The Napa Valley Celebrates Cabernet Season
Harvest is complete, the wines are barrel-aging in caves and cellars, and the Napa Valley settles into its favorite winter coat – but visions of the frozen, snow-piled vistas that many traditionally equate with the vernal months don’t belong here. Instead, rows of gnarled dormant vines juxtapose with the brilliant colors of yellow mustard blooms, purple lupine, crimson clover, and emerald-green native grasses carpeting misty hills – indicating that it’s officially Cabernet Season™ in the Napa Valley.
From late Fall through March, guests and locals enjoy a different side of the Napa Valley. It’s a time to slow the pace and revel in all of her natural beauty, from the rolling hills of the southern Carneros region, to the northernmost craggy-mountain palisades beyond Calistoga. Intermittent seasonal rains that swell creeks and deliver much-needed moisture to replenish the vineyards yield to spectacularly clear and warm sunny days that stir the soul – proof that it’s paradise.
“The Napa Valley is so colorful this time of year that it’s a misnomer to call it ‘winter,'” explained Clay Gregory, CEO of the Napa Valley Destination Council. “The cooler weather inspires our local chefs to cook heartier foods, making it the best time to drink the great red wines from our region. And since Cabernet Sauvignon is the king of red wines in the Napa Valley, it’s really more appropriate to call this ‘Cabernet Season.’ There’s no better time to savor incredible food and wine pairings prepared by one of the many culinary talents at restaurants spread throughout the Valley,” Gregory added.
Special offers from the Valley’s gracious lodging establishments and spas – where the fireplace rivals the pool as the must-have amenity – entice guests to stay longer and experience more of the boundless activities available to lovers of all things related to wine, food, arts and wellness.
Throughout the Valley, from vibrant Downtown Napa, to Yountville, Oakville, Rutherford, St. Helena and Calistoga, art studios, museum exhibits, and charming main streets lined with locally owned boutiques are open to wander; performance venues offer lively entertainment; winery tasting rooms roll out the warmest of welcomes; healing geothermal hot spring waters provide the foundation for a cornucopia of restorative therapies; and miles of nature preserves with hiking and biking trails add encouragement to fill time with healthy endeavors when the sun breaks through the mists.