*This website uses affiliate links which may earn a commission at no additional cost to you.
If you’ve never been here, it can be hard to know just what to bring to make your weekend in wine country the best it can be! Northern California weather can be somewhat temperamental, and if you plan on wine tasting all day and staying up late your body may need a little extra support. Here are the seven things I suggest friends and family pack when coming to town.
1. A good jacket.
Self explanatory? Maybe, but you would not believe how many folks show up underdressed expecting sunny, warm California weather year-round. While we are typically blessed in the weather department, there is a huge shift in temperature throughout the day, so layers help. Even in mid-summer, the mornings and evenings here get chilly, not to mention if you go on a wine cave tour the temperature is going to be about 55 degrees. A versatile jacket is a must.
2. Your ID.
Whether you are newly 21 or going on 60, and ID is just in general a great thing to have on your person. Especially if you plan on being the designated driver.
3. A bit of cash.
Yes, most of Napa is run on cards but every now and then cash comes in handy, especially for tipping. Depending on how many wineries you plan on going to, $100 plus a credit card is a good place to start.
4. Offline maps.
Downloading offline maps is never a bad idea, especially if you plan on visiting some wineries in the hills where service is abysmal. In general cell service can be surprisingly dicey, so you’d be better off having maps to direct your Uber driver than stuck on a windy, mountain road.
If you’ve never done it, Google Maps makes it easy–just search Napa, CA, swipe up to see more information, click the three dots in the upper right of the screen and select download offline map. Then zoom out to make sure you have the whole valley selected (city of Napa up to Calistoga) and hit download.
5. A portable charger.
In this day and age, its highly likely you’ll be using you phone for everything throughout the day, from navigating to sharing your favorite pictures and videos. There’s nothing worse that a dead phone right when you need it, so pack a portable charger just in case.
There are lots of different options on the market, but I can usually be found with my one from Away.
6. A hangover recovery boost.
I’m not sure how much 15% alcohol Cabernet you’ve had in your life, but after a few wineries it certainly takes its toll. One solution (besides drinking water consistently throughout the day!) is DrinkAde, which has specific formulas for before drinking (Prevention) as well as after (Boost). Toss a couple in your mini-fridge, take Prevention in the morning or before going out to dinner and Boost Sunday morning to help you recover more quickly for round two.
Best part is they’re vegan, sugar free, gluten free, only 5 calories and made with Vitamin B, Potassium, Electrolytes, Milk Thistle, Green Tea Extract, Aloe Vera, and Gotu Kola.
7. Wine wipes.
Optional, but if you plan on taking lots of pictures not the worst idea since Napa Cabernets tend to have lots of dark purple tannins that stick to your teeth. An alternative to buying something like this is to ask to revisit whatever white wine the winery had at the end, since a bit of acid will help remove the color.
Anything I missed? Let me know in the comments!
Now that your bags are packed, check out the five things you need to know before wine tasting in Napa to make sure you’re truly ready.