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

  • Merlot

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

  • Cabernet Sauvignon

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

  • Chardonnay

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

  • 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...

  • Stag's 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

  • 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...

  • Don Sebastiani & Sons

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

  • Bond

    BOND: A stable of Napa Valley thoroughbreds — ultimately six Cabernet-based wines — assembled und...

  • William Hill Winery

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

  • Stonehedge Winery

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

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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

  • Darrin, I have never tried an Insignia.  I do have one ('97, I think) ... another reasonably priced Napa Cab that does not seem to get much attention, but it is consistently darned good and punching way above its weigh Read More

    Forum post in the topic Whatcha drinking tonight?

  • Must be a Napa cab night.  Very well balanced with fine grained tannin and nice dark fruit, some dried plum, raisin and a touch of leather.  Had this with a couple filets and grilled romaine. Read More

    Forum post in the topic Whatcha drinking tonight?

  • Joseph Phelps Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 2001


    Very rich dark color in the glass. Mostly, an earthy, woody nose--slight berry fruit. Fruit shows on the tongue. Lots of cabernet cassis flavor on the tip of the tongue, then a hint of clove. Quite velvety as it travels over the tongue. As it gets to the side edges of the tongue I get the tannin/acid hit. Not the biggest cab you'll ever dr... Read More

    Wine review by EMark

  • Groth Cabernet Sauvignon Oakville 2008


    Very well balanced and restrained cab from Oakville. Really nice dark fruits, dried plum, a touch of leather, fine grained tannins and medium acidity. This has a nice long finish that paints the back of the tongue with dark crushed cherries. Read More

    Wine review by vin0vin0

  • TASTING DIRTY AND ROWDY WITH HARDY WALLACE - Puchdown Cellars - Santa Rosa ... Rosa ... USA, California, Napa Valley, YountvillePicked 19 birx. 75% skin fermented, 25% pressed into a concrete egg. This was a pop-n-pour. Lightly cloudy with an orange tinge. Right out of bottle the fruit is shy. The nose expressed rocks, jalapeño pith and light ... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Tasting Dirty & Rowdy with...

  • St. Supéry Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 2010


    Lovely smooth cab. Good with cheese and cold ham - not sure that it would hold up to a super rich meal. Read More

    Wine review by Heather B

  • Joel Gott 'No.815' Cabernet Sauvignon 2011


    Traditional cab. Good full body. Balanced tannins. Seems almost too textbook. Read More

    Wine review by connie7899

  • Eagles Trace Latitude 38 Meritage Napa Valley 2006


    Wonderful mix of ripe berries, cedar, forest floor, dark chocolate and very subtle toasted oak. Tannins still firm. This wine has a lot of years left in it. Read More

    Wine review by cgplayer9

  • Must suck to live in SoCal. Up here all the trucks have inspection stickers in ... ... I tried a BBQ truck in Napa a few months ago and felt my pulled pork was better. Besides the portion of meat on the sandwich was poor IMHO.The best ones are in the same place day in and day out on the aide of the road and the Latinos as well as the rest of ... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Matching challenge 1: what...

  • Pahlmeyer "Jayson" Napa Valley Bordeaux Blend 2004


    On the nose, earthy loam. On the palate, fruit somewhat subdued with blackberry, cherry cola, leather, toasty oak, earthy loam and slightest hint of cloves and cedar. Very slightly dusty tannins. Read More

    Wine review by cgplayer9

  • 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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