What to Do/Not to Do When Traveling to Napa During Harvest

In late summer, the harvest season commences every year in Napa Valley. Wineries become livelier as the promise of fresh grapes and delicious wines draws in visitors from far and wide. The harvest season, also known as Crush, starts in August and runs through October each year. 

If this is your first visit to Napa Valley during harvest, we have you covered. Keep reading to find some of the best tips for making the most of your trip to Napa Valley!

Top Five Tips to Maximize your Napa Valley Experience

When visiting during harvest season, Napa Valley will be busier than ever. You want to make sure you are totally prepared for your trip so you can experience as much of Napa Valley as possible.

One – Have a Plan

Making a detailed itinerary for your Napa Valley harvest trip is essential. This area offers hundreds of wineries, all with distinct specialties. It’s wise to do your research beforehand and make a general schedule of where you will go and when. Be sure to account for driving time – and try to group wineries in a similar area to minimize time spent traveling!

Two - Utilize Reservations

Some wineries utilize reservations, especially during the busy harvest season, to ensure they can accommodate your group. Once you’ve identified which wineries are a must-see for you, it’s wise to call ahead and see if they take reservations. You do not want to miss out on a winery because you didn’t have a reservation!

Three - Follow the Suggested Tasting Order 

When participating in a wine tasting, you will be given small amounts of wine in a specific order. The professionals who work in wineries have tons of experience and expertise as to which wines will pair well together, so be sure to follow the suggested tasting order for the best experience.

Four – Make Time to Explore

When you need a break from wine country, Napa Valley has so much else to offer. The downtown area is bustling with restaurants and entertainment. There are also local nearby towns, such as St. Helena, that offer unique eateries, art galleries, and entertainment.

Five – Plan Your Transportation

You should not drive after a long day of wine tasting and fun. Be sure to arrange a taxi, red share service, or another chauffeur service for your transportation needs. Napa Valley also has its own wine train or wine trolley services for your convenience. 

Things to Avoid During Harvest Season in Napa Valley

To make the most of your harvest season visit to Napa Valley, you’ll want to avoid these common mistakes:

  • Don’t rent a hotel that’s far away from the action. The closer you can get to the wine country, the better! Transportation will be easier, and you will be able to truly immerse yourself in Napa Valley.
  • Don’t forget to track your alcohol consumption. You will be tasting many wines in a short succession of time. You’ll want to make sure you remain in control.
  • Don’t only visit the popular wineries. There are many unique experiences to be had at Napa Valley’s smaller, family-owned wineries. Going off the beaten path is sure to enhance your experience!


Harvest season in Napa Valley is a truly magical time. This is sure to be a trip that will make memories for life! Be sure to prepare, plan, and enjoy your trip to Napa Valley. We hope to see you for a wine tasting soon! As one of the most beautiful wineries in Napa, this Napa family vineyard showcases Andy Erickson, winemaker’s skillset. When it comes to family-owned wineries in Napa, ELLMAN Family Vineyards has to be one of the best around. As a partner with ELLMAN, they produce some of the best Andy Erickson wines. Be sure to check out ELLMAN - they even have Downtown Napa tasting rooms so you can try the wine for yourself. Check out our current selection of wine here, or find out more about ELLMAN

Check out these other great resources to learn more about visiting Napa during harvest:

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