Five Fun Things to Do in Winter in the Napa Valley
December and January are certainly the quietest times in the Napa Valley. Fewer tourists come at this period of the year, so everything is much less crowded. Yes, we do have rainy days in these two months, but more than likely there will many sunny and crisp days to enjoy the greatest wine region in the world. Here are five fun things to do in Winter in the Napa Valley.
Pauper’s Feast at the Calistoga Inn
We are on the docket to attend this wonderful local annual event. The Pauper’s Feast is held every December in the restaurant at the Calistoga Inn. This year the event will be on Thursday, December 15th. There is a set menu at a very reasonable price and a local group that sings Holiday cheer. Reservations are recommended at the Calistoga Inn Restaurant. If you cannot make the Pauper’s Feast, you can substitute a walk up and down the streets of Calistoga. Calistoga is much more laid back than the rest of the Napa Valley. There are plenty of tasting rooms, boutique shops, quaint restaurants, and even a museum. Calistoga rocks!
Visit the Oxbow Public Market
The main portion of the Oxbow Public Market is inside, so when it is raining it’s the perfect place to visit while in Napa. The Oxbow Public Market is a bevy of activity each day. There are artisan vendors selling spices, tea, grass-feed beef, organic produce, plus much more. There are several gourmet fast food services, and two that we can highly recommend are C Casa and Ca’Momi. The Oxbow is an excellent spot to relax and sit while sipping coffee or wine and do some serious people watching.
Tour the Inglenook Chateau
Inglenook is the winery that film director Francis Ford Coppola brought back to its former glory. It is a stunning Chateau, as you can see from the photo at the top. The tour is one of the best, as well it should be at the price of $50 per person. The tour gives a fabulous look back at the wine history of the Napa Valley. The Chateau also has a bistro where you can sip wine or expresso and order a cheese plate and just do some serious relaxing. Explore the wine merchandise shop and the memorabilia around the different rooms of the Chateau. Enjoy the scenery of the surrounding vineyards.
Visit historic Greystone in St. Helena
Greystone was once the home of the Christian Brothers and their winery. Now the Culinary Institute of America runs its educational activities for professionals and non-professionals. The historic building is just north of the downtown area of St. Helena. Explore the culinary shop and take a stroll to see some of the old Christian Brothers Cellars. Also on site is the Wine Spectator Restaurant with terrace views that are spectacular. Greystone was built in 1889. More information on Greystone
Take in the photography exhibit at Mumm Napa and sip some sparkling wine
Over on the Silverado Trail, you will find Mumm Napa, producing excellent sparkling wines. One of the little-known aspects of Mumm Napa is their fantastic art gallery. There are two sections to the art gallery. One has a permanent photo exhibit of selected works of the great Ansel Adams. The other gallery hosts rotating exhibits. Currently, photographs by Wayne Levin are on display. Tours and tastings are available for a fee, but the art gallery is open to the public. Check the Mumm Napa Website for complete visiting details.