Napa Valley Harvest Traditions

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Napa Harvest Traditions

Harvest time in Napa Valley is a whirlwind of hard work that sweeps up almost every one in a veritable crush of activity. Somewhere in that great grape maelstrom, a sense of shared commitment and celebration is forged. Slowly, traditions form around the tempo of the harvest.


Blessing the Grapes: one of the oldest Napa traditions dates back hundreds of years in Europe.

Blessing the grapes
Blessing the grapes at Grgich Hills.

Blessing the Workers: you can’t forget these guys or no wine for you! Blessings for the harvest crews include prayers for safety and good weather.

Blessing the Workers
Harvest workers being blessed.


Crush Shirts: every harvest has a style all its own and those working it do to! Custom-designed T-shirts are all the rage from the fields to the cellar.

Harvest Crush Shirts
Workers at Cairdean Estate sport crush shirts.

Vineyard Dogs: they can chase off pests, even sniff out disease, but we all know their best quality is looking great on a label!

Vineyard Dog
A Happy Vineyard Good Boi.


Harvest Lunch: working in the fields for 12 hour+ days can make a body just a wee bit hungry. Eating lunch among the rows with everyone sharing a table is common at many wineries.

Napa harvest lunch
Lunch in the rows.

Harvest Parties: what to do when the harvest is over? Party! Check out this exhaustive list of harvest parties for 2019.

Napa Harvest Party
Napa Harvest Party.


Grape Crush: some wineries will let you get your feet wet and do it the old-fashioned way. C’mon, those grapes aren’t going to crush themselves!

Grape Stomp

Harvest Yourself: you can even get out in the field and do the picking yourself at some wineries.

Picking grapes
Picking grapes in Napa.

Interested in learning about Napa Valley history and the state of viticulture today? Check out our two-part series here and here!

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