Napa County Wine

There is some debate over how this famous wine region got its name. Spanish settlers named the Native American tribe that originally inhabited the area “Wappo,” and some say this is a derivation of “guapo” meaning “handsome,” while others say it means “brave,” with Napa being a further spin-off. Another legend is that Napa is a Wappo word for the land itself. Regardless, with its Mediterranean climate and diverse terroirs, this land eventually became one of the most important wine regions in the world. 

 
The first vineyards in Napa were planted in 1836 by George Calvert Yount in what is now the town of Yountville. In the 1850s, Thomas Rutherford, who married Yount’s granddaughter, Elizabeth Yount, established the first vineyard in what would become Rutherford town. The first commercial winery was established by Charles Krug in the 1860s. Soon, the likes of Inglenook, Beringer and Schramsberg and many others set up their wineries and Read more »

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Popular wines made in Napa County under $20

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Varietals Produced in Napa County View all

  • Merlot

    The Occitanian word “merlot” translates to “young blackbird.” An accurate description for this popular, early-budding...

  • Sauvignon Blanc

    Sauvignon Blanc is widely grown in California -- at over 15,000 acres, it’s now the third most planted variety -- and...

  • Chardonnay

    British wine writer and critic, Jancis Robinson, once noted that throughout the 80’s and 90’s in the United States, C...

  • Cabernet Sauvignon

    “King of the Red Wine Grapes.” The colonizer of the vineyards, pushing native wine grapes into its shadows. The Caber...

  • Zinfandel

    Parentage of the grape: Crljenak to Austria to America. In the 1970s, claims surfaced that the Italian Primitivo is l...

  • Pinot Noir

    “With so voluptuous a perfume, so sweet an edge, they make the blood run hot,” Joel Fleischman, wine columnist at Van...

Subregions of Napa County

  • Oakville

    Well if any AVA vies with Rutherford for the crown of King of Cabernet it would have to Oakville....

  • Atlas Peak

    The climate of this appellation is unique, partly because its elevation frees it from the fog whi...

Popular Wineries in Napa County View all

  • 5 Points Cellars

    5 Points Cellars, founded in 2005, hand crafts small lots of wines from several of the finest vin...

  • Kelham Vineyards & Winery

    Kelham Vineyards wines reflect the unique character of the soils and localized climate which has ...

  • Duck Shack Wines

    From coast to coast mudflats to marshlands…flyways to byways. The duck shack is an American tr...

  • D F Wines Inc. (dba Downing Family Vineyards)

    Established in 1998, Downing Family Vineyards produces small case lots of ultra-premium Zinfandel...

  • Paradigm Winery

    Paradigm Winery, located in the Oakville appellation of Napa Valley, hand-crafts small quantities...

  • Detert Family Vineyards

    Detert Family Vineyards is owned and operated by Tom Garrett, John Garrett and Bill Cover. The fo...

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Napa County on Snooth

  • Joseph Carr Napa Valley Merlot 2013

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by docdom


  • Thanks for the examples. The consumer pays for everything business does, that's a given. As far as an extravagant tasting rooms go I imagine they are playing towards their desired customer bases.  The Macrostie site is a production facility as well as a tasting room and is quite appealing to the eye. Hamel spent a fortune but I don't think it is... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Searching for a Resonable...


  • Yes, of course. That's a fair point. Often, as you say, the most significant costs of long-established European wineries were depreciated years ago.That said, too many wineries here (I live in Santa Rosa, CA, less than 10 miles from dozens of Sonoma wineries and about 40 minutes from the heart of the Napa Valley) spend far more than they need to... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Searching for a Resonable...


  • Turnbull Cabernet Sauvignon Oakville 2007

    Snoothrank:

    Nice light hit of fruit on entrytypical cab cassis and, also, some red fruit and Im thinking plum. Noticeable tannin, although, for the most part Im saying that the years of sideways have tamed tannin quite a bit. A bit of dustiness mid-palate. Something of a sour or bitter tinge on the rear palate. Nothing to be concerned about, though. Ta... Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • If there's a test, I'm not interested.Last night.  A pretty good Chardonnay.  I have to say, more Mrs.'s EMark's kind than mine--much more the big oaky California style than what I usually like.  Once I was able to get pleast the caramel there was some terrific lemon that just lingered for several minutes.  The good news for Mrs. EMark is that w... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Whatcha drinking tonight?


  • We moved to Napa in 2014 and have been slowly but purposefully visiting and tasting wines at the 500 or so wineries in the Valley.  We have been writing a blog about life in wine country, you can find it here:  www.topochinesvino.com.  In addition to Napa wineries we frequent Sonoma county wineries as well and just added Oregon to our list (one ... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Hello Snooth!


  • William Hill Estate Winery Cabernet Sauvignon Napa 2013

    Snoothrank:

    Dark blackberry and oak spice open on the nose with cocoa and black cherry playing a secondary role. This is bold and fruity in the mouth, richly textured and silky on entry with vanilla cream and chocolate cherry pie notes, chalky and earthy blackberry and black olive notes on the mid palate and a zesty spiced cinnamon and clove finish that bar... Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial


  • So, I received permission to go to Total Wine, yesterday.  (Yes, because of some stressful circumstances, requesting permission was prudent.  I should also add that it was enthusiastically given.)  The goal was to pick up a cartload of everyday drinkers, and, I can confidently claim success on that.  For purposes of this discussion these were th... Read More

    Forum post in the topic What have you bought lately?


  • William Hill Estate Winery Benchland Series Chardonnay Napa 2014

    Snoothrank:

    Aromatic and buttery aromas of lemon candy, green apple, honeyed pear and peach. Driving and commanding oak on the palate is well integrated with tart lemon and green apple fruit, a buttery texture and good length on the finish. Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial


  • Lagier Meredith Pott Zinfandel Chester's Anvil 2012

    Snoothrank:

    Wow big hit of red fruit on entryplum, cherry, strawberry. Sadly, almost syrupy, though, not sweetish like many fruit forward wines can be. Very mellow on the tannin. Not a particularly big wine in spite of its 15% ABV. Its not an awful wine, but it lacks sophistication and I wont be seeking more. Read More

    Wine review by EMark


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