Celebrate ‘Cabernet Season’ in Napa Valley
From November through April, visitors come to the Napa Valley to enjoy Cabernet Season. Once the grapes are harvested and the temperatures are perfectly mild, the region becomes a haven for cozy getaways, and of course, the wine. It’s a time when a slower, intimate atmosphere emerges, creating personal experiences and a chance to explore all the culture (and Cabernet) the valley has to offer.
Cabernet Season is also when the valley’s chefs offer heartier menus and meals, which pair perfectly with Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. From Calistoga to the Carneros region in Napa, chefs and restaurateurs from several of the valley’s towns have offered their thoughts on how the valley’s prized red wines complement seasonal menus. Recipes for each dish are featured at the end of the release.
In Calistoga, chef/owners Jenna Hodges and Shaun McGrath of recently opened Lovina Calistoga enjoy working with local produce on their menus during Cabernet Season. One of their favorite seasonal dishes is their Lovina Bolognese, which pairs well with Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. “As the nights cool off, there’s nothing like a classic Bolognese made with dark, rich Napa Valley Cabernet to make a comforting, wintery meal for your family and friends,” they added.
Chef/owner Chris Cosentino of Acacia House in St. Helena looks forward to creating his menus during this time of year, and says, “I like cooking during Cabernet Season because the crisp weather allows for the warmth and richness of Cabernet to blend well with heartier foods that I tend to cook during this time of year.” Chef Cosentino offers his Quail with Salsify, Pink Lady Apples, and Rose Geranium, adding, “This dish is hearty, seasonal and pairs perfectly with rich Cabernets,” chef adds.
Chef/Owner Cindy Pawlcyn of renowned Mustards Grill enjoys Cabernet Season, saying, “It’s a treat to be able to cook in wine country. As each season unfolds, I’m able to change gears and create menus that match the season by utilizing ingredients available from local ranches and farms, including our own gardens at Mustards.” Cindy offers recipes for her famous Mongolian Pork Chops with Braised Red Cabbage, Mustards’ Mashed Potatoes and Chinese-Style Mustard Sauce. “When the weather turns crisp, like most Napa Valley chefs, I start to think about robust, hearty dishes like our Mongolian Pork Chops that work with the valley’s great Cabernets and other red wines,” she adds.
Chef/owner Charlie Palmer, of Charlie Palmer Steak and Sky & Vine Rooftop Bar at the recently opened Archer Hotel in downtown Napa welcomes Cabernet Season, saying, “It’s a time to enjoy a more relaxed pace and hang out in our favorite tasting rooms. It’s also when the valley’s chefs get creative with heartier dishes that sync to our cooler weather.” Chef Palmer offers a recipe for his hearty Colorado Lamb Chops with Fingerling Lyonnaise Potatoes, which he says, “goes great with a glass of our valley’s iconic Cabernet Sauvignon – rich, robust and bursting with local personality.”
Cabernet Season is an ideal time to visit the Napa Valley for its slower pace, fewer crowds, and beautiful scenery. For fans of hearty cuisine expertly paired with rich and bold red wine, it’s the perfect time to get away to America’s preeminent wine region.
Visit Napa Valley is the official tourism marketing organization for the Napa Valley, with a mission to promote, protect and enhance the region’s position as one of the world’s premier wine, food, arts and wellness destinations.
The Napa Valley Welcome Center, located at 600 Main St. along the riverfront in downtown Napa, provides visitors with expert Concierge services from Napa Valley Ambassadors who offer complimentary Napa Valley Guidebooks, maps, brochures and winery tasting passes. The Welcome Center, open daily 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., also offers complimentary Wi-Fi and a mercantile shop featuring locally sourced gift items.
For additional information on the Napa Valley, or to plan your Napa Valley experience, explore VisitNapaValley.com, and follow them on Facebook and Instagram @VisitNapaValley.
Special Offers in Napa Valley During Cabernet Season
Special hotel deals and winery experiences are also available. Here’s a highlight of special offers available in the Napa Valley this season.
Where to Stay
Guests who book three nights at the Inn on Randolph, a 19th-century property located in Napa’s historic district, will receive the fourth night complimentary. Rates start at $239 per night.
Milliken Creek Inn & Spa, a former Gold Rush-era stagecoach stop, will offer the “Wine Country Uncorked” package, which includes 20 percent off existing rates, a $50 spa credit and complimentary breakfast. Rates start at $239.20 per night.
Receive 15 percent off on best available rates with the “Napa State of Mind” package at the River Terrace Inn, a relaxing sanctuary set along the Oxbow Park Preserve. Rates start at $229 per night.
Home to two PGA championship golf courses, Silverado Resort and Spa, will offer 25 percent off best available rate for guests who book two nights or more. A $50 resort credit and one winery tasting pass is also included in the stay. Rates start at $127 per night.
Guests will receive 10 percent off stays and complimentary tasting flight of Napa Valley Cabernet wines at The Westin Verasa Napa, steps away from the tasting rooms in downtown Napa. Rates start at $239 per night.
Where to Sip
The Taste Napa Downtown card provides the opportunity to visit 10 wine tasting rooms in Downtown Napa for half the price. Cards are $15 each and may be purchased at the Napa Valley Welcome Center located at 600 Main Street, at the Napa Tourist Information Center at 1331 First Street, or online.
St. Helena welcomes Cabernet Season with the Little Book of Big Experiences, the ultimate passport to Napa Valley. The book includes VIP access to 20 unique experiences at Napa Valley wineries, hotels and restaurants, as well as spa services, guided tours, and more. The Little Book of Big Experiences is valued at more than $1,500 and may be purchased on-site at participating venues or at the St. Helena’s Welcome Center, located at 1320 A Main St. in St. Helena, or online at StHelena.com. Each book is $150 and may be used for up to two guests. Offers are valid through March 2019. Website: sthelena.com.
Calistoga offers the Winter in the Wineries Passport – a onetime fee for a ‘passport’ giving guests access to complimentary wine tastings at seventeen Calistoga wineries. Cost: $60 per person. Valid through February 3, 2019.
Set 1,200 feet above the Napa Valley floor, Burgess Cellars, will offer 25 percent off the Mountainside Tasting: a 90-minute experience with selections from the Burgess Cellars Library, a collection of wines aged more than 30 years. Cost: $45 per person. The experience is available daily at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., reservations are required.
Clif Family Winery, owned by the family behind Clif Bar, will offer the Howell Mountain Cabernet tasting, which includes a wine pairing experience with bites from the family’s own farm. Cost: $40 per person. Includes wine flight and food pairing. The light bites have been added to this offer exclusively for Cabernet Season.
The Barrel Blending Experience at Conn Creek Winery will allow guests to become a “winemaker for the day.” Participants will blend any combination of the Cabernets to create their own personalized wine, which is then bottled, hand-corked, and labeled on-site. Cost: $125 per person. The experience is offered daily at 10:30 a.m. and 2 p.m., reservations are required.
Family-owned, V. Sattui Winery offers special weekend events, including “Cab & Fondue” pairings and “Short Rib Stew & Cab Fireside” tastings. Cost: Ranges between $25-75 per person, depending on the selected tasting. Appointment required.
A tasting of six Cabernets will be available at Vintner’s Collective | Napa Valley – all of which fall within the $90-$250 price range and are crafted by renowned local winemakers such as Philip Titus, a second-generation vintner who has had a passion for wine since the age of 12. Cost: $100 per person.
In celebration of its 50th anniversary, ZD Wines invites guests for special tastings available on the weekends in February and March 2019. The seated experience includes sips of current and library selections of Cabernet Sauvignon, plus a barrel sample. Cost: $50 per person. Reservations are required.