BOWS 'N BARRELS: Like Solvang, a crafts store, tea shops, and mountain lodges, a winery can give off the vibe, all year long, that it is Christmas. From bows to swag to boughs to cute gifts, a winery's gift shop or lobby feels a touch yuletide-y, even on the most leafy of spring days or during the heat of crush. Thus when December actually rolls around, and the vineyards of Napa and Sonoma counties truly break out the boxes of baubles and lights, the whole festive look is multiplied, merrily, by at least ten. Will you be engaging in a pre- or post-Christmas afternoon of tasting, perhaps with a few visiting relatives in tow? Then make for...
THE ROBERT MONDAVI WINERY: The grand tree got to glowing on Saturday, Dec. 6. Stop in at the Oakville icon to check out the shrub-pretty sight and have a sip or two. Mondavi's open every day during the season save Christmas Eve, Christmas, and New Year's Day. As for specific tours and tastings? There's a veritable holiday bouquet to pick from, from Wine Tasting Basics to Exclusive Cellar, which is a private seating for four.
V. SATTUI: Like wine cork crafts, finding an ornament to signify every winery in a region is the must-do goal for many an oenophile. a winery doesn't have its own signature ornament, well, one can be made via a label). The St. Helena winemaker does sell namesake ornaments, and it has its tasting room nicely wreathed out, too. If only every winery sold an ornament, that might make the perfect topper to a gifted bottle of wine.
SANTA TRAINS: The Napa Valley Wine Train is still fully Kris-Kringled-out on certain days, if you like a dash of whimsy while you gaze out upon vines. Want to take a ride closer to Christmas? The train is on from Dec. 8 through 11 and 15 through 18. (Note this is not a traditional wine train ride but very much about families, kids, and visiting with the Jolly Ol' Elf.)
DOWNTOWN NAPA: The Holley Trolley and downtown carriage rides are clip-clopping on certain dates throughout December. As for ice skating? That's pirouetting in Downtown Napa, too, at the corner of Coombs and Second through Jan. 11.