Seeing and participating as harvest season begins is one of the most fun things to do in Napa Valley. This busy time for the vineyard managers and their crews and the 400+ wineries throughout the fabled Wine Country represents the culmination of the growing season that began with vine pruning in the very first months of the year.
Since not all grapes reach full maturity at the same time, the 2022 harvest season began in early August and will run through October and possibly even early November in some instances.
The timing of each vineyard harvest depends mainly on the grape variety. The white varieties reach maturity first, while the robust reds usually remain on the vines for several weeks longer.
General weather conditions early in their development can also affect crop development. Cold weather and excessive rains in the spring, for example, will interfere with early development, thereby affecting the timing of the harvest.
Localized conditions too impact the timing of the harvest. Depending on the terroir or growing conditions of the vineyard, the elevation, microclimate, and soil types affect the grapes’ maturation rate and eventual harvest time. For example, Chardonnay grapes grown in one appellation reach full maturity two or three weeks earlier than those produced just a few miles away.
But the harvest is not just about hard work and hustle to bring in the grapes at their peak of perfection. Harvest time in Napa Valley is also about the celebration of another successful year, a time when businesses and wineries open their doors to celebrate the event with locals and visitors alike.
How To Enjoy the Harvest Celebration in Napa Valley
Begin the Adventure with a Hot Air Balloon Napa Ride
Start your Napa Valley harvest adventure with a glorious hot air balloon Napa-Style ride above the vineyards and wineries of the Valley.
Start early in the morning of your first day and greet the sunrise aboard a safe and memorable hot air balloon Napa experience. You and your partner will be thrilled by the incomparable views as your hot air balloon drifts quietly over the vineyards, wineries, communities, and mountainous backdrop of Napa Valley. You will be able to witness the progress of the harvest as you float above and chart your upcoming winery destinations.
Participate in a Napa Valley Harvest Party
After months of pruning, canopy management, irrigation, and conscientious care, the grapes are coming ready. Many wineries offer fun and fascinating harvest parties to celebrate the incoming raw material and the onset of a new vintage. Whether you are an old hand at Napa Valley harvests or a first-timer, these events, complete with food, wine, and entertainment, are sure to entertain and educate.
Here are a few notable Napa Valley Harvest Celebrations:
CHANDON: A Harvest Celebration of Food & Wine, September 4 from 5:00-7:30
This Harvest Celebration at Chandon will be a unique celebration of an all-woman winemaking team and the introduction of a new release, Rising Star. Recent releases will also include a Chardonnay from the grapes of a new vineyard and a selection of twenty-five sparkling and still wines from Chardon’s extensive portfolio.
POPE VALLEY WINERY: “Boots and Barrels”, September 17 from 6:30-9:30
Enjoy a divine slow-roasted barbeque prime rib dinner accompanied by a Texas-style country music performance by Mark Powell. Guests can sample a selection of Pope Valley wines as well as a choice of handcrafted brews.
SATTUI WINERY “HARVEST BALL”, September 17 from 5:30 to 11:00
At this black tie affair, you and your well-dressed partner can stroll the grounds of the beautiful, Tuscany-inspired winery. Following the walkabout and a chance to sip some of V. Sattui’s excellent white wines, guests will be treated to an Italian dinner created by Michelin-awarded Master Chef Stefano Masanti and perfectly paired with some of the highly acclaimed wines.
TREFETHEN FAMILY VINEYARDS “HANDS ON HARVEST”, September 24 from 10 AM to 4 PM
Learn all you need to know about the harvest. From the start, you will enjoy a vineyard tour and learn the art of picking grapes like a pro. Enjoy an outdoor lunch paired with some of the winery’s best wines. Following lunch, guests will move into the winery, where they will see the start of the conversion of the freshly harvested crop. At the end of the tour, the group will have a chance to sample some of the recent vintages.
Reserve Your Balloons Above the Valley Hot Air Balloon Napa Valley Experience
Whether with a partner or a group of friends and associates, a hot air balloon Napa ride is essential to the Napa Valley harvest season experience.
Learn more about the safe, professionally piloted hot air balloon Napa experience by visiting the Balloons Above the Valley website. While there, you can make your reservations online.
Also you can make your arrangements by phoning Balloons Above the Valley for one of the most fun thing to do in Napa Valley at +1-800-464-6824,