It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Or one of the most wonderful times… It’s Mustard Season in Napa Valley! In late winter and early spring, the rolling hills of Napa Valley turn yellow as fields of mustard flowers begin to bloom. This is a popular time for locals and visitors as they explore beautiful landscapes and enjoy outdoor activities. Whether taking in the views from the ground or from the sky during a Napa hot air balloon ride the views are like no other during this time of year. Read on to learn about mustard in the vineyards, this year’s events, and popular activities.
Why is mustard in the vineyards?
Mustard is often used as a cover crop in vineyards. A cover crop is a type of crop that is grown specifically to cover and protect the soil. Cover crops are not grown for their economic value but rather for their agronomic benefits. Some benefits include:
- Soil Health: Cover crops like mustard help improve the health of the soil by adding organic matter and fixing nitrogen in the soil, which is beneficial for the growth of the vines.
- Weed Control: Mustard is an effective weed suppressant and helps to control weeds in the vineyard, reducing the need for chemical herbicides.
- Pest Control: Mustard can also act as a natural pest deterrent, helping to reduce the need for chemical pesticides.
- Erosion Control: The dense foliage of mustard plants helps to prevent soil erosion and helps to retain moisture in the soil.
In addition to these benefits, the bright yellow flowers of the mustard plant also add a beautiful visual element to the vineyard during mustard season.
Mustard Season Events
There are so many Mustard Season events happening this year – view the full list at NapaValleyMustardCelebration.com. Below is just a tiny sneak peak.
- American Canyon Community and Parks Foundation offers hiking trails to stroll through and enjoy the scenery.
- Carneros Resort & Spa is offering a Mustard Fields Massage and Weekly Mustard Tastings
- Art Association Napa Valley features an art gallery with mustard-themed art by 50+ local artists
- Downtown Napa Restaurants will be offering mustard menus and mustard
- February 24-26, Downtown Napa Tasting Rooms will host a passport weekend where you can taste wines paired with bites and mustard touches.
- Silverado Resort & Spa is hosting a variety of activities including Mustard Season bar Bites, Spa Special, and Art Show.
- Handwritten Wines in Yountville will host “From Dijon to Yountville: A Celebration of Mustard, Cheese, and Wine” on March 3.
- Priest Ranch Napa Valley is hosting a Bacon and Wine Experience.
Activities to Enjoy the Views
- Wine Tasting: Napa Valley is famous for its world-class wineries and during mustard season, it’s a great time to visit them and sample some of the local wines, all while enjoying the vineyard views.
- Scenic Drive: Take a drive through the rolling hills of Napa Valley to see the vibrant yellow fields of mustard flowers.
- Hiking: The Napa Valley offers many beautiful hiking trails, including some with breathtaking views of the mustard fields.
- Biking: Rent a bike and explore the backroads of Napa Valley, taking in the stunning views.
- Picnic: Pack a picnic and enjoy a relaxing day in the countryside, surrounded by the beautiful mustard flowers.
- Balloon Ride: We may be biased but we believe there’s no better way to enjoy the mustard than from the sky. This time of year, the bright yellow mustard and green hills create magical scenery!