POSTED ON August 21, 2017 | IN Activities, Tasting Rooms, Wine News | BY Joe Becerra
harvest cabernet

On York Lane in St. Helena, harvesting Cabernet Sauvignon

Get ready to catch the Napa Valley Harvest 2017

The Napa Valley harvest 2017 is underway, and now is the time for every wine country buff to plan to watch all the activities that take place during the harvest. The Napa Valley is one of the best spots for viewing the “crush” because of the number of vineyards and wineries in such a concentrated area. If you spend a few days in the Napa Valley from mid-September through October, you are likely to see all the harvest activities: the grape picking, the sorting, the crushing and fermentation. It is the Napa Valley at its best for the tourist. Start making your plans now to watch the most exciting show in the world of wine.

The Napa Valley harvest 2017 has already started as of late July with Mumm Napa picking Pinot Noir grapes for its sparkling wine. White wine grapes are next to be harvested. The last grapes are usually Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah, either in late September or in October. The weather plays a big part. Cool weather delays the harvest, hot weather the opposite.

Napa Valley Harvest 2017 Travel Tips

We have some tips for getting the most out of harvest in the Napa Valley. One of the most educational activities you can do is to take a tour. Check the Napa Valley Vintners Website to search for wineries that have complete winery tours.

If you want to watch the actual harvesting of the grapes, you’ll need to get up just before sunrise. Picking of the grapes is done early before the heat of the day. Drive the Valley and look for signs of the harvest. Look for several cars parked on the side of the road, half-ton bins ready to be filled, or small harvest baskets at the ready, as well as tractor trucks. More than likely harvest will be taking place in deep in the vineyards. Bring your camera or smartphone and walk into the vineyards; when you spot the workers, ask the foreman if it is okay to take pictures.

During the day, stop in at any tasting room and ask about the crush activities. The staff usually knows what harvest activities are taking place at their winery and what is in store for the following couple of days. Our strategy is to stop at a winery, initially bypass the tasting room and walk to the where the crush facilities are located to see what activities are taking place. No one really seems to care that you are there as long as you stand back far enough not to get in the way. Everyone is working so intensely that you will hardly be noticed.

This is a favorite time for tourists, so plan ahead. If you want to spend any length of time, be sure to book your accommodations early. But often, just going up for the day will be fun enough. Enjoy and don’t forget to pack that camera.

Check our Napa Valley Wine Country Planning Guide for complete details on where to stay, dine, and other fun activities.