varieties like the Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Sangiovese hang on the vine for a little while longer, sometimes until late October. Of course, harvest times vary year to year depending on the climate and the weather. Don’t expect to see much action in the vineyards during the day. Due to the Napa Valley’s moderately warm climate, grapes are often picked at night or early in the morning to ensure the fruit stays cool on the way to the crusher. This preserves acidity, allowing the winemaker to have more control over the fermentation process. Where to Celebrate the Harvest Want to learn more about the wine making process? The Napa Valley has an abundance of harvest-centric activities for you to dive into the winemaking process, while having some fun along the way. Kick off your shoes for a grape stomp at Grgich Hills Estate in Rutherford. Visit V. Sattui Winery to witness their winemaking process from start to finish. V. Sattui allows visitors to observe grapes getting picked, sorted, destemmed, loaded to the crush pad, pressed into juice, and pumped over to the fermentation process. Enroll in a hands-on blending seminar at V. Sattui, as you explore five Bordeaux varietals to create your own. Judd’s Hill Winery also offers a fun and educational Blending Day Camp to create your perfect bottle of vino. Hand bottle, label, and prepare your personally crafted bottle of wine to take home. Skip the how-tos altogether and head straight to the harvest festivities. Attend the Jamieson Ranch Vineyards Harvest Dinner for a 4-course wine pairing dinner featuring new release wines and the tastes of fall, hosted by their Winemaker and Estate Chef. Markham Vineyards also hosts an annual Harvest Dinner in their historic stone cellar, complete with a catered multi-course dinner paired with exclusive Estate wines. There is so much more! Check Visit Napa Valley’s Calendar of Events for all things harvest, including upcoming festivals, parties, and more. Ready to experience the sites and festivities of the Napa Valley harvest? Let the Napa Winery Inn be your home base to explore the wonders of harvest season. Check out our Special Offers to begin planning your wine country getaway.