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...

  • 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...

  • Syrah

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

  • Zinfandel

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

  • 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

  • Eagle's Trace

    All great wines have a sense of place. The French call it terroir - the site, the soil and the cl...

  • Stonehedge Winery

    In 1992, the Shahabi Brothers began producing wines in the small town of St. Helena, situated in ...

  • Three Thieves

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

  • Don Sebastiani & Sons

      To Don Sebastiani and Sons, family is clearly an important aspect of winemaking. While ...

  • Beaucanon Estate

    Situated in beautiful Napa Valley, on the historic Longwood Ranch, Beaucanon Estate reflects the ...

  • William Hill Winery

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

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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

  • DMCKER, Also to answer your previous post: o Isaac, how many ... ... already with winemakers in Napa, Sonoma, Marin, Mendocino, Lake Counties, down in the Santa Cruz mountains and the Pinnacles, or even up in Lodi?Ha! We don't get to the Napa / Sonoma Valley's nearly enough. We do have some connections in the wine industry from winemaking, to ... Read More

    Forum post in the topic HELP! Conducting a Survey for...

  • St. Supery Cabernet Sauvignon Dollarhide Elevation 2010


    Juicy blackberry and black cherry, dusty tannins; and long, fruity finish with earthy spices. Read More

    Wine review by cgplayer9

  • So Isaac, how many roadtrips do you guys take out of Berkeley on a weekend or ... already with winemakers in Napa, Sonoma, Marin, Mendocino, Lake Counties, down in the Santa Cruz mountains and the Pinnacles, or even up in Lodi?Am also curious (and indicated that in my response) as to what demographics you're targeting for the crowdfunding/outs... Read More

    Forum post in the topic HELP! Conducting a Survey for...

  • Brilliant! I'll get on that and let you know what I think. I'm heading up to Napa tomorrow :-)))) Read More

    Forum post in the topic The most Fruit Forward Reds...

  • BottleBarn is good, and I'd be supporting it, too, if I lived in the ... ... deal online or in person in Napa and Sonoma, as well. And many vendors I've used offer free shipping, depending on the volume you purchase, or discounts off purchase price, or both. Though not free shipping to Japan, unfortunately! I still see no reason to drink 3rd r... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Zinfandel for a Beginner

  • Just saw an offering from Last Bottle for this wine. Looks like something you might be interested in, at a reasonable price ($19). Good label, too.  ;-)  Read More

    Forum post in the topic The most Fruit Forward Reds...

  • Franus Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 1997


    Very attractive more-red-than-purple color in the glass. Blackberry aroma on the nosesnot the big oak thing that comes with a lot of cabs. Again, some blackberry fruit on the tip of the tongue, but, then two things are observed almost simultaneously. First, this is not a terribly full-bodied wineit is much lighter than the standard California... Read More

    Wine review by EMark

  • Here is tonight's: A Napa Valley example vs. the Sonoma one the other day.  Initial impression is that it is better than the Kenwood Jack London, but I'm afraid that it might also be on the downward slide.  I like the fact that there is a hint (not a blast) of blackberry on the tip of the tongue, tannin has been very well tamed, and the medium b... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Whatcha drinking tonight?

  • Terrance - the Dancing Bull is a Gallo wine. They get more shelf space by ... ... one of the few remaning from Napa. Usually not as big and flamboyant as some.D - that is truly an excellent question.  $15 or less is really hard and nearly impossible these days. You have to move up to around $20 and then things escalate fast. I don't know the i... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Zinfandel for a Beginner

  • Daytripper Clarksburg Petite Sirah 2012


    A Tasting Room quarterly selection also available from Lot 18. This is the Lot 18 review which I found pretty accurate. '...At first sip, this could be mistaken for a ripe Zinfandel or Syrah, with its incredibly juicy berry fruit, fleshy plum and spice character. But the concentration of flavors and supple texture on the finish remind you that i... Read More

    Wine review by puhnner

  • 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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