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

  • Pinot Noir

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

  • Cabernet Sauvignon

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

  • 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...

  • 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

  • VinRoc Wine Caves

    VINROC derives its name from our rock strewn mountain vineyard, where the elevation provides the ...

  • Dalla Terra

    Dalla Terra™ (of the earth in Italian) Winery Direct® is a direct importer of a limited selection...

  • Gargiulo Vineyards

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

  • PlumpJack Winery

    All fourteen of the PlumpJack business enterprises thrive on the unique philosophy of the company...

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

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

  • Tierra Roja Vineyard

    One Christmas our neighbor, Al Denatale, came down to a little party that we were having. That w...

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Napa County on Snooth

  • Encantado Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2012


    The wine is a deep, inky purple color in the glass edging toward some lighter ruby. The nose is rather oak laden with a hint of green cedar, with some dark fruit notes mixed in. The taste is really quite nice, with a veritable explosion of dark, jammy fruit up front, plum, blackberries and a hint of cocoa that transitions nicely to some dusty ... Read More

    Wine review by jtryka

  • Saddleback Cellars "rancher's Red" 2011


    ok Read More

    Wine review by calywa

  • Bandit Merlot 2009


    No written review

    Wine review by MichaelProcton

  • Ravenswood Zinfandel Napa 2012


    A touch balsamic on the nose with warm, powder sugar covered black berry and raspberry aromas and just a hint of wood smoke adding detail. A bit thick and chewy on entry, this shows lovely depth on the palate with a bit of black spice and hints of briar wood layered over brambly fruit. A bit on the tannic side, but certainly remaining in harmony... Read More

    Wine review by Gregory Dal Piaz

  • Yesterday I was recovering from Monday night.  You see, Sandra & I attended a wonderful wine tasting event.  For $40 per couple, we joined Nice Legs, Ruth's Chris Steakhouse in Crystal City, and the Crystal City Wine Shop for a tasting of more than 45 different wines poured by winemakers, winery representatives and importers.  Here are those fol... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Weekday Wines

  • Hendry Napa Valley Albarino 2013


    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


    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


    %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


    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

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