The Crush is on in Napa and Sonoma and even though it is the busiest time of the year; it's a great time to visit. As the grapes are being harvested, various wineries are hosting their own versions of The Blessing of the Grapes. Between now and October is an exciting time of the year to visit and I have discovered some really fun ideas for the whole family.
Napa has so many great wineries but one hidden gem is at Grgch Hills where you can Stomp Grapes daily between 10am-4pm - just like the famous I Love Lucy episode. Walk-in's welcome but groups with over eight people need to RSVP by calling (707) 963-2784. Be sure to introduce your child to this amazing classic but wait until after they stomp - you don't want to give them any ideas on grape antics before they go. Huge smile guaranteed.
Another great place is The Coppola Winery. They have a huge pool open 7 days a week during the month of September, and Friday-Sunday in October. They also have bocce courts and a teepee filled with books.
Besides the great wineries for kids to run around outside, warm weather and amazing food options, Napa offers many other fun experiences for families such as:
- Old Faithful Geyser
- Safari West, one of my personal favorite places in California!
- Bothe State Park (for camping, horseback riding and more)
- Petrified Forest
- Skyline Wildnerness Park (hikes, rollerblade along river, ride bikes)
- Rockzilla, Napa's only rock climbing gym
- Stroll through the amazing gardens of the famous French Laundry in Yountville.
Wine Crush and Harvest Festivals
Sonoma Valley Crush, September 8-10, Have you ever romanticized about wine country during harvest? Find out what it's like this September in the heart of Sonoma Valley. Join us for this intimate harvest experience at 12 boutique wineries in Kenwood & Glen Ellen.
Valley of the Moon Vintage Festival, September 22 – 24, celebrated Sonoma’s wine, food, culture and heritage, 80 artists, grape stomp competition, fire fighter activity, “Get Your Glow On” Night Parade, live music and a Kids Zone, downtown Sonoma’s historic plaza.
Sonoma County Harvest Fair, October 6-8
Crush time is work time, a chance to see trucks loaded with the bounty of the land, watch people picking the grapes, smell the fermentation of the grapes and getting them into vats. It's a chance to observe the vineyards in action during this intense, busy and wonderful time.