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

  • Chardonnay

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

  • Zinfandel

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

  • Merlot

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

  • Syrah

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

  • Cabernet Sauvignon

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

  • Sauvignon Blanc

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

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

  • Jade Mountain

    History Since 1988, Jade Mountain has been a pioneer in the production of age-worthy Rhône-style ...

  • Sycamore Lane Cellars

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

  • Sola

    Sola tries to produce the best quality 'varietally correct' Calif and sub-appellations wines po...

  • Round Hill Vineyards & Cellars

    Rutherford Wine Company is family owned and managed with a portfolio of wines representing the ri...

  • Three Thieves

    You may have heard the tale of the Three Thieves, three regular guys who threw away centuries of ...

  • John Anthony Vineyards

    In 1997 John Anthony Truchard began leasing and managing vineyard property with the idea of one d...

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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

  • Fine Disregard Milhouse Semillon 2018


    Clear somewhar pale yellow color. A bit of yeast on the nose. On the tongue I get a pretty stout hit of Granny Smith Apple. Nice tartness keeps this wine from being "fruity." Quite lean and light bodied. Super refreshing. Read More

    Wine review by EMark

  • Lewis Cellars Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 2011


    Fairly sedate dark berry fruit--blackberry, current. Some slate. Some tobacco that is common for me to find in CS. Some menthol, A retro-nasal olive sensation under the rear palate. Still serious tannin. I guess that should not be a big surprise. This wine is not that old. Read More

    Wine review by EMark

  • Myriad Esther Block las Madres Vineyard Syrah 2015


    Terrific upfront red berries and some stone fruit. Good acid tartness. Some slate, Medium bodied/mouthfeel, Bone dry. Nice level of tannic pucker. Read More

    Wine review by EMark

  • Black Ink California 2018


    Biiny's 10/20. Read More

    Wine review by raindance

  • Stags' Leap Winery Napa Merlot 2016


    Very pleasant wine. Blackberry on the tip of the tongue--maybe a bit "sweeter" than I would prefer. Some graphite taste mid-palate. That seems to beat down the sweetness. A darned sturdy wine--mouth filling and some pretty serious tannin. Read More

    Wine review by EMark

  • Apsara Syrah Carneros las Madres Vineyard 2015


    Big spicy nose. Light hit of berry and stone fruit. Something like orange zest. Some woodiness. Some spice--suggestions of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg. Still noticeable tannin. Long lingering finish. Read More

    Wine review by EMark

  • Lagier Meredith Mondeuse 2012


    Beautiful dark plum color, Very much a dark, brooding nose. Not terribly fruity on introduction. What fruit there is tends toward blackberry or black currant. I find this to be a quite tannic wine. My lips pucker, my tongue puckers, everything seems to pucker. Mid-palate sensations of some sort of baking spice blend, but, also, unsweetened... Read More

    Wine review by EMark

  • Quivet Cellars Kenefick Ranch Syrah 2015


    Tangy dark fruit on entry--the "tang" almost suggests orange. Some salinity. Some baking spice. Very vibrant mouthfeel followed by a pleasant, mellow finish. Read More

    Wine review by EMark

  • Titus Sauvignon Blanc 2019


    VERY pale color--almost watery looking--in the glass. Lots of grassiness with, maybe, green bell pepper on the tip of the tongue.Then, some citrus--could be lemon, could be grapefruit. Quite astringent under the rear palate. Quite light-bodied but very refreshing. Read More

    Wine review by EMark

  • Barnett Vineyards Spring Mountain District Merlot 2013


    Beautiful opaque purple in the class. Brooding dark nose. On the tongue, my first impression is unsweet blackberry, though not particularly pronounced, followed by stemminess. Some slate mid-palate. A very rich viscous mouthfeel. Tannin mostly resolved. This is a big, full-bodied Merlot, It's flavors and body suggest to me that it is almo... Read More

    Wine review by EMark

  • 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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