If you happen to be visiting California Wine Country in October, there’s more going on than the annual crush. These four Napa and Sonoma wineries are known for putting on spooktacular Halloween celebrations, complete with elaborate costumes, pre-prohibition ghosts, creepy caves, and enough wine to ward off the heebie jeebies. Here’s how to join in on the Halloween fun.
Sixteen Spirits Historical Ghost Winery Tour & Tasting
October 13, 2019, 10 AM – 12 PM
Cost: $75 per person, $60 for wine club members
No winery in Napa Valley gets in the Halloween spirit like Flora Springs. Each year, epic decorations lure tourists off of Hwy 29 – you can’t miss the trio of giant, dancing skeletons on the exterior of “The Room,” their St. Helena tasting room – and as a tribute to the winery’s history as one of the last remaining Napa Valley Ghost Wineries, Flora Springs releases limited-production, Halloween-only wine. In case you’re wondering, a Ghost Winery is defined as a winery built between 1860 and 1900, which then fell into disrepair in the early 1900s due to any number of reasons, like phylloxera disease, Prohibition, and the Great Depression. This October, Flora Springs ups the fear factor by offering a fascinating paranormal tour of their historic, and haunted, estate. Partnering with a team of paranormal investigators from Napa City Ghosts & Legends, this tour also includes a tasting of wine so you can sip while you walk (if not shaking in your boots).
Flora Springs Estate: 1978 West Zinfandel Lane, St. Helena, CA 94574, (707) 963-5711
Flora Springs Tasting Room, “The Room”: 677 St. Helena Highway, St. Helena, CA 94574, (707) 967-8032
October 25, 2019, 8 PM – 12 AM
Cost: $180 per person, $150 for wine club members
Napa Valley’s biggest Halloween costume party is back for its 10th year. Equal parts freaky and fun, it all goes down at California Wine Country’s notorious castle, Castello di Amorosa. The Halloween-inspired festivities will include a haunted, underground cave maze (because corn mazes are so last year), a DJ and dancing, fortune tellers, bottomless wine, tasty treats, cigar bar, photo booth, and games. For $30 extra, you get to arrive early for a wine tasting, tour of the haunted cellars, and fortune telling.
4045 St. Helena Highway, Calistoga, CA 94515, (707) 967-6272
Harvest Masquerade Ball
October 26, 2019, 7 – 10 PM
Cost: $95 per person, $75 for wine club members, VIP $150
California’s first premium winery founded in 1857, Buena Vista Winery puts a modern twist on the classic masquerade ball. This not-so-spooky event is a tribute to a masked tradition that was supposedly started more than 150 years ago by the original founder, the Count of Buena Vista. The 1860’s, aristocratic-style evening takes place on the third floor of the winery’s Historic Champagne Cellar, featuring music, hors-d’oeuvres, and wine. This isn’t your typical Halloween costume party either – read: don’t show up as Wonder Woman or the Dragon Queen, Daenerys Targaryen – and instead requires vintage formal wear and a mask. Dress to impress, as costume contest winners will be announced at 9pm.
18000 Old Winery Road, Sonoma, CA 95476, (800) 926-1266
Annual Harvest & Halloween Carnival
October 27, 2019, 11 AM – 2 PM
Cost: $12 per child, 14 and under
Bring the whole family to Francis Ford Coppola Winery’s 14th annual Halloween Carnival, for this fun, fall festival is the only winery event on this list that’s not just kid-friendly, but actually created for them. Break out their costumes a few days early; the day will include Halloween candy, carnival games, a DJ, and a Halloween-themed magic show. The pool café will be open serving food and drinks, for an extra cost. Proceeds from this event go to the Luther Burbank Music for Schools.
300 Via Archimedes, Geyserville, CA 95441, (707) 857-1471
Cover image courtesy of Joanna Salazar/Flora Springs