Question from Beverly: What time of the year is the grape harvest?
Reply: Hi, Beverly! Thanks for writing!
In the Napa Valley, sparkling wine producers usually begin harvesting around mid-to-late August (they need to pick their grapes a little less ripe than the rest of us). The table-wine harvest usually begins around Labor Day with early-ripening varieties, such as Sauvignon Blanc and Chenin Blanc and continues through most of October, finishing with Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot.
The harvest can be relatively early or late, depending upon the weather. If you’re planning a visit, I’d suggest you time it for mid-to-late September. That’s often the peak and there’s sure to be something going on regardless of the weather.
If you do, it’s smart to plan ahead because it’s also the peak time for visitors and your preferred hotels and restaurants will book up quickly. But, it’s worth it! You can see, smell and taste things that don’t exist any other time of year.
I hope that answers your question. We have an article on the annual vineyard cycle if you’d like to know more about what happens from season to season. We also have a podcast episode, if you prefer to listen.
If you’re planning a visit, there’s help on our website under “Plan your Visit”.
Thanks, again, for writing! Cheers!