Best Times for Visiting California’s Wine Country

Managing director and private wealth advisor at the Atlanta office of Merrill Lynch, Rod Westmoreland relies on his extensive field experience to help clients develop their portfolios. When he is not busy with work, Rod Westmoreland enjoys traveling. An avid wine collector, one of Mr. Westmoreland’s favorite destinations is California.

California is known for its mountains, deserts, and beaches, but its wine country is also one of its most popular and recognized destinations. Summer runs roughly from June through August and brings average temperatures in the 70s and 80s with plenty of rainfall.

California’s wine country is a particularly enjoyable destination during summer months because of its wealth of art, food, and cultural festivals. Winter months, however, bring temperatures in the mid-40s and cheaper accommodations. From December through February, prices are at their lowest, with the exception of holiday festivals, but some wineries are closed in the winter.

Spring and autumn are perhaps the best times for visiting California’s wine country. Spring lasts March through May and is perfect for visitors who want to experience the area beyond its wines. In the spring there are fewer crowds, so many wineries offer more personalized service. Temperatures range roughly from the 50s to the 70s.

Meanwhile, the harvesting season of autumn brings crowds wanting to participate in the picking and smashing of grapes and the tasting of the season’s wines. For September through November, with temperatures mostly in the 50s, reservations must be booked several months in advance.