when to visit california wine country

Best Time of the Year to Visit the California Wine Country

Any time is a great time to visit the California wine country. Each time of the year brings its own unique aura and feel to a wine country getaway. Even a cold raining day is a "cool" day in wine country.

Plan your trip as early as possible to enjoy wine country at its finest. For time of the year we describe what to expect in wine country.

Now - April 2014

This is when the vineyards come alive. Bud Break occurs this month and the grape vines shine at the start of a new vineyard year. What a wonderful and refreshing time to be in wine country. This month also marks the beginning of the tourist season. Visitors begin to flock to wine country in large numbers.

Check the weather in April with this handy weather widget.

When is the best time to travel to wine country


Here is a list of the best lodging in the Napa Valley and the best Napa Valley restaurants.

December and January in wine country

The wineries are much less crowded. You won’t need to fight the crowds and the traffic, particularly in the more popular wine regions of the Napa Valley and Sonoma Valley. The vines are dormant, showing rows and lines of bare trellising. Watch 4 Seasons in the Vineyards

February in Wine Country

Wild mustard flowers bloom in the vineyards in Napa and Sonoma. Wildflowers begin to grow among the vineyards. It’s photo opportunity time in the wine country.

March and April in Wine Country

The vines awaken and begin to bud. Wine country wildflowers
are in bloom and a delight to view. Visitor season begins in earnest.

May through August in Wine Country

The vines are full of vegetation, and the grapes show magnificently. It is hot in most areas of the wine country and there are great expectations for the coming harvest. Many tourists travel during this time and weekend crowds be considerable.

September, October in Wine Country

This is harvest time in the wine country. It’s great fun to visit a winery during the harvest. The harvest time varies depending on the climate and region. This is a busy and bustling time at a winery. Beware of the crowds at this time of the year.

November in Wine Country

The vines and trees show off fall colors. This is truly the most beautiful time in wine country. It is another great photo opportunity.

California Wine Map  Napa Lodging   Sonoma Lodging   Santa Barbara Lodging


Tasting Room Topics


  • Tasting Room Etiquette
  • How to Taste Wine
  • Wine Varietals
  • How Wine is Made
  • Wine Appellations
  • Winery Wine Clubs
  • Buying Wine at the Winery
  • When to Visit Wine Country
  • Which Region to Visit
  • Hire a Limousine
  • The Wine Picnic
  • Top Tasting Rooms
  • Bocce Ball Wineries
  • Photo of the Day
  • Organic Wineries
  • Solar Wineries
  • EV Station Wineries
  • Major Wine Companies

  • This short video will show the changes in a vineyard that occur during an entire year

    when to visit Napa Valley

    Winter - dormant vines

    best time to visit napa

    Spring - bud break

    when to visit napa

    Summer - harvest time

    Fall - the colors of the vines