Napa Valley in October: Things to Do, What to Pack, & Events 2023

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Are you planning a trip to Napa Valley in October? If so, you have picked one of the best times of year to visit wine country.

Get ready for lots of fun fall events, harvest festivities, beautiful weather, and of course, tasting delicious wine!

I am a Bay Area local, and my husband and I love visiting Napa Valley as often as we can. October is an incredible time to visit wine country.

However, there are a couple of essential tips you will want to know before taking your trip. Such as reasons why you may not want to visit this time of year.

In this guide, you will learn everything you need to know about visiting Napa Valley in October. Discover what to pack for harvest season, what weather to expect, the best things to do in Napa Valley in October, and more.

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The average cost for a basic wine tasting in Napa Valley is $40 per person. That easily adds up when you visit multiple wineries in a weekend.

If you want to save money on wine tasting and use it elsewhere like towards accommodations, restaurants, and tours- Priority Wine Pass can cut your tasting fees in half! Literally.

They offer 2 for 1 tastings at participating wineries. So you only need one pass per couple! It’s a pretty incredible deal!

* My readers get the Wine Pass at a discounted rate. Make sure to use the coupon code TTWT to get the best deal!

Is October a Good Time to Visit Napa Valley

October is one of the best months to visit Napa Valley! The colors of the vineyards and surrounding landscape in the fall are breathtaking.

There is so much to do this time of year, mainly because harvest season in wine country is already in full swing. Also known as crush season, harvest season in Napa Valley is between the months of August through October.

October is an exciting and special time in wine country because it is when the grapes reach their optimal ripeness, signaling that it’s time to harvest the fruit and begin the winemaking process. You can expect lots of celebrating and events surrounding the annual harvest.

October is also a good time to visit because the weather is absolutely perfect! Most days are very pleasant with mild temperatures and clear skies, making it a comfortable time to explore the valley without the scorching heat of the summer months.

Why October May Not Be the Best Time to Visit Napa

October is a fabulous time to visit Napa Valley. However, there are a couple of reasons why you may not want to visit during this month.

For one, October is the peak tourism season in wine country. So you should expect crowds. You will want to reserve your wine tastings and dinner reservations well in advance. Especially at some of those more well-known wineries and restaurants and if you are visiting on a weekend.

TIP: All wineries in Napa Valley, especially during peak season and weekends, require you to make a reservation. I suggest booking 2 to 3 wineries in a day.

Since it is a popular time to visit, October can also be the most expensive month to visit Napa Valley. If you are planning on visiting this time of year, I recommend reserving your accommodations ASAP because places book quickly and prices skyrocket.

If you want to visit Napa Valley in the fall during a slower month, then I would suggest coming in November.

Napa Valley Weather in October

The weather in Napa Valley in October is chefs kiss, perfection. Most days are sunny with clear skies and range from a high of 77°F to a low of 49°F.

The weather is ideal for exploring the outdoors on a nearby hike, wine tasting among the vineyards, kayaking the Napa River, or strolling the shops and tasting rooms in downtown Napa.

Similar to most California destinations, the early mornings can be chilly and temperatures drop after the sunsets, so you should bring layers to stay comfortable throughout the day.

What to Wear in Napa Valley in October

You may be wondering, what should I wear in Napa in October? There is not a dress code per se, but Napa Valley attire can be best described as wine country chic.

You will want to be comfortable walking around the vineyards, but you are also still expected to dress nice. So avoid sweats, workout clothes, etc.

Here are a few fall staples that you can’t forget when packing for wine country.

  1. Light Sweater or Jacket: A jacket or sweater of some sort is a must when visiting Napa in October. The days are warm, but the nights and mornings can be pretty chilly. Always pack layers when visiting wine country.
  2. Flowy Dress: With an average high of 77°F, the days are still pretty warm. A nice flowy dress or skirt is my favorite go-to for wine tasting in Napa.
  3. A Wide Brim Hat: October weather is ideal for wine tasting outside among the vineyards. A wide-brim hat is perfect for keeping your face shaded and out of the sun.
  4. Comfortable Shoes: Heels are a major no-no in Napa Valley. You will be walking around the vineyards and cobblestone pavements, it’s not the best terrain for heels. Instead, wear comfortable flats, nice sandals, or slip-on sneakers.
  5. For Men: a light button up and nice shorts or slacks.

Things to Do in Napa Valley in October

1. Wine Tasting and Visiting the Wineries

First and foremost, the best thing you can do in Napa Valley in October is to go wine tasting! The vineyards are especially beautiful this time of year and with the mild weather you can enjoy your tasting outdoors.

A great way to go wine tasting and get around Napa Valley is by a wine tour. I love this 6-Hour Private, Customized Wine Tour of Sonoma & Napa Valley.

Why I think this is one of the best tours you can book:

  • Your guide will help you build a unique & tailored wine tasting itinerary
  • It can accommodate up to 6 people
  • One of the more affordable options of a private wine tour
  • Has many incredible 5 reviews

Damon was very educated in Napa Valley wineries. He was punctual, extremely nice and booked all of our appointments in advanced. We highly recommend his company!” – Skye F. (read more reviews)

Check rates & availability for the Customized Wine Tour of Sonoma & Napa Valley here

2. Get Some R&R in Calistoga

Enjoy a spa day in Calistoga on your Napa Valley trip and plan a day soaking in one of Calistoga’s famous hot springs, natural mineral pools, or mud baths.

3. Hot Air Balloon Ride

A hot air balloon ride is a once in a lifetime experience! Soar over wine country at sunrise in this Napa Valley hot air balloon ride. ​

Great view and great pilot. We enjoyed it immensely; it was an unforgettable experience! Would highly recommend to friends and family. – Catherine P. (read more reviews)

Check rates & availability for the Napa Valley hot air balloon ride here

4. Harvest Festival or Halloween Event

October brings tons of incredible events and fall festivities at the wineries! Such as an old fashioned grape at V. Sattui or the iconic Halloween party at Castello di Amoroso. I have listed some of the popular annual events below.

5. Take a Hike 

Napa Vally is full of natural beauty and incredible hikes. Work up a sweat on one of the many scenic hikes in Napa. A popular hike located in the heart of Napa is the Bothe-Napa Valley State Park.

6. Kayak the Napa Valley River

You can book a kayak tour with a local guide. Your guide will assist you in exploring the Napa River while sharing unique stories and history of Napa Valley.

Check rates & availability for the Napa River Kayak Tour here

7. Stroll Downtown Napa 

I love spending time in downtown Napa! You can visit Model Bakery for its famous artisanal bread and delicious pastries or walk along the beautiful Napa River waterfront.

After you work up an appetite, make sure to visit the Oxbow Market. Oxbow is a vibrant marketplace full of vendors selling delicious food and wine.

8. Napa Farmers’ Market

Every Tuesday and Saturday throughout the year you can stop by the Napa Farmers’ Market for some fresh produce and vegetables. It is a great way to support our local Napa farmers! The market is held in downtown Napa from 8:00 and to 12:00 pm

9. Shop Til You Drop

The downtown areas of Napa, Helena, Calistoga, and Yountville all have plenty of places to shop! Look for unique finds at one of the many boutiques, galleries, jewelers, sweet shops, bakeries, and more.

October Events in Napa Valley

Napa Valley in October is a wonderful time of year for any wine lover. In October, there are numerous events and festivals centered around wine and the wine making process.

Many of the wineries host harvest-themed events, inviting you to immerse yourself in the grape harvest process, enjoy grape stomping, and partake in barrel tastings. These festivals often include live music, culinary delights, and the chance to interact with winemakers.

Besides harvest events, you can also partake in spooky season with many fun Halloween festivities.

Here are some of the popular annual events in Napa Valley in October:

V Sattui Winery Crush Party

Every year V Sattui hosts their famous crush party at the winery that includes an old-fashioned grape stomp, live music, food from the grill and wood fire pizzas, lots of delicious wine, and the opportunity to meet V Sattui’s growers and winemakers.

 Grape Stomp at Grgich Hills Estate

Offered during harvest season, the Grape Stomp at Grgich Hills Estate is a well known and fun event in Napa Valley.

You jump in a barrel and stomp away on freshly picked grapes. At the end of the grape stomp you place your grape-stained feet on a white “I stomped at Grgich Hills” t-shirt that you get to keep as a souvenir from the day. Their grape stomp is only available to club members.

Fall Harvest Party Tamber Bey

Attend the Fall Harvest Party at Tamber Bey Vineyards, where you can enjoy an afternoon of live music, and sipping on Tamber Bey’s new releases and gourmet bites.

Napa Half and Quarter Marathon

For an adventurous and active morning in Napa, you can run through wine country’s beautiful landscape of rolling hills of vineyards in the Napa Half and Quarter Marathon.

Blues Brews & BBQs 

Are you also a fan of microbrews? If so, you will love the annual Blue Brews & BBQs in downtown Napa.

This epic event showcases the Bay Area’s best blues musicians and over 40+ microbrews. Also, delicious BBQ from local vendors. The best part is, it is free to visit and attend the event.

Other Food & Wine Tasting Experiences:

  • Winemaker Lunch at Somerston Estate
  • Winemaker Lunch and Howell Mountain Cabernet Tasting at Clif Family Winery
  • Masters of Merlot Dinner at Duckhorn Vineyards

Napa Murder Mystery Wine Train Valley Wine Train

If you are looking for a unique thing to do in Napa in October, the Wine Train offers a Murder Mystery Wine Train experience! If you have never done a Murder Mystery dinner before, they are so much fun!

The Napa Wine Train is a 2 hour journey through Napa Valley on a vintage train. The Murder Mystery Dinner includes a three gourmet course meal, a welcome toast of sparkling, and the thrilling and immersive Murder Mystery theatre.

Fall JaMBash at JaM Cellars

Another annual Halloween event in Napa is the JaMBash held at JaM Cellars in downtown Napa. Enjoy wine, live music, and snacks. And don’t forget your costume, they have a contest and prize for the best Halloween costume.

Pagan Ball at Castello di Amoroso

Another popular event that happens in October in Napa Valley is the Pagan Ball at Castello di Amoroso. Grab your spookiest costume because it is an adult-only Halloween party!

The Pagan Ball offers everything for an incredible time including food, wine, music, a cigar bar and frightful photo booths, a fortune teller, and games.

FAQ: Napa Valley in October

What is Napa like in October?

Napa in October is a magical time in wine country! During this month you can expect pleasant weather, stunning fall landscapes, and many fun events and festivals at the wineries celebrating Napa’s harvest season.

Are Napa wineries open in October?

Yes, Napa is a year round destination and the wineries are open in October. In fact, October is one of the busiest and most popular times to visit wine country because it is also harvest season.

Some wineries will have specific harvest-themed events, such as grape stomping parties or harvest festivals, which is why it’s a good idea to plan ahead and make reservations for winery visits, tours, and tastings in advance.

How warm is Napa in October?

October is known for its clear skies, warm sunny days, and overall pleasant and comfortable weather. You can expect an average high of 77°F to a low of 49°F with little to no rain. However, nighttime and early mornings can be chilly, so always be prepared with a light jacket or sweater.

Tips & Guides for Visiting Napa Valley in October

Now that you have decided you are going to visit Napa, it is time for the fun part of planning your trip. If it is your first time visiting, you may be wondering how many days should I spend in Napa Valley, how to get around Napa, how to get to get Napa, (tip I don’t recommend Uber) and what wineries to visit.

For all of my Napa tips and guides, you can check out my Napa page here.

In Conclusion: Napa Valley in October

In conclusion, Napa in October is a wonderful time to visit wine country! Just make sure to book your wine tastings, accommodations, and dinner reservations in advance since it is a popular time in Napa Valley.