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

  • Cabernet Sauvignon

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

  • Pinot Noir

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

  • Sauvignon Blanc

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

  • Merlot

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

  • Zinfandel

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

  • Chardonnay

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

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

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

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

  • Hoopes Vineyard

    OUR LABEL IS SIMPLE & LIGHT HEARTED, BUT OUR CABERNET SAUVIGNON IS SERIOUS, COMPLEX, AND EARTHY. ...

  • Oakville East Wine Co

    It is with great excitement that we announce the second release of Oakville East – Exposure Cabe...

  • 5 Points Cellars

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

  • Gargiulo Vineyards

    A lifetime farmer, Jeff Gargiulo founded Gargiulo Vineyards in 1992 with a dream of making "true"...

  • Atlas Peak Vineyards

    Located in a sweeping uplifted valley, high in the eastern hills of the Vaca Range, the Atlas Pea...

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Napa County on Snooth

  • Hendry Napa Valley Albarino 2013

    Snoothrank:

    Very much a floral nose with some strawberry scent and, maybe, even a Gewurztraminer-like spiciness. On the palate lots of fruitstrawberry, again, and, maybe, banana, but acid suggests stone fruit and citrus. Kind of a cloying finish might discourage some, but the fruity aftertaste lingers for literally minutes. Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • Caymus Cabernet Sauvignon Napa 2011

    Snoothrank:

    The Bottle, the Cork, the richness of the view, and the bouquet on the Nose. (Bakers Chocolate, Smoke, Espresso Roast, Leather)Thank you Caymus Vineyards. your 2011 Caymus - 1st Class Bottle was enjoyed during a 3 hour dinner/ decanted. The host exclaimed Great Wine Period after his guest exclaimed Great Food Period. Thanks for sharing. William Read More

    Wine review by William Djubin


  • 1 X '96 -- Sonoma County 1 X '98 -- Napa ValleyBoth from "reliable" wineries, but not the names that geeks get all hot 'n' bothered about.I did, also, identify another Napa '97--technicallly, a blend.  So, I'm saying that there are 5 X '97s down there.Rest assured, I'll keep you up to date.  This is too much fun. Read More

    Forum post in the topic Whatcha drinking tonight?


  • Green and Red Zinfandel Chiles Canyon Vineyards Napa Valley 2010

    Snoothrank:

    %5 each Petite Sirah and SyrahCool and autumnal on the nose with ripe, slightly tarry fruit, huge forest floor aromas strong with dry pine needles. Bight on entry and old school on the palate this shows lovely depth of floral tones in the mouth framing small dark berry fruit that shows a whisper of herb along with all the big fruit. Softly tann... Read More

    Wine review by Gregory Dal Piaz


  • Groth Cabernet Sauvignon Oakville 2008

    Snoothrank:

    Paired with a medium rare grilled steak I found this a nice compliment. Rich, full bodied, with a long finish to it. My regards to the vintner who did a masterful job with this wine which I highly recommend to accompany your meal or as a stand alone on a cool summer night along with some smooth jazz in the background. Salute! Read More

    Wine review by michiganoenophile


  • Jack Nicklaus Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Usa 2009

    Snoothrank:

    I was excited and anxious to try this 2009 Private Reserve. Thanks for the opportunity to share. The wine was Big, Fruit-forward, Dry and soft on tannin's and mineral , not sure how it finished- I only got the Nose. Read More

    Wine review by William Djubin


  • Thanks for all the suggestions for Chardonnay's, many untried. A new road has opened to explore. Always looking for the best that meets our tasting needs.Since we live within hours, the very least a day's drive, from Napa and Sonoma, the Delta, Monterey County and San Luis Obispo areas just for a start (a true blessing), and have traveled the wh... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Fat, rich, creamy and buttery...


  • Rutherford Ranch Sauvignon Blanc 2013

    Snoothrank:

    Peach pit and hints of minerality greet the nose followed by faint freshly cut grass and green fruit aromas with a hint of yeastiness. Broad and bit soft in the mouth, this is nicely transparent with soft flavors of white peach, lemon, and green mango. A soft, and somewhat creamy style of Sauvignon Blanc, some bitter citrus oils appear on the b... Read More

    Wine review by Gregory Dal Piaz


  • Fox - the Gigondas is fine but I don't want you to go through all that and also supply wine!  I'll bring some wine. Was thinking of bringing a few Syrahs since that's the theme for the weekend. Napa, Australia and France. I won't be able to get to storage in time to get anything from somewhere else.OT - thanks for the weather forecast. What is t... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Syrah Offline 7/19/14 Sonoma...


  • Lucha, I think we'll be making those big ones sooner than later.  It was 104 on the weekend in Osoyoos (the southern limit of the Okanagan Valley and our wine region).  It's definitely hotter than ever here too in Victoria, but the ocean cools things down nicely in the evening. I envy you getting a chance to ride in Napa, but I've decided it'll ... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Syrah Offline 7/19/14 Sonoma...


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