Summer is almost over but the fun has just begun! Napa comes to life with the buzz of harvest as the grapes are ready to be picked and the wine is starting to flow. The season brings tourists flocking to the Valley to experience all things wine country. From wine tours to a Napa hot air balloon ride, there’s so many fun things to do this season. Learn a bit about harvest and plan your trip to Napa!

Who Gets Picked First?

In the stages of harvest, grapes used for sparkling wines go first, thus starting “crush”. During our hot air balloon Napa packages, we offer a Champagne brunch. So when you’re sipping on some bubbly after your Napa hot air balloon ride, you’ll know that the grapes used to make it get picked around early August. The next grapes to be picked are for white wines. These grapes will be sent to the crush pads and winemakers will do their magic.

Harvesting Reds

For red varietals, harvest continues into October and even November. These grapes take longer to mature fully. The harvesting of the famous Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon starts later than most varieties and usually lasts the longest.

Late-Harvest

These wines come from grapes that have been left on the vine longer than most. These grapes will get more ripe and have highly concentrated sugars. This time period goes into December. With the ending of late-harvest comes Cabernet Season, a time for winemakers to relax and appreciate their work.

If you’re in Napa during this time, make sure to keep an eye out for some Harvest traditions. This includes the blessing and toasting of the grapes. If you want to participate in some fun seasonal activities, check out all that Napa has to offer from grape crushing to harvest tours!

How Can You Appreciate the Process?

Stay up-to-date with Harvest events. Attend tours, book a visit to some local wineries, and learn all that you can! Make sure to see the vineyards from below and above by joining us for a Napa hot air balloon ride! Enjoy the beautiful vineyard views as you soar through the sky!

Balloons Above the Valley offers hot air balloon Napa rides with packages to choose form. Want to experience the simplicity of a flight? Book a Napa hot air balloon ride! Want to include Champagne brunch after your ride? Choose the hot air balloon Napa + brunch option. Thinking of booking a wine tour? Bundle it with our Napa hot air balloon ride + wine tour + brunch package. And if you’re traveling from San Francisco, we offer the 2 day hot air balloon Napa experience with wine tour + brunch + transportation from the city!

This is the best time to visit the Valley and enjoy a real wine country experience, from the ground and from high above with a hot air balloon Napa ride!