Best Events in Napa Valley- A Year Round Guide
There’s always something going on in the valley. Time to get your calendar out and make notes. We’ve got the latest list of the best events in Napa Valley to help you plan your trip.
One of my favorite ways to plan a trip to Napa Valley is to center it around a particular event or season of events happening in wine country.
From music festivals and concerts in Napa (the most famous of course being BottleRock) to grape stomps there is always something special going on in Napa Valley.
Here’s your guide to when the best events and festivals are happening, giving you another reason to book a memorable vacation to the beautiful Napa Valley.
What are the events happening today in Napa Valley? Let’s check it out.
January Events in napa valley
- Napa Valley event Lighted Art Festival is a month-long celebration in Downtown Napa beginning mid-January that showcases creative art and technology through a walkable outdoor experience with jaw-dropping light displays.
- Napa Valley Restaurant Week happens towards the end of January for 10 days. Some of the area’s most popular eateries prepare special dishes and more affordable prix fixe menus.
- Napa Truffle Festival is usually the second week of January and features Michelin-star chefs showcasing their truffle skills. You can learn all about how this coveted ingredient is grown and harvested.
February Events In Napa Valley
February is an off-season month in Napa. There are so many winery and restaurant events this month in Napa. From Valentine’s Day to Fat Tuesday (Mardi Gras), you’ll find plenty of parties to indulge in.
- The International Short Film Festival is the town of Yountville’s event and is usually the first week of February and features screenings of some of the best in short films paired with the area’s finest wine and food.
- All month long through March is when mustard blossoms are in bloom in Napa Valley, so check for local events like complimentary mustard tastings and unique mustard fields massages at the Carneros Resort, mustard and wine pairings in select wineries like Priest Ranch, and mustard-themed art in the downtown art galleries.
- Check local wineries and restaurants for wine and food pairings for holidays like Fat Tuesday and Valentine’s Day. Long Meadow Ranch offers live music and a New Orleans-inspired menu for Fat Tuesday. Markham Vineyards has Dine-In Movie Night featuring a movie paired with food, wine and fun.
March Events In Napa Valley
Get your best running (or walking shoes) on to take part in these Napa events that will leave you breathless.
- The first week in March is when the Napa Valley Marathon and Napa Valley Women’s Half Marathon are held. During this weekend in Napa, participants will follow the very picturesque Silverado Trail that passes through vineyards and some of the most notable Napa Valley wineries. There is also a 5K if you want to cut the running short and run straight to the wine tasting!
- The Yountville Live event is at the end of March and is four days long. Yountville Live is devoted to live music in intimate settings paired with the best in food and wine tastings in Yountville, the culinary heart of Napa Valley. Past concert performances include Aimee Mann, Matt Nathanson, and the Goo Goo Dolls.
- They say drink in moderation, but St. Patrick’s Day in Napa could be the exception. Plenty of restaurants and bars in Napa host events with live music, Irish dinners, and heavy Guinness pours. Create your own St. Paddy’s Day pub crawl going from bar to bar in Downtown Napa.
April Events In Napa Valley
April is the perfect month to celebrate Napa’s artistic side. There’s also plenty of opportunities to dive into the local food scene and even partake in an egg hunt!
- The Arts Council of Napa Valley hosts a month-long event in April that celebrates local artists with specialized tours and curated events.
- Towns within Napa Valley like Yountville host annual egg hunts in April. The family friendly events usually feature a brunch buffet and fun activities like face painting and photo booth.
- April is Earth Month and there are plenty of wineries celebrating their sustainability practices like Clif Family vineyards where you can treat yourself to their Compost Cookies. Mmmmm.
May Events In Napa Valley
It’s pretty much the event of the year in Napa Valley — BottleRock in Napa is in May and is the region’s Coachella with some of the most prolific performers coming out to wine country to play over a 3-day event that blends music, wine and food. Past musicians and bands include Pink!, Bruno Mars, and Foo Fighters. Also check local places for Kentucky Derby-inspired events and tastings.
- BottleRock Napa Valley takes place around Memorial Day weekend and features five music stages and a culinary stage with local celebrity chefs and demonstrations.
- Blue Note/Charles Krug Summer Concert Series was voted one of the best places to see live music in Napa Valley. Attendees can see international touring acts perform live on the historic grounds of Charles Krug winery. Series begins in May and runs through September.
June Events In Napa Valley
June is when the Napa Valley music scene comes alive! The valley heats up in the summer with music acts performing in wine country at some of the most popular wineries.
- Napa Valley Jazz Getaway is a different sort of music festival with a weekend packed full of great jazz and R&B performers put on by Brian Culbertson. The festival also takes place in Chicago and New Orleans.
- The Chardonnay Classic is a three-day event in June that celebrates the beauty of Chardonnay with wine tastings, food pairings, and seminars and dinners hosted by sommeliers and local chefs.
- Charles Krug Winery hosts the 27th Annual The Taste of Howell Mountain with tastings from local wineries of the area. Features food, wine, auctions, and live music.
July Events, Festivals and Concerts In Napa Valley
Fire up the BBQ, July is the time to plan your trip to Napa Valley if you’re looking to celebrate America’s birthday, gnaw on some ribs, and lay out the picnic blanket. You’ll find summer concert series, grilled food and wine pairings, parades and other outdoor festivals in Napa in July.
- Blue Note Jazz Festival happens every year at the end of July and is a weekend-long event featuring premier jazz bands performing outdoors at Silverado Resort. Past hosts have included comedian Dave Chappelle.
- Robert Mondavi Summer Concert Series is one of the most popular events happening in Napa Valley during the summer that has been going on for over 40 years! The concert series brings notable names in music including Thievery Corporation and Rodrigo y Gabriela.
- Festival Napa Valley is another huge event in Napa Valley in July that runs for ten days to support year-round arts education and features big name music artists like Carrie Underwood and celebrities coming together to celebrate song, food, wine, and art.
- Napa Valley Beer Battle & BBQ is a great event for a great cause. Enjoy the best in beer and bbq from the bay area to support music education and wellness programs for local students and teachers in Napa County.
- Napa Porchfest is always the last Sunday of July and is inspired by musicians in Mississippi who perform on porches. On porches throughout Napa, music artists will play on a variety of house porches in the historic Fuller Park Neighborhood of Napa. Free to attend with food trucks for fare.
- Hot Havana Nights is an annual event at the lavish Castello di Amarosa winery where you can can feast on cuban food, good wine, and cigars. Dressing up is encouraged as well as dancing the night away.
- Festa Italiana celebrates all things Italian as V. Sattui winery. Enjoy delicious food, wine, and live music under the stars.
August Events In Napa Valley
August is the last month of summer and continues with outdoor music, car shows, bbq and wine events.
- Lobster Feed at Merryvale Vineyards is a family-friendly event that pairs an indulgent feast with Merryvale’s popular wines.
- Music in the Vineyards is a month-long event hosted by wineries across the valley that highlights classical musicians performing Mozart, Chopin and other greats in a beautiful setting of vineyards while sipping award-winning wines.
- The Silverado Starlit Cinema event is every Tuesday in August at Silverado Resort in the Mansion Garden where families can come together to watch movies under the stars — past screenings include The Sandlot and The Karate Kid.
- Main Street Reunion is two incredible car shows in two days where over 500 vintage and antique cars are on display. This event in downtown Napa this weekend is family-friendly and free.
September Events In Napa Valley
September is Harvest Season aka Crush Season in Napa Valley and there are many wineries celebrating with grape stomps, parties, and culinary events. Castello di Amarosa hosts a grape stomp every year and at V. Sattui you can attend their annual Harvest Ball.
- Calistoga’s Harvest Table is a unique event that places 1,000 feet of tables in the middle of downtown Calistoga where more than 40 wineries and a dozen restaurants provide tastings to visitors.
- Open Studios Napa Valley is a self-guided tour through Napa’s creative art spaces and artist venues throughout two weekends in September. PGA Tour Fortinet Championship welcomes top-tier players for a week of professional golf, food and wine, and world-class concerts.
October Events, Festivals And Parties In Napa Valley
Crush season continues in October with more parties and festivals. Halloween is a great time to visit Napa with annual parties and balls hosted by some of the top wineries in the area.
- Attend crush parties at select wineries including V. Sattui where you can stomp on grapes, meet the winemakers and get a closer look into the winemaking process.
- Parades & festivals in Napa Valley are still happening even though summer is over. The Hometown Harvest Festival in St. Helena features a fun run and pet Paw-rade, live music, arts and crafts, and food and wine in a street fair setting.
- Halloween Parties are happening across the valley with annual masquerade balls at the notoriously haunted Buena Vista Winery and pumpkin carving parties at Long Meadow Ranch.
November Events In Napa Valley
It’s beginning to look a lot like the holidays in Napa Valley. November is when Napa Valley begins winter festivities and the popular Napa Valley Film Festival bringing big stars to wine country.
- Napa Valley Film Festival shines the spotlight on Napa welcoming the best in independent films with parties, film screenings, and gourmet food and wine.
- Holidays in St. Helena begin the last week of November and continue through January 1st. Visitors can partake in wine tastings, arts and crafts, cooking classes, and tree lighting ceremonies.
- Holidays in Yountville features a tree-lighting ceremony, and seasonal wine tasting experiences and culinary fare from Yountville’s famous restaurants and tasting rooms.
December Events, Festivals, Parties and Parades In Napa Valley
December is one of the best months to visit Napa Valley.
- The weather outside might be a little chilly, but December is a magical time of year to visit Napa Valley. In addition to winter festivities happening across the valley, some of the big-name wineries host epic New Year’s Eve parties.
- Winters at the Wineries is an event in December in Calistoga where participants can get a passport to tour 16 of the area’s wineries and receive complimentary tastings. The passport also gives you access to discounts at the local hotels and restaurants.
- Annual Lighted Tractor Parade takes place in the first few days of December and features vintage tractors and floats dressed up in lights parading down Calistoga’s Main Street.
- Tree Lighting and Celebration at Robert Mondavi Winery is a family-fun event where attendees can sip hot apple cider, enjoying caroling and freshly baked cookies.
- Christmas Parade celebrates 175 years with Santa Claus in attendance, decorated floats, and plenty of photo opportunities.
- New Year’s Eve Parties are being held at many of the wineries including A Roaring 20’s New Year’s Eve party at Carneros Resort and Silverado Resort’s New Year’s Eve Party at the Mansion. Enjoy decadent wine, food, and live music and DJ’s, and even balloon drops.
You can see how there’s always something going on in Napa Valley to plan your next vacation around.
While weather and high season room rates can make an impact, creating an itinerary where you can enjoy the local scene is part of the fun of visiting wine country.
Where to stay in wine country
Booking.com has had a huge facelift. They give you access to not only the cutest B&Bs (Cottage Grove Inn Bed & Breakfast) and the most charming Inns (how cute is The Napa Inn) but also quaint apartments too. AND! Booking.com is known for having the best customer service in the biz. Some places on booking.com even allow you to book without payment upfront.
Want to bring napa valley home with you?
We recommend the VinGardeValise 12 bottle wine suitcase. There are a couple ways you can use this suitcase. One is, when you come home you only pack half the suitcase with wine and the other side clothes; or, what we do is bring a duffle bag to carry our clothes home. You can still check a duffle bag home btw, you don’t have to schlep it around for all four connections.
Pro tip: you can also use the duffle bag to drop off your clothes to be laundered if you’re doing an extended trip. Multiple uses for one duffle bag.
Napa Valley Events FAQ
What month is best for Napa Valley?
There’s always something going on in the valley. One of my favorite ways to plan a trip to Napa Valley is to center it around a particular event or season of events happening in wine country. We’ve got the low down on all the happenings year round.
What time of year is Napa cheapest?
The cheapest season to visit Napa is the off season which is Winter and Spring. From November to April you’ll find plenty of hotel deals. Some are cutting their rates in half. A hotel you can’t afford in the Summer is affordable in the winter. December is absolutely gorgeous with all the holiday festivals and decorations.
How many days is enough in Napa Valley?
Four days and 3 nights is the perfect amount of time to enjoy Napa. If you’re looking to fill 7 days (because fights are cheap Wednesday to Tuesday, we get it), head to Bodega Bay or into Carmel-by-the-Sea.
Is downtown Napa worth visiting?
Yes, downtown Napa is worth visiting for a day. Hit Oxbow Market and a few tasting rooms and you’ll get your fill. Of course there are loads more events and activities to do downtown depending on the season.
When is Bottle Rock Napa Valley?
BottleRock Napa Valley takes place around Memorial Day weekend and features five music stages and a culinary stage with local celebrity chefs and demonstrations.
When is mustard season in napa valley?
All month long through March is when mustard blossoms are in bloom in Napa Valley, so check for local events like complimentary mustard tastings and unique mustard fields massages at the Carneros Resort, mustard and wine pairings in select wineries like Priest Ranch, and mustard-themed art in the downtown art galleries.
when is the chardonnay classic in napa?
The Chardonnay Classic is a three-day event in June that celebrates the beauty of Chardonnay with wine tastings, food pairings, and seminars and dinners hosted by sommeliers and local chefs.
Author: Tiffany Carter
Tiffany is a contributing writer to Armchair Sommelier. When she isn’t writing about wine, the California native is touring local wineries (Hello Napa and Paso!) and filling her glass across the globe (Ciao, Tuscany!). She loves a full-bodied cab, but she plays favorites when it comes to a spicy Zinfandel or juicy Malbec. Her fridge is stocked with a bottle of sparkling rosé for emergencies. Hint: there’s always an emergency. You can follow Tiffany @winetastetravel.