Napa 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 Read more »

Mentor for Napa Wines

Craig Donofrio

Craig Donofrio is an Advanced Sommelier in the Court of Master Sommeliers and has worked and consulted for some of the nation's top restaurants. He is chief food/wine photographer at Grapevine Studios (

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Popular wines made in Napa under $20

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Varietals Produced in Napa View all

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • Sauvignon Blanc

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

  • Syrah

    The irony here is that Syrah’s origins could give Carmen Sandiego a run for her international wallet. Syrah’s deepest...

Subregions of Napa

  • Carneros

    Los Carneros- The first AVA one comes to as one splits off the Napa Vallejo Highway and takes rou...

  • Stags Leap District

      Stags Leap District is located on the famous Silverado Trail of the Napa Valley region in ...

  • Yountville

    To the south of Oakville and comprised virtually entirely of valley floor land, Yountville is the...

Popular Wineries in Napa View all

  • William Hill Winery

    William Hill Estate Winery carries forward a 30-year philosophy of crafting elegant Napa Valley w...

  • Rockledge Vineyards

    High on the eastern slopes of Napa Valley just south of the town of St. Helena is a saddle covere...

  • CrauforD Wine Co.

    Crauford Wine Company was founded in 2000 by Marilyn Crawford Corley, whose family originated in ...

  • Jessup Cellars

    Owners Dan and Becky Blue, Roy and Cheri Eisiminger and Vance and Jana Thompson are proud to pres...

  • Hagen Heights Vineyards

    As the French are fond of saying the quality begins with the very specific terroir or soils and w...

  • Sycamore Lane Cellars

    Sycamore Lane is a private label brand produced by Trinchero Family Estates in Napa Valley, Cal...

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Napa on Snooth

  • Today I attended one of my favorite tastings of the year, the Taste Napa Valley tour, where I tasted no lessthan 65 great to wonderful wines, mostly King Cabernet himself. I have listed the high lights of the day here. More will follow. 2005 Cornerstone Cabernet Sauvignon Napa- Gorgeous fruit forward with a lush mouth feel. Dense currant with...

    Comment by 125081Mike Pobega 125081 Mike Pobega

  • Trespass Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon St. Helena Estate Grown 2001


    My brother-in-law found this at an estate sale. Clearly not a great wine, but, certainly, a fun find. When I opened it I could not believe the color--the red plum color that you would expect--no bricking at all. A somewhat fruity nose with a bit of sourness. On the tongue, flavors of dried dark fruit. Very much resolved tannins and acids. ... Read More

    Wine review by EMark

  • Picked these at great sales price:L - The $10 Mumm Napa Valley Brut Prestige (Know nothing about them)M - The 2013 Fransican Estate Napa Valley MerlotR - The 2016 Four Graces Willamette Valley Pinot NoirNot bad for $45. Read More

    Forum post in the topic What have you bought lately?

  • Buehler is a solid maker.  I can't believe they can make a Napa Valley CS that is so good and costs so little. Read More

    Forum post in the topic Whatcha drinking tonight?

  • Terra Valentine Cabernet Sauvignon Spring Mountain District Yverdon 2006


    Very attractive red-plum color. Unusual, herbal nose. Lots of jammy fruitblackberry, currant--on entry. As the wine passes back I get an interesting chalky sensationmouthfeel sensation, not flavor. This is, probably, Spring Mountain tannin. Fortunately, the fruitiness dissipates as the wine move towards the back of the mouth where I get mor... Read More

    Wine review by EMark

  • Come enjoy the fruits of 18 Spring Mountain wineries!Eighteen winery members of ... cultivate grapes on one of Napa Valley’s steepest—and most historic—mountain regions.&nbs Read More

    Forum post in the topic Spring Mountain Districts...

  • Apsara Chardonnay Oakville 2016


    Pale yellow in color. Tropical fruit aroma. Tropical fruit--pineapple, guava, banana--on the tip of the tongue, then, some caramel. Observable oak, but not over the top. Some stoniness. Nice refreshing acid. Read More

    Wine review by EMark

  • Over the years I have posted here on Snooth about wines that my brother-in-law ... ... was a very good year for Napa Valley Cabs,  The bottle and cork appeared to be in pretty good shape, but I've been fooled before.  As I started screwing in the corkscrew I though, "Uh-oh, this feels pretty soft.  I probably should have used the Ah-so."  (I d... Read More

    Forum post in the topic What's your Choice of Wine...

  • Apsara Cabernet Sauvignon Kenefick Ranch 2013


    Interesting that the first taste sensation I had with this wine was savory. Then we returned to the mean. Dark fruit--blueberry and, maybe, raisins. Nice dustiness, mid-palate. Quite sedate tannins for a wine of such youth. Enjoyable now, probably better in the future. Read More

    Wine review by EMark

  • ZUF agree with your comparisons, last year I opened a bottle of Opus, insignia, ... difference between them and Napa. I believe I can get the same quality at a better pri Read More

    Forum post in the topic Hello Snooth!

  • You are quite right; I neither lost nor gained as the virtual reality was not ... ... (or, on other occasions, Napa and Anderson Valley), I find this a bit amusing;  California wines - if masterfully crafted (and many are, indeed, so crafted) represent a certain style that, as the post-modern  expression has it, is what it is... I find that, w... Read More

    Forum post in the topic The Humble Côtes du Rhône...

  • Every time I visit Napa I have a great time. Make sure you plan ahead though. The options can be overwhelming!

    Comment by 321328cablecars 321328 cablecars

  • Recently had a Darioush Duel Cabernet/Shiraz blend 2005 I bought it at the vineyard and it was wonderful Mmmmm

    Comment by 250806Grape Goddess 250806 Grape Goddess

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