The story of mustard flowers in Napa Valley dates back to the 1800s. According to legend, it was Spanish and Mexican missionaries who brought the seeds over. There are two possible versions of why these flowers lace the valley floor today. Some say it was a mustard-loving priest that scattered seeds wherever he went. While others claim that due to his bad sense of direction, he used the flowers to find his way to and from the missionary camp. Since 1823, the Napa Valley has benefited from these mustard blooms. At Sequoia Grove, we plant it between vineyard rows to prevent erosion, replenish the soil, and attract beneficial insects. Its beauty, history and function are an essential part of our region today.
The slower pace of this bright inbetween season creates a perfect window for visitors who want to escape the crowds. If you’re planning a wine country visit, add these activities so that your itinerary is in full bloom:
The soft light and mild temperatures of Mustard Season are an invitation to all adventurers. At 57-70ºF, you have the option to hike, bike, fly or kayak your way around the Valley. Hikers and bikers can venture through mountains and vineyards with a myriad of routes from which to choose. Visitors can also cycle from winery to winery in Yountville, or rent an e-bike in downtown Napa. The Napa Valley River also sports a host of activities, like a history kayak tour. For those who prefer the view from the top, there are hot air balloon rides at sunrise.
There are three charming ways to traverse Napa Valley that will ignite your nostalgia. Sit back and relax as you get driven from farm to farm. The first tour is with the elegant Napa Valley Wine Train. With its elegant Champagne Vista Dome, passengers can enjoy their meals with 360º views of the valley. The open-air Napa Valley Wine Trolley is our second recommendation. This open-air California Street Cable Car is a casual and immersive experience of some of Napa Valley’s best wineries. To travel off the beaten track, jump on board the Tuk-Tuk Safari. There is also a specific safari planned for mustard season this year.
Although Napa Valley is known for its iconic wines, it’s also home to world-class restaurants. Gastronomes can relish in Michelin-starred meals or indulge in unconventional food and wine pairings. For $30, travelers can even learn how to create their own charcuterie boards. The Carneros Resort and Spa hosts this class in early March. Last, but not least, we have Yountville Live. It’s an unmissable three-day festival featuring a blend of excellent chefs, good music, and acclaimed wines. Make sure to book your tickets for the 29th to 31st of March, 2022. This list would not be complete without a mention of our very own food and wine pairing. We designed A Taste For Cabernet Wine & Food Experience to challenge traditional red wine pairings. For this experience, we threw away the rulebook to create a pairing menu unlike any other. Reservations are available from Wednesday to Sunday.
There is certainly no lack of art or performance in Napa Valley. For the music and comedy fans, there’s the Uptown Theatre. Its retro-feel and star-studded line-up is a favorite for travelers and locals alike. For an intimate cinema experience, Cameo Cinema in St. Helena is ideal. They proudly showcase the best in both mainstream and art films. Contemporary art is on display at beautiful galleries sprinkled across the valley. Take to the streets of Yountville to view over 25 street sculptures across town. There is also a two-mile stretch of expressive street art in Napa named the Rail Art District. With its goal of making art accessible to all, there are daily walking tours available. Another translation of accessible art is the Lighted Arts Festival from January to March each year. It’s a walkable and free outdoor celebration of light sculptures, and is guaranteed to brighten up even the coldest time of year.
Markets are the perfect location to explore and sample the best wines and products from Napa Valley. These markets act as a meeting place for the hungry, the thirsty, and the curious. The Napa Farmers’ Market is a prime example of this. Every Saturday of the year, over 100 vendors come together to showcase their offerings. Go early to get the freshest baked goods. Another impressive market is the high-end Oxbow Public Market. With delicious smells floating through the modern building, we recommend you come hungry. Here you can browse, snack, or people-watch to your heart’s content.
Mustard Season in Napa Valley is a celebration of newness and opportunity. It’s a time of exciting experiences, fond memories, and budding vines. The thrill of Mustard Season is not just reserved for visitors of Napa Valley, but the winemakers too. Wineries are hard at work both within the field and in the cellar. At Sequoia Grove, our skilled workers spearhead shoot-thinning, leaf-pulling, and hedging. By shaping the vine growth perfectly, we can expect a fruitful grape yield. Inside the cellar, we blend, filter and bottle the previous years’ wines. This also clears up space in the barrels and tanks for the upcoming harvest.
There are many ways to enjoy Napa Valley during Mustard season. This short, in-between season offers an explosion of color, flavor, and adventure. Whether you’re dropping by or staying for a while, come visit Sequoia Grove right in the heart of Napa Valley. For years we’ve been perfecting the ultimate blend – wine, food, and friends. We invite you to experience the legend and fame of Napa Valley in a season that, according to us, certainly cuts the mustard.