All around The Inn On First, a romantic Bed and Breakfast Inn in Napa, are streets filled with Fall Foliage.
In June, Napa’s color is green when the leaves first break on the vines. In July the grapes change color and reds and purples are dominant. Once crush begins, purple and inky black colors flow in the juices being pressed. When it is all over, though, Fall descends upon Napa, upon the vineyards, upon the streets, and city becomes a vibrant host to a rainbow of colors.
This year has been intensely colorful and as I walked around the neighborhood with the dogs I was surprised by so many opportunities to enjoy what Fall has to offer in Napa. This is what we call “Cabernet Season”. When the weather becomes cooler and the focus of food is on stews, roasts, and slow cooked meats, Cabernet Sauvignon comes to mind as the wine of choice. Of course, with so much to choose from here in Napa Valley it can be difficult to decide what to drink. Like the colors on the trees, each winery provides a different approach to wine making and finding your palate can be daunting.
As I turn the corner from The Inn On First to walk toward Jefferson Park I see bright orange colors, which remind me of bright Cabernet fruit being grown on Spring Mountain. Pride Mountain Vineyards, Spring Mountain Winery, Terra Valentine, Barnett, and so many others.
Getting closer to Fuller Park I can see the subtlety of color in different trees, and I remember how different Rutherford District Cabernets are from Stag’s Leap Cabernets as are Coombsville Cabernets. Oh we love the usual suspects: Far Niente, Cakebread, Stag’s Leap, Nickel and Nickel, Caymus, and the like. We have also come to discover the diversity found in smaller wineries such as Baldacci, Sinskey, Regusci, Trefethen, Miner, Porter, Whiterock, and Crane Family. Our general guideline is that if you can find the wine at home, try and find something new, different, and exciting. With over 400 wineries to choose from, that leaves so many great options to try.
Leave time, too, to walk around the neighborhood. The Historic District of Downtown Napa where we are located is filled with Victorians homes, Craftsman bungalows, and many other styles of architecture. Fuller Park provides a 1/2-mile loop around the park for those looking for a short walk or run.
Lastly, as you drive through the Napa Valley, don’t forget to enjoy the great Fall colors on the vines. Pull over, take a few pictures, and soak up all the beauty that is here for you to enjoy.