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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Wine Country Casual
Can I wear jeans to a winery? Yes! Jeans are acceptable year-round – we call it wine country casual. 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.
What is wine country casual attire? Dress smart, but relaxed (you're on vacation!).
- Sundresses, blouses and skirts, nice jeans, wedges, sandals
- Golf shirts, khaki pants, nice jeans, dressy shorts, stylish sneakers, boat shoes
Napa Valley Fashion and Packing Tips
Layer, layer, layer: Since the temperature varies throughout the day (even in the summer), layering is your best bet for staying comfortable.
Spring / Summer: You'll be comfortable in a sundress with a cardigan and sandals. Don’t forget your sunglasses, sunhat, and sunblock.
Fall / Winter: You'll need an extra layer, like a scarf, sweater, and boots. Don't forget to pack an umbrella or raincoat, just in case it rains.
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.)
Everyone has their own style, but there are a few things you won’t want to leave home without.
Jacket: A light, warm, packable outer layer is perfect to stay cozy during those cool evenings.
Sunglasses: No one likes squinting into the sun while admiring vineyard views.
Flat shoes: Opt for flats, platforms, or wedges for ease of travel across uneven winery pathways. It’s even cool to wear sneakers.
Tote: Have a reusable bag at the ready for all your picnic, souvenir shopping, and wine bottle-carrying needs.
Water bottle: Stay hydrated throughout your wine tasting adventures with a reusable water bottle.
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.
I always plan and recommend dressing in layers. We usually have a slight morning fog that rolls in before the sun breaks through during the day to warm up the vineyards. Sundresses are always a go-to with a jacket and other accessories to dress up for wine country evenings and dinner out.