The best time to visit Napa Valley depends on what you want to do (aside from drinking delicious wine, of course). The harvest season (September/October) is a great time of year as the days are warm, evenings are balmy and there are loads of harvest events on. It's a busy time of year, but this might suit you if you enjoy the buzz. Spring (March-May) is another great time to visit as it's not too crowded, wildflowers are in bloom and the mild weather is ideal for cycling and hiking adventures.
Weather in Napa Valley
So, what makes the weather in Napa Valley perfect for growing grapes? Napa Valley is nestled beneath the Vaca Mountains to the east and the Mayacama Mountains to the west, so it's sheltered from the extremes. The Mediterranean climate means summers are long, hot and dry, while winters are short, mild and wet. Spring and autumn are temperate with warm days and cool nights.
Average temperatures in Napa Valley
AVERAGE HIGH (°C)
AVERAGE LOW (°C)
When to visit Napa Valley: a month by month guide
The buzz of the festive period might be over, but visiting Napa Valley in January is a great way to beat the blues. The weather is cool and wet and there aren't many people around. Things pick up when the Lighted Art Festival kicks off – an eight-week celebration of creative arts and technology. There's also the Napa Truffle Festival in Westin Verasa where you can learn about truffle hunting and harvesting, do truffle tastings and eat truffle-inspired dishes.
- Napa Lighted Art Festival
- Napa Valley Restaurant Week
- Napa Truffle Festival
Average highs in February hover at 15°C but there might be an occasional warm spell towards the end of the month. February is wet, but it brightens up when the yellow mustard flowers begin to bloom. If you enjoy beer, you might like to align your trip with the Napa Beer Mile on 26 February. Spend the day exploring all six of the region's craft breweries with special deals on beer.
Spring arrives in March and Mustard flowers are in full bloom. It's a really beautiful time to explore the country trails, either on foot or on two wheels. The Yountville Live festival takes place in March, which is a great opportunity to sample delicious food and wine, and listen to Grammy award-winning musicians at VIP events dotted around the region.
The weather picks up in April with average highs of 21°C. Make the most of the sunny weather before the crowds arrive, hop on a bicycle and explore the wineries dotted along the Russian River, or enjoy Arts in April – an annual month-long celebration featuring artists and cultural programs. There's also the Vineyard to Vintner event in the Stags Leap District where you can meet local winemakers.
- Arts in April
- Vineyard to Vintner
One of May's biggest drawcards is the annual BottleRock festival – a three-day music, wine, food and brew festival at the Napa Valley Expo. Expect big international names, wine tastings from heralded producers and a Culinary Stage where you can watch top chefs cook up a storm.
Hello, summer! Sunshine and wine go hand in hand, and there's plenty of it to go around. June is an awesome month for jazz lovers with the Napa Valley Jazz Getaway, a five-day festival celebrating all things jazz, food and wine. There's also the St. Helena's Annual Summer Concert Series in Lyman Park, and the Calistoga Concerts in the Park where you can enjoy great music and a picnic on the lawn.
- Jazz Getaway
- St. Helena Summer Concert Series
- Calistoga Concerts in the Park
The summer peaks in July. It might be hot and busy, but there's nothing like enjoying a glass of vino in Napa Valley on a balmy summer's evening. The events calendar also heats up with the annual Festival Napa Valley, the Porch Festival (a unique event where locals play on historic porches in town), and the Napa Country Fair.
August marks the beginning of harvest season. It's a hot, dry month with average temps of 31°C. Soak up the lively atmosphere in the wineries, go to some of the first harvest parties or check out the Napa Valley Chamber Festival which showcases musicians from the United States, Canada and Europe.
- Napa Valley Chamber Festival
- Harvest parties and events
September is slap bang in the middle of the harvest season so get ready for fun parties and events. It's an awesome time to be here if you don't mind big crowds, paying more for rooms and having to book restaurants and tours well in advance. It's a very pretty time of year, too with autumn transforming the vineyards and country roads into gorgeous golden scenes.
- Harvest parties and events
The weather is ideal in October with average highs of 25°C and cool nights that'll make you appreciate rugging up with a glass of Cabernet Sauvignon. If you love cycling, food and wine, you might also be interested in the Crush Challenge, an awesome event organised by the deLeuze Family Charitable Foundation and ZD Wine.
- Harvest parties and festivals
- Crush Challenge
The crowds thin and Napa returns to a peaceful state after the harvest season. The autumn colours are spectacular at the beginning of the month and it's a great time to go walking or cycling, or enjoy a glass of vino overlooking the rust-coloured vineyards.
Festive decorations appear toward the end of the month and holiday events like the annual Christmas Parade make it a fun time to be in town. November also attracts film and art lovers with the annual Napa Valley Film Festival – a cultural experience immersed in the art of film, food and, of course, wine.
- Napa Valley Film Festival
- Christmas Parade
The vines are bare and the weather is cold in December. If you're looking for a bit of peace and quiet, a December trip could be perfect. What better excuse to cozy up around a roaring log fire, grab a glass or two of Cabernet and enjoy comforting local food. You'll also get to enjoy Napa's holiday season celebrations from the elaborate storefront contests to the Calistoga Lighted Tractor Christmas Parade. Many of the wineries and restaurants also do festive-themed tasting experiences.
- Holiday celebrations