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...

  • Sauvignon Blanc

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

  • Zinfandel

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

  • Cabernet Sauvignon

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

  • Syrah

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

  • Chardonnay

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

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 ...

  • Irony

    Most of us didn't imagine where we would be right now. Sure, we dreamed of being firemen, astrona...

  • Scarecrow

    T H E S C A R E C R O W S T O R Y The Scarecrow story begins in a patch of earth with a fabled p...

  • Beaucanon Estate

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

  • 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...

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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

  • Beaulieu Vineyards Tapestry Reserve 2005


    Deep purple color. Very pleasant nose with some caramel, some berry fruit. Very mellow entry on the tongue. Fair amount of rich fruitblackberry, prune. As the wine passes back, fruitiness declines. Some earthiness, some hint of cinnamon or clove. Tannins are fully resolved. Another easy-to-drink wine. Better than average, but not great. Read More

    Wine review by EMark

  • Target Wine Cube Sauvignon Blanc 2008


    No written review

    Wine review by caitlinclaire

  • What is Charles Shaw Ceres Cabernet Sauvignon? Don't call it Napa Cab you'll get us in trouble! But it's sometimes difficult to hold your tongue. Mainly because Charles Shaw Ceres Cabernet Sauvignon is made in the same way as those much more expensive wines produced by our neighbors in the north. A well made Charles Shaw is an oxymoron you can p... Read More

    Forum post in the topic What is Cremant de Bourgogne?

  • Anyone had this? WOW! It's back!! YES!Dear Oenophile,THE 2010 IS OUT, ... ... now. This is WICKED GOOD Napa Cabernet that could easily cost TWICE as much. How many Cabs from this hallowed appellation cost $48?? Typically you are looking at AT LEAST $75 but all the way up to $200, of course! I don't know how Bob Broman does it, but I ain't aski... Read More

    Forum post in the topic What have you bought lately?

  • Exactly! It's astonishing what has happened to those prices. In Napa, the top end is in the $350 range. In Bordeaux, that's just mid tier! Burgundy is worse.Real estate in NYC has also jumped quite a bit, but the speed of the Bordeaux increases it what's amazing.And good for you for buying by your own palate. You had me worried when you said you... Read More

    Forum post in the topic MWW

  • GREGT, I NEVER buy a wine based on scores from Suckling Parker or any so called ... ... going to explore 2012 Napa Cabs as they have been among my favorites over the years, also some Spanish  Gran Reserves as I like their mature characteristics As with  most people, I try to stay within a monthly budget so try to maximize my purchases with wha... Read More

    Forum post in the topic MWW

  • Food and wine paring at St. Francis is excellent! I totally agree.  Their chef knows his stuff and of course the wine is very good. Read More

    Forum post in the topic Napa and Sonoma

  • I'd add just this:  There are some tasting rooms for smaller producers that don't have their own wineries.  Some are good, some not as good, and it's hard to go through them all.  But I recommend Steve Law's terrific St. Joseph-like Syrah at MacLaren.  Patz and Hall is great, too. I get nothing for endorsing them but good treatment and that nice... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Napa and Sonoma

  • Food and wine paring at St. Francis is excellent! You'll need to make reservations.  Read More

    Forum post in the topic Napa and Sonoma

  • A day could be spent in and around the Russian River Valley as well. About 45-60 minutes West of Sonoma (depending on traffic.More laid back, scenic and hundreds of winery options. Read More

    Forum post in the topic Napa and Sonoma

  • 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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