Sip & Save: Insider Tips for Cabernet Season in Napa Valley
November 1, 2018
You’ve heard us talk about how Cabernet Season is one of the best times of year to enjoy the Napa Valley — it’s less crowded, rates are lower and, while the temps are certainly lower than in summer and fall, even California’s winter climate is usually mild.
But how to figure out what to see and do during this “insider’s season”? Turns out there are three great ways to get a handle on all the Cab Season deals. Read on.
The 2018–19 edition of this annual book, which just launched November 1, runs through March 2019. It’s your entrée to 20 high-end experiences, with a retail value of more than $1,500. The book costs $150 and is good for two people. Included are 20 wineries, restaurants, and hotels, including such favorites as the Culinary Institute of America (CIA), Charles Krug Winery, and Harvest Inn. Here are a few experiences to whet your appetite.
Beringer Vineyards. Experience an intimate tasting at the Reserve tasting room in the historic Rhine House. Choose three wines from a selection of award-winning reserve, single-vineyard, and small-case production wines, paired with a deluxe cheese plate.
Wydown Hotel. Book a three-night stay and receive a couple’s 50-minute skin and body treatment or a relaxing massage at the Health Spa Napa Valley.
Ballentine Vineyards. Have an intimate, seated reserve tasting of Ballentine’s estate-grown, limited-production wines in its winemaking cellar. As you taste the wine lineup, crafted from the 80-acre estate, you’ll hear stories of the winery and its rich family heritage.
Titus Vineyards. Enjoy an exclusive wine-tasting experience—current release wines paired with a cheese and charcuterie platter, and a sampling of the estate’s extra virgin olive oil.
Whitehall Lane Winery. Be a wine club member for a day, including an exclusive complimentary wine tasting in the Club Room and a 15% discount on all wine and merchandise purchases.
Farmstead at Longmeadow Ranch. Experience a private wine and olive oil tasting in the historic Logan Ives House.
Clif Family Winery. Enjoy a bruschetta and wine tasting (Tuesday to Sunday), or a cheese and wine tasting (Monday only).
Further north, the town of Calistoga greets Cabernet Season with its ninth-annual Winter in the Wineries Passport, good December 1, 2018 through February 3, 2019. Passport holders will be treated to complimentary wine-tasting flights at 17 local wineries spanning the full range of the Calistoga wine region, from a towering hillside castle to cozy downtown tasting rooms.
For $60 per person, you’ll receive complimentary wine tastings at participating wineries, complimentary corkage at participating restaurants and discounts at Calistoga lodging, spas, and shops. The Passport is valued at over $400 in wine tastings alone, and if you visit just two or three wineries, you’ll already have justified the cost of the book. Participating wineries include Castello di Amorosa, Chateau Montelena, Sterling Vineyards, and more.
Here are just a few of the experiences for which you’ll receive discounts.
Calistoga Motor Lodge and Spa. 15% off room rates for Passport holders, and a complimentary Perfectly Muddled or Splish Splash experience with the purchase of a 50- or 80-minute treatment.
Von Strasser Family of Wines. A complimentary flight of four wines, and live music is occasionally featured in the tasting room.
Calistoga Spa Hot Springs. 20% off spa treatments and products, plus access to the resort’s mineral pools before or after a massage or mud bath.
All Seasons Bistro. Complimentary corkage on your own bottle of wine.
Tank Garage Winery. A complimentary flight of three wines from its collection of blended varietals.
The Napa Valley is home to hundreds of small lot, artisanal wines that most people will never find. Many of those are offered exclusively at tasting rooms in downtown Napa. The Taste Downtown Napa card allows you to visit ten wine tasting rooms in downtown Napa for half the price it would normally cost. Cards are $15 each and may be purchased at the Napa Valley Welcome Center, located at 600 Main Street, at the Napa Tourist Information Center, 1331 First Street, or online. 2018 tasting cards are currently on sale and 2019 cards will soon be available.
Check out more Cabernet Season special offers and start planning your Cab Season adventure!