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Fall colors in Napa Valley – A Photo Essay

Fall colors in Napa Valley are spectacular especially in the first two weeks of November, after the harvest season. Autumn paints the vineyards in gold and fills the eyes of spectators with delight. This time of the year, when nature undergoes a metamorphosis, I have always loved witnessing the process. The brevity of the fall season adds momentum and I choose to chase the colors of nature. In this pandemic stricken year when I can’t go far, I drove to Napa Valley and witnessed the sun-dappled gold vineyards and beautiful wineries along the Silverado Trail. I walked through the vineyards surrounded by fall colors and loved the wonderful experience. I felt restored and rejuvenated. I captured the resplendent vineyards, both small and big with my camera and couldn’t be happier. So, come along with me to Napa Valley through this photo essay. Sip a glass of wine, snuggle inside a blanket, or curl up in a deep armchair and explore.

Fall colors in Napa Valley is spectacular. Autumn paints the vineyards in gold and fills the eyes of spectators with delight, Travel Realizations
There’s nothing like a vineyard in autumn.
Fall colors in Napa Valley are spectacular. I drove to Napa Valley and witnessed the sun-dappled gold vineyards and beautiful wineries along the Silverado Trail. #NapaValley #California Click To Tweet

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Exploring Napa Valley during the fall

One fine Saturday morning in November, when I woke up, I saw that almost all the leaves on the tree outside my bedroom have turned to yellow and a few of them were lying on the green grass, under the blue sky. The colors and the beauty instantly made me drunk with hope. The beauty in front inspired me to dress up and opt outside to witness more colors. I let the surrounding beauty permeate my being and decided to visit the beautiful Napa Valley, an impromptu visit to see fall colors. Although I visited different wineries but could not indulge in wine tasting because I didn’t book in advance, a requirement during the pandemic. Nonetheless, the beautiful vineyards in various settings made my day. In the modern world, when algorithms predict our every need, from toothpaste to relationships, and give us the comfort of certainty, travel is one of the few activities we engage in not knowing the outcome, and I have always reveled in that uncertainty.

I let the surrounding beauty permeate my being and decided to visit the beautiful Napa Valley, an impromptu visit to see fall colors. #NapaValley #California Click To Tweet

Napa Valley wineries and vineyards

When I was exploring the stunning wineries and beautiful vineyards in Napa Valley, a question was brewing in my mind. I was wondering about the difference between a winery and a vineyard. A kind stranger in one of the vineyards explained that a vineyard is a plantation of any size, big or small which grows grapes meant to produce wine and a winery is a licensed property that makes wine. A vineyard can have a winery of its own that produces wine from the grapes it grows, but it can also sell its grapes to outside wineries and purely function as a grape-grower. The serendipitous and enriching encounters with strangers make travel so exciting, meaningful, and memorable. Don’t you think?

Napa Valley winery map

Good travel to me is slow travel. I loiter. I linger a little longer. I often pull my car in the middle of no-where to soak in the surrounding. On my trip to Napa Valley, I chose to drive along the beautiful Silverado Trail, a bucolic, parallel counterpart to busier State Highway 29. The Silverado Trail is dotted with beautiful vineyards and wineries. If you plan to visit Napa Valley, follow this scenic route. Along the way, I stopped at several wineries and vineyards. Here is the map of a few wineries where I spent time visiting.

If you plan to visit Napa Valley, follow this scenic route. #NapaValley #California Click To Tweet

Napa wine tour from San Francisco – An easy and convenient way to indulge in leisure

If you want to let go of all the things bothering you and vacate yourself for a day and are not willing to devote time to planning, then book a tour to Sonoma & Napa from San Francisco, which includes wine tours & tastings. Come back feeling fresh and rejuvenated just like me. Travel and leisure are essential in our lives just like books, films and hugs are essential. So say cheers to a weekend and explore the world-famous wine country.

Along the Silverado Trail

The scenic Silverado trail, stellar wineries, less traffic and a nip in the autumn air were a perfect combination to unwind. Every corner is Instagram friendly!

Fall colors in Napa Valley, TravelRealizations
Along the Napa Valley Silverado Trail
The scenic Silverado trail, stellar wineries, less traffic, and a nip in the air were a perfect combination to unwind. Every corner here is Instagram friendly. #Travel #NapaValley #California Click To Tweet

When the world floods my senses with too much of data, I go to places that flood me with inspiration. While standing in an open vineyard soaked in fall colors, under the blue sky and a valley afar, I felt restored. Nature is our only escape from the overtly complicated world – a pearl of wisdom, I learned from the dictionary named life. Whenever things get complicated and overwhelming, I patiently wait for such unplanned yet simple days.

When the world floods my senses with too much of data, I go to places that flood me with inspiration. #Travel #NapaValley Click To Tweet
Fall colors in Napa Valley, sun-dappled gold vineyards and beautiful wineries along the Silverado Trail, Travel Realizations
Richest rosiest hues!

Keep your cell phones or cameras ready because every corner in this trail is akin to a postcard and is always shutter or a tap ready!

Fall colors in Napa Valley, sun-dappled gold vineyards and beautiful wineries along the Silverado Trail, Travel Realizations
Gorgeous golden hues!
Keep your cell phones or cameras ready because every corner in this trail is akin to a postcard and is always shutter or a tap ready! #Travel #NapaValley #Wanderlust Click To Tweet

Black Stallion Estate Winery

After reaching Napa Valley, our first winery stop was at Black Stallion Estate Winery. It recalls the rustic charm of early California.

Black Stallion Estate Winery, Travel Realizations
Black Stallion Estate Winery in Napa Valley

Black Stallion Vineyards

After parking the car, I straight away walked down the vineyards glowing brightly in the crisp autumn sun. I found yellowish orange leaves on the ground and some ripened grapes still left to be plucked.

Black Stallion Estate Winery, Travel Realizations
Amazing amber hues at the Black Stallion Winery in Napa Valley!

Wine is romantic, intoxicating and built on passion that begins in the vineyard and ends in the glass… or perhaps ends in the intoxicating rush you get when you sip a spicy, silky, brooding red with your love… or the object of your affection,

Ian Devereaux
Black Stallion Estate Winery, Travel Realizations
The juice of the grape is the liquid quintessence of concentrated sunbeams ~  Thomas Love Peacock

The autumn afternoon decked in gold made me afloat in beauty. I put on the lipstick once more and wrapped the scarf around my neck. My beautiful fur scarf added a cozy layer of happiness in the autumnal chill. While dwelling in the medicinal beauty, Siddhartha captured me in an unguarded moment. I wore the spirit of nature and found everything bright, beautiful, and delightful. Check out the price of the beautiful blue coat and the fur scarf on Amazon. I paired my dress that day with my all-time favorite brown leather boots.

Black Stallion Estate Winery, Travel Realizations
Nature nurtures one’s soul!

Darioush Winery

Soon after crossing the gates of Darioush, a woman politely enquired whether I had any reservation. When I said no, she promptly replied, that they are fully booked for the day and I can reserve a place for the next day. But she was kind enough to allow me to explore the winery from outside. The Darioush Winery embraces and reflects its Persian heritage, and at the same time, embodies the Napa tradition of outstanding winemaking. The tall pillars evoked the aristocratic heritage of ancient Persian kings from Persepolis and I am sure their wine embodies sophistication as well.

Darioush Winery, Travel Realizations
Darioush WineryDarioush

Darioush Vineyards

The rolling hills, a richest and rosiest hued vineyard and a golden tree were a hypnotic drink for the eyes and in no way less intoxicating than old wine.

Darioush Winery, Travel Realizations
A glass of wine and this spectacular scenery bind well at the Darioush Winery!

Beringer Vineyards – The oldest winery in Napa Valley

 Beringer is Napa Valley’s oldest continuously operating winery, with a winemaking tradition dating back 144 years. The winery’s grounds are very romantic and has a timeless appeal and seductive flavor of Napa Valley. Autumn added an extra layer of beauty to this place that I thoroughly enjoyed.

Beringer Vineyards, Travel Realizations
A scene straight from a story book at the Beringer Winery

Beautiful places like this inspires me to expand the tapestry of my life beyond the usual borders. Impressions of such places on my mind invariably make its way to my blog, a repository of moments, places and meetings that give a meaning to my existence.

Beringer Vineyards, Travel Realizations
Fall colors everywhere at the breathtaking Beringer Winery!
Beautiful places like this inspires me to expand the tapestry of my life beyond the usual borders. Impressions of such places on my mind invariably make its way to my blog, a repository of moments, places and meetings that give a… Click To Tweet

Beringer is one of my favorite places in Napa Valley. I love the quaint charm here – a perfect place to sit, raise a glass and contemplate. This is a kind of place that evokes romance – an ideal escape from a overtly pragmatic modern life.

Beringer Vineyards, Travel Realizations
A great place to sit and fill up the pages of an unfinished diary.

Robert Mondavi Winery

In 1966, Robert Mondavi founded his winery with the conviction that the Napa Valley could become a center for a gracious lifestyle embracing wine, food, and art. Throughout the 54 years that have since transpired, Robert Mondavi Winery has been the quintessential destination for Napa Valley visitors. When I arrived here, the sun was all set to bid me adieu. The slowly crimson turning blue sky formed the perfect palette on which the winery stood. It was a fabulous sight to behold.

Robert Mondavi Winery, Travel Realizations
A spectacular sunset at the Robert Mondavi Winery in Napa Valley!

I loved the fountain and the garden, especially the deep red roses in Robert Mondavi that enhanced the autumnal charm. The garden, sculptures, a fountain, wide open space were perfect to declutter the mind.

Robert Mondavi Winery, Travel Realizations
Let’s make a pair – a glass of red wine and a bunch of red roses. How will it be?

Robert Mondavi Vineyards

Autumn put up a spectacular show during the sunset at Robert Mondavi Vineyards. The trees and their red, yellow and orange leaves were shining brightly in the setting sun. The valley and the vineyard spoke to me silently. I could hear their words. They whispered, “Whenever the whirlwind of city lights make you dizzy come to Napa Valley”.

Robert Mondavi Winery, Travel Realizations
Nature has all the colors. We just need to look at the right places.

Del Dotto Winery

Del Dotto Vineyards in St. Helena is the last venue on this trip. It is a visual reminder of Italy, with its over-the-top neo-classical architecture featuring Carrera marble, Murano-glass chandeliers, and a 130-year-old wine cave. I greeted the evening here and the subtle lights in the garden added an extra hue to the atmosphere. I really loved the expansive outdoor places in the wineries and vineyards during the trip.

Del Dotto Vineyards, Travel Realizations
An invitation for romantic evening at the Del Dotto Winery, don’t you think?

Del Dotto Vineyards

Before bidding farewell to Napa Valley, I took a last shot of the resplendent Del Dotto Vineyards. I want to, no I need to, visit the beautiful wine country many more times. But for now, adieu!

Del Dotto Vineyard under the crimson sky!

Wine makes daily living easier, less hurried, with fewer tensions and more tolerance.

Benjamin Franklin

Hotels to stay in Napa Valley

If you are planning to stay a few days in Napa Valley then consider these hotels for a memorable stay. All of the below hotels are following standard cleaning and sanitization protocols required for the pandemic. Additional safety and sanitation measures are also in effect at these properties. Please check with the hotels before booking.

Harvest Inn – Book your stay at Harvest Inn

Harvest Inn captures the charm of vineyard life, mixing California contemporary living with storybook charm. In the heart of historic St. Helena, the lush eight-acre resort offers guests an idyllic break from daily life on the go. Savor the sweeping vineyard views, relax by the pool, walk under redwood trees. Dine on farm-to-table creations paired with wines from local stand out vineyards. Harvest Inn has the perfect setting for a memorable Napa Valley getaway.

Book your stay at Harvest Inn.

Silverado Resort and SpaBook your stay at Silverado Resort and Spa

Silverado Resort and Spa is just an hour away from San Francisco. This luxury resort is just perfect for an ideal relaxing weekend tucked away from the city. The soothing, full-service spa in this resort sets the stage for relaxing comfort, offering massages, facials, manicures, pedicures, and more. Two PGA championship golf courses, multiple tennis courts, and biking and hiking trails on-site ensure excitement at every corner. The fine and casual dining within the resort’s restaurants pairs nicely with local wines.

Book and enjoy your stay at Silverado Resort and Spa.

Napa River Inn – Book your stay at Napa River Inn

The Napa River Inn in downtown Napa is an upscale boutique hotel that anchors the Historic Napa Mill. It offers free shuttle services within the downtown area, free Wi-Fi, and a gourmet market with a wine shop. Stays include fresh pastries delivered daily to your room and wine tasting in the evenings. Explore the Napa Valley by day and enjoy the Napa River Inn before and after.

Book your stay at Napa River Inn.

Similar articles from Travel Realizations

I love not only seeing the spectacular fall colors in beautiful places but also feel an urge to pen down my experiences. After all, we all lean against each other’s stories to learn and propel forward. Together we build history and from the shared knowledge we develop a skill called wisdom, don’t we? So, pick any of the articles below that catches your fancy and read. May I have the privilege to spoil you with choices? Will you pick a fall foliage show in the Princeton University campus or will you straight away devour a travelogue soaked in emotions about the fall colors in Grand Lake, Colorado? Perhaps if you are a hopeless romantic like me and love going for long drives then you may choose the road trip through the Blue Ridge Parkway on an autumn day. If you love writing, I bet, you will choose a quaint mountain village shining bright in fall colors in North Carolina! If curiosity is your strength, head over to the spirit museum in Stockholm. So which one article did you choose to read or did you end up visiting all? One or all, you will be a winner because I can promise an escape to a distant land right now, right here through my photographs and words.

Travel Realizations

I will remember this trip to Napa Valley to witness the fall colors as a cup of warm thoughts on a chilly morning. Fall colors are not just about pretty surroundings but also about the cycle of change; elimination of old and preparation to welcome the new. I feel lucky to live close to the beautiful Napa Valley. A great wine, to me, is alive to the nuances of the environment and the vintage. This beautiful trip that I took a few days ago created a sense of urgency and propelled my pen.

Be fair or foul, or rain or shine

the joys I have possessed, in spite of fate, are mine.

Not Heaven itself, upon the past, has power, but what has been, has been, and I have had my hour

John Dryden

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Chirasree Banerjee

Hello. My name is Chirasree. I have been traveling for almost 11 years to places all over the world. I enter into a separate reality during my travels and enjoy the allure of escape from the mundane. I seek beauty through nature and human-made creations. Because beauty is powerful. I seek knowledge. I observe, absorb, and write about the places I visit and the profound realizations and inspirations that each place has to offer.

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6 Comments

  1. It has really never crossed my mind to visit Napa during the fall, but your pictures are stunning! adding this to my bucketlist for Fall 2021

  2. What wonderful photos Chirasree! I can see why you were rejuvenated by your day here. Sooo beautiful.

  3. I’ll have to put a reminder in my calendar for this for next year! Every year I remember way too late to visit and experience the gorgeous colours.

  4. Charu Goyal

    Wow! The fall colours in Napa Valley are truly incredible, Chinasree. I loved going through your photo essay and dreaming about visiting there one day. What a beautiful sight for sore eyes! You, really are, lucky to live close to that.

  5. Those vineyards with fall colors, so stunning. A great list of places to visit, if only as an armchair visitor right now.

  6. Fall colors are always awesome. We specially plan our travels around this time. 🙂
    I have exactly similar photo to your first one. The golden hues are breathtaking.
    Napa Valley certainly looks beautiful during this time of the year. Haven’t been there but would definitely visit it one day.

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