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 (www.grapevinestudios.blogspot.com).

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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

  • Beaucanon Estate

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

  • Michael Pozzan Winery

    Michael Pozzan Winery is owned and operated by Michael and Mary Ann Pozzan, both natives of Calif...

  • Three Thieves

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

  • Hagen Heights Vineyards

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

  • Jessup Cellars

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

  • Rockledge Vineyards

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

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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


  • Cakebread Chardonnay Napa Valley 2012

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by mikeg325


  • Vista Point Merlot 2007

    Snoothrank:

    First tasted Vista Point at a nice Italian restaurant. Asked for a glass of house merlot and was pleasantly surprised by the smooth taste. Had no idea it could stand up to $20 and up bottles of other Merlots. The only negative is it had a twist off top, but that maybe why the consistency is the same. Read More

    Wine review by Lizzl


  • Frog's Leap Sauvignon Blanc 2013

    Snoothrank:

    Refreshing Read More

    Wine review by mikeg325


  • Frog's Leap Rutherford Cabernet Sauvignon 2012

    Snoothrank:

    Good Read More

    Wine review by mikeg325


  • Frog's Leap Merlot Napa Valley 2012

    Snoothrank:

    Good Read More

    Wine review by mikeg325


  • Piña Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Rutherford Firehouse Vineyard 2011

    Snoothrank:

    Dark ruby and concentrated with an aromatic core of black cherry and prune which vacillates in the glass between jam and a bowl of very ripe whole fruit. The fruit is accented by allspice and spiced meat. The palate is medium-plus in body with matching tannins of fine grain and chalk. Theres more complexity on the palate than on the nose right n... Read More

    Wine review by Fred Swan


  • Frank Family Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 2011

    Snoothrank:

    Dark ruby with a very purple tone, the complex nose brings baked black cherry, black currant, dark spice, violets, tart blueberry and lavender. The moderate tannins are very fine and chalky on a fresh, yet nearly full-bodied, palate. Flavors include tangy, cooked berries, black cherry, charcoal, dill and lots of dark spice. 89pts Read More

    Wine review by Fred Swan


  • Provenance Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Rutherford Napa Valley 2011

    Snoothrank:

    Another good value from 2011, this wine offers black cherry, moist cereal grain, dark spice and brown sugar on the nose and palate. Its full-bodied with both prominent acidity and firm tannins of fine grain and chalk. A couple of years in the cellar will soften the tannins and release additional depth. 90pts Read More

    Wine review by Fred Swan


  • Conn Creek Cabernet Sauvignon 2011

    Snoothrank:

    Very fetching and fruit forward with bing cherry, candied cherry, mint, cocoa, brown spice and oak aromatics. The nearly full-bodied nearly full-bodied palate features very fine-grained tannins, medium-plus acidity and long flavors of blackberry cream, spice, oak and tobacco. 91+pts Read More

    Wine review by Fred Swan


  • Frank Family Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Rutherford Winston Hill 2011

    Snoothrank:

    This wine, decadent and unctuous, may show less vintage influence than any other Rutherford 2011 Ive tasted. Aromas include milk chocolate, coconut, ripe black currants, brown spice and oak. Its full-bodied in the mouth yet balanced by acidity and fine-grained, grippy tannins. Flavors include mint, tart black currant, spice, oak and coconut. 92pts Read More

    Wine review by Fred Swan


  • 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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    Page modification by 260479IdaGD300 260479 IdaGD300


  • Description edited for this page.

    Page modification by 125081Mike Pobega 125081 Mike Pobega


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