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Napa Valley In February

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“Ability is what you’re capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it.” –Lou Holtz

February is an absolutely fabulous month to visit Napa Valley. It’s the perfect time to avoid pesky crowds and experience pure, unadulterated wine tasting splendidness. The Napa winter is quite mild, so you shouldn’t let the season deter you from exploring wine country at this otherwise lovely time of year.

For me, February was absolutely an amazing time to visit Napa Valley, as I am not into crowds and it was easy to make reservations to any winery or restaurant. It also turned out to be the ultimate romantic getaway for my husband and I. The trip fell right around Valentine’s Day, and what better way to celebrate than drinking really good wine while taking in beautiful views? Best of all, we had great personalized experiences at the wineries thanks to the thin crowds. We truly had such an incredible time.

Why February is an amazing time to visit Napa Valley

You might be thinking that February is a bit of an unconventional time to visit anywhere that isn’t a tropical island. I don’t disagree. This time of year is definitely Napa’s low season due to chillier weather and bare vines. However, there are still many cool things that Napa has to offer in February that cannot be experienced in other times of the year.

Romantic Place to Spend Valentine’s Day

Napa Valley is such a romantic place to spend Valentine’s Day for those who are traveling as a couple. The gorgeous views from the wineries provide a beautiful setting for such an event. Plus, there are cozy heated patios where you can enjoy both the view and a glass of wine under a blanket.

In the various towns, there are fantastic restaurants for a memorable and splurge-worthy Valentine’s Day meal. The most famous, of course, is the French Laundry in Yountville. We had to pass on that one, so as to not go completely broke. However, we did really enjoy Bottega, which was another amazingly romantic restaurant in Yountville that had delicious Italian food.

Cade Winery Travel Tip Featured Image

Mild Weather

First of all, winter in Napa really isn’t that bad. This is especially true if you are from other more colder climates, and are used to freezing temperatures. While February in Napa Valley is far from tropical, I found it to be rather mild and quite bearable.

Temperatures in February tend to hover between highs of 50-70 degrees Fahrenheit. It can also be quite sunny during this time, which makes driving around Napa rather scenic and pleasant. However, the grapes do need some rain during winter for healthy growing, so just keep that in mind if it does start to drizzle.

During our visit, the temps stayed closest to the low 50’s and our first two days were mostly drizzly and foggy. However, if it wasn’t for this rain, we wouldn’t have been rewarded with gorgeous rainbows at Biale Vineyards. Plus, seeing the rows of vines at Cade shrouded in fog was a spooky yet enchanting sight to behold.

Thin Crowds

I personally hate crowds, so this aspect of a February visit to Napa Valley was a no brainer to me. Nothing sounds worse than trying to elbow my way to the bar of a tasting room. Plus, there was hardly any traffic on the main roads between the wineries and we never struggled to park anywhere. Getting around Napa in February was a breeze.

A lot of people actually do still visit Napa this time of year. I don’t think my husband and I were ever the only people at any tasting room we visited. However, I can’t even imagine what it would be like in summer or fall when the crowds are everywhere. For people who want the focus of their trip to be drinking great wine no matter what the weather is doing, I highly recommend coming during this time.

Better Wine Tasting Experiences

Less crowds in Napa Valley in February can only mean a better all around experience at the wineries. You’ll won’t be competing for attention at the tastings, and will have more opportunities to ask questions about the wines.

This was something I really valued during our trip. For example, at Biale one of the workers actually sat and chatted with us about the wines for a bit. At Domaine Carneros there was time to get some suggestions from our server about other wineries to visit in the area. At Duckhorn, we had time to compare various Merlots and Cabernets, and ask our server what all the differences were.

Thinner crowds gave us the opportunity to actually learn a thing or two about wine making, and what makes different regions produce different wines. I don’t think I’ll drink a Napa cabernet again without considering whether the grapes were grown on the valley floor or Howell Mountain.

Winery Patios Are Still Open in February

Visiting Biale, whose tasting took place on their patio. I felt bundled up enough to handle it, and steeled myself much as I would before venturing out into some nasty Cleveland weather. I figured the wine would probably warm me up at the very least.

What I didn’t realize is that most Napa patios, restaurants included, are heated. Some also offer you a blanket, which I readily accepted. Let me tell you there is nothing like cozying up under a blanket in Napa with a wonderful glass of merlot or cabernet in hand. My mind was blown.

Best Time For Bold Red Wine Drinking

Let’s face it: red wine just tastes better when it’s chillier outside. There’s nothing like cozying up on a heated patio with a beautifully full-bodied cabernet in hand. I’d choose Napa in February every time if it means sipping cabs under a blanket in public without judgement.

I hope I have convinced you that February is an amazing time to visit Napa Valley. It’s the best time to come and really get one-on-one attention at tastings and actually learn a thing or two about the wine. The weather may be cooler, and the vines will be a bit bare. However, this just makes for cozier wine drinking in a still very romantic setting.

How about you? Would you consider visiting Napa Valley in February?