So you've planned the ultimate Napa Valley vacation, now you need to figure out what to pack and how to prep for days filled with world-class wines, vineyard-view hikes, and farm-fresh cuisine. Here are a few travel tips and some ideas for what you should have in your suitcase, no matter the season.
Napa Valley Weather
The Mediterranean climate of the Napa Valley not only allows for optimal grape growing conditions, it also provides near-perfect weather year-round. The southern part of the valley is much cooler than the northern part and temperatures can vary widely from day to night.
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View more information on Napa Valley weather.
Wine Country Casual
Can I wear jeans to a winery? Yes! Jeans are acceptable year-round – we call it wine country casual (for women — sundresses, blouses and skirts, nice jeans, wedges, sandals, etc.; for men – golf shirts, khaki pants, nice jeans, dressier shorts, stylish sneakers, boat shoes, etc.).
A more upscale winery might call for darker denim, and be sure to dress in layers as many winery experiences take place outdoors and tours often take guests through wine caves and chilled cellar areas.
Year-Round Napa Valley Fashion and Packing Tips
- Layer, layer, layer – since the temperature varies throughout the day, layering is your best bet for staying comfortable.
- Spring/summer – sundress with a cardigan and sandals.
- Fall/winter – scarf, denim, sweater and boots.
- Denim is acceptable year-round; in a more upscale setting, opt for dark denim.
- Always bring a light jacket for the nighttime breeze from the bay.
- Flats or wedges – when visiting wineries, there is often a lot of walking around outdoors on unpaved surfaces – be safe and comfortable and wear low wedges or flats.
- Carry a light crossbody purse with essentials (ID, cash, cards, small brush, lip gloss, phone – leave the rest in the car). If you are at an outdoor wine tasting, there likely won't be hooks for your purse and you don’t want to put this season’s it-bag on the ground or in a wine puddle!
- Pack a nice outfit if you plan on eating at one of Napa Valley's more upscale restaurants or hitting up a rooftop bar.
- If you want to dress like a local vintner, bring a vest. If you don’t have one, not to worry – it’s a popular item that many wineries sell in their gift shops.
- Don’t forget your camera, sunglasses, sunhat, umbrella/raincoat during winter and spring, and sunblock during spring and summer.
- Last but not least, don’t wear perfumes or heavy lotions when wine tasting as it can muddle your sense of smell and affect your ability to fully enjoy the flavors of the wine. (It can also detract from the tasting experience of those around you.)
INSIDER TIP: If you forget any essentials, not to worry! There are plenty of shopping destinations to pick up a few items. Check out Napa Premium Outlets, First Street Napa clothing boutiques, plenty of local boutiques dotting Downtown St. Helena and Calistoga, and The Shops at the Marketplace in Yountville.
Find more inspiration for planning your perfect trip, and we'll see you soon!