Harvest is complete, the wines are sleeping in cellars, barrels and caves, and the Napa Valley settles into its favorite winter coat – but visions of frozen, snow-piled scenes that many, traditionally, equate with winter don’t belong here. Instead, rows of expressive, dormant vines are in stunning contrast with the brilliant colors of yellow mustard blooms, purple lupine, crimson clover, and the emerald-green native grasses that carpet misty hills. Yes, winter means it’s officially Napa Valley Cabernet Season™ in the Napa Valley.

One of the most intriguing times of the year, Cabernet Season runs from late Fall through early Spring, allowing visitors and locals to enjoy a different side of the Napa Valley. It’s a time to slow the pace and revel in all of the valley’s natural beauty, from the rolling hills of the southern Carneros region, to the northernmost craggy-mountain palisades beyond Calistoga. Intermittent seasonal rains that swell creeks and deliver much-needed moisture to replenish the valley and its vineyards yield to spectacularly crisp and occasional warm sunny days that are the envy of most of the country.

The Napa Valley is so colorful this time of year that it seems wrong to call it ‘winter,’ plus the cooler weather inspires the valley’s local chefs to cook heartier foods, making it the best time to drink the great red wines of the Napa Valley, including the king of red wines – Cabernet Sauvignon. There’s no better time to savor incredible food and wine pairings prepared by one of the many culinary talents at restaurants spread throughout the Valley. The holidays also offer a magical time in the Napa Valley, when the valley’s towns and cities “dress up” with twinkling lights, tractor parades, scenes of Santa, carriage rides, historic home tours, and more.

Cabernet Season also brings special offers from the Valley’s gracious lodging establishments and spas – where the fireplace rivals the pool as the must-have amenity – enticing guests to stay longer and experience more of the boundless activities available to lovers of all things related to wine, food, arts and wellness.

Throughout the Valley, from vibrant Downtown Napa, to Yountville, Oakville, Rutherford, St. Helena and Calistoga, art studios, museum exhibits, and charming main streets lined with locally owned boutiques are open to wander; performance venues offer lively entertainment; winery tasting rooms roll out the warmest of welcomes; healing geothermal hot spring waters provide the foundation for a variety of restorative therapies; and miles of nature preserves with hiking and biking trails add encouragement to fill time with healthy endeavors when the sun breaks through the mists.

Special to the 2015/16 Napa Valley Cabernet Season is the return of the Super Bowl to the San Francisco Bay Area and with the Napa Valley as an official destination partner of the Super Bowl 50 Host Committee, there is plenty to see and do in the valley for football fans regardless of what team you support. With a bevy of connections to the sport right here in the Napa Valley, from Super Bowl winning coach Dick Vermeil’s eponymous wines, to Charles Woodson’s TwentyFour Wines, to former super bowl winning 49er President & CEO Carmen Policy’s Casa Piena wines, there is plenty of “champion juice” to sip and savor. During Super Bowl season, The Napa Valley will kickoff special hotel packages at some of the valley’s most luxurious hotels and resorts, offer football themed winery activities, dining specials, golf packages, and more…proving the Napa Valley really knows how to celebrate the world’s biggest sporting event!

Whether you’re lucky enough to live in the Napa Valley or find yourself visiting during this intriguing time of year, get outside and explore the valley and its restaurants, wineries and resorts for all the great opportunities that Napa Valley Cabernet Season provides.

Check out all of the Napa Valley Cabernet Season™ offers and specials, plus all the Super Bowl special activities throughout the valley at www.visitnapavalley.com.  NVL