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Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The upcoming season

Not the grape season, but the tourist season. The biggest months are May, and July through October. Yeah, June is kind of a "sleeper" month. It seems like summer, but everyone is busy with weddings, graduations, or whatever. It's a good month to visit if you like decent weather and semi-light crowds.

The 2009 season is not shaping up to be a good one. That's no secret, huh? Business is down (the number of visitors) and sales are significantly down.

What's that mean to you? A great time to visit if you're not wound up in the fear factor of The Next Great Depression looming. I was in Hawaii in February, normally their busiest month, and hotel reservations were off 60%. This meant no lines anywhere and even some good deals.

You should be able to find some good deals on lodging, if you book ahead, and at many wineries. In Napa and Sonoma I've seen some waiving tasting fees. I've also occasionally seen someone raise their fee to cover expected shortfalls. That's what happens when you put the accountants in charge!