By Tiffany Verbeck

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You might not be aware yet, but you want to book a trip to Napa Valley this winter. Why? Because Cabernet Season is calling. This little-known time of year offers everything you could dream of for a trip to wine country—without the crowds.

Soon you’ll be ditching the parka, sipping a glass of Cab Sauv and snapping pictures that will make your friends back home jealous.

What’s Cabernet Season?

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Cabernet Season happens after harvesting when the winemakers have placed the finished bottles in the cellars and are ready to relax. Local wine producers are happy to chat with you and answer your questions. You’ll feel more like a local than a visitor. Also, the weather turns mild and the swarms of tourists disperse.

Best of all? You’ll have a spot at the front of the line to drink rich, newly-released Cabernet Sauvignons.

When it Happens

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Cabernet Season runs from the middle of fall through spring. Plan your trip anytime from November to April, and you’ll find the best the Valley has to offer.

Easily enjoy Michelin-starred restaurants that normally have a long wait. Drive the scenic Highway 29 without dealing with traffic. Snap perfect Instagram shots in the yellow mustard fields without other people wandering around in the background.

Things To Do

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If you somehow get bored of staring at the beautiful landscape, you’re in luck. Napa Valley has so much to offer besides wine tastings. Do you enjoy indie films? Check out the Napa Valley Film Festival in November that screens over 100 new films.

More of a foodie? January’s Napa Truffle Festival offers tours of truffle orchards, along with meals prepared by master chefs. And don’t forget about Restaurant Week.

Prefer music? Yountville Live is a world-class music festival in March that offers enticing food, wine and music pairings. Go VIP for a four-day pass to exclusive events.

If you want to sight-see in style, hop aboard the Napa Valley Wine Train. The train rolls through the gorgeous countryside while serving you gourmet meals and delicious wine. No DD needed.

Looking for a winter vacation sans the snow boots? Head to Napa Valley during Cabernet Season. Get to know the locals, take the perfect tour, and load up with memories to share with everyone back home.

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