Five Things to Do in Wine Country in December


Holiday shopping destinations, uniquely Napa Valley Christmas events, and a new restaurant in Downtown Napa, all happening in December in Wine Country.

Support local at The White Barn’s annual Winter Fair in Saint Helena

Photo courtesy The White Barn

Nestled in the beautiful eastern foothills of Saint Helena, The White Barn holds its annual three-day Winter Fair of truly local handmade products that are perfect for gift-giving. Peruse the unique jewelry, letterpress, silk screen, ceramics, and garden art from over 20 local artists. Preview night is Friday, December 6 from 5 – 8:30 p.m. (suggested donation is $15). Fair continues December 7 and 8 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Fuel up and continue shopping in town on Main Street. 2727 Sulphur Springs Avenue, Saint Helena.

Shop unique gifts at Chateau Sonoma’s Holiday Marketplace

Chateau Sonoma tabletop. Photo by Cathy Stancil

Spilling over with 400 new items from a container just arriving from France, Chateau Sonoma’s two-day Holiday Marketplace will be filled with unique décor and gift items sure to please everyone on your list. Expect furnishings and objects d’art including small paper goods, ornaments, candles, hand-blown glass and more. Better yet, it’s just off Sonoma Plaza where you’ll find additional shopping, wine tasting and bites.  Hours: Saturday December 7 from 10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday December 8 from 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. 153 West Napa Street, Sonoma.

Discover Downtown Napa’s latest restaurant, Torc

Photo A. Hanami

In contrast to the zen décor of the former Ubuntu space, the new Torc restaurant is all about food and comfort with lots of cushy seating and ingredient-centric paintings by Andy Berry. Owner and Chef Sean O’Toole presents American cuisine with global influences that will sate everyone’s palate. Open daily 5 – 9 p.m., reservations at SeatMe. 1140 Main Street, Downtown Napa

Experience a Victorian Christmas with a Holiday B&B stroll

Photo courtesy Churchill Manor

Go inside some of Wine Country’s most beautiful Victorian inns decked out for the season with inspiring holiday décor. In Downtown Napa, stroll the Napa B&B Holiday Tour and Taste Event on December 7 from 3 – 7 p.m. Dozens of inns will be offering inviting music and a variety of Napa Valley wines and bites from local chefs. $65 per person, shuttle available. Proceeds go towards various Napa beneficiaries such as Clinic Ole and Napa Food Pantry. Various locations in Downtown Napa. 

In Sonoma, join the Healdsburg Victorian Inns Tour on Sunday December 15 from 2 – 4 p.m. where six holiday-decorated inns will open their doors with appetizers and refreshments. $5 donation or canned goods go towards the Healdsburg Food Pantry. Various locations around Healdsburg Plaza

Uniquely Napa Valley Christmas events for the whole family

Photo courtesy Napa Valley Wine Train

Find your inner child (and Santa) on the Napa Valley Wine Train. The Wine Train makes special runs up to Yountville during December with a shorter 1 1/2 hour Santa Train designed for families with children. $20 per person (including each child) up to $35 per person in the Vista Dome. Food not included but child-friendly menu available. Check the website for the full train schedule. Board at 1275 McKinstry Street in Downtown Napa.

Up-valley, be filled with holiday cheer during the Calistoga Lighted Tractor parade that pays homage to the town’s agrarian heritage. Vintage and new farm equipment and trucks will roll down Lincoln Avenue decked out in holiday lights – Santa will even make a special appearance. Saturday, December 7 from 7 – 8 p.m.  Lincoln Avenue between Cedar and Stevenson, in Calistoga.

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