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

  • Syrah

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

  • 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...

  • 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

  • Screaming Eagle Winery

      Screaming Eagle is a small winery based in Oakville, California. . The 1992 vintage garner...

  • Eagle's Trace

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

  • Joseph Carr

    Joseph Carr wines are produced at Larson Family Vineyards in Carneros, bordering both Napa and So...

  • Bond

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

  • Rockledge Vineyards

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

  • Beaucanon Estate

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

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Napa on Snooth

  • Ramey Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2005


    No written review

    Wine review by Fatsy

  • I have read with some interest many people being somewhat possessive/aggressive ... ... enough to spend time in Napa/Sonoma, Bordeaux, Riems/Epernay and Tuscany.  In  each of these regions I have found no shortage of great wines too drink and enjoy.If family or work takes me to any of the worlds great wine regions I have no doubt I will find m... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Wine Regions

  • Valley of the Moon Pinot Noir Carneros 2002


    No written review

    Wine review by cougar78

  • O'Brien Family Vineyard Merlot 2007


    Yum yum. Chocolate covered coffee beans with a nice un-oaked inky finish. great pairing for stand alone meatballs. Read More

    Wine review by aronowm2

  • Duckhorn Vineyards Red Bordeaux Blend Napa Valley Decoy 2007


    No written review

    Wine review by sharphr

  • Vanité 2006


    No written review

    Wine review by JSCCCC

  • Vanité 2006


    Yep - I've got something to say. I still have 1/2 a dozen bottles of the passion - and I'm going to continue to covet it. Not for sale!But apparently Ill need to add my contact info before it posts. Read More

    Wine review by JSCCCC

  • Vanité 2006


    Vanité offers both style and structure, bursting with lively aromas of cherry, pomegranate and mocha, with plush and layered flavors of wild berry, fresh sage and licorice. Lush and ripe, this is a decadent wine with excellent structure and great complexity. Brenda's maiden vintage, I am looking forward to trying other wines from this promising ... Read More

    Wine review by FlyBoyWakesurf

  • Paraduxx Napa Valley 2006


    The color is dark ruby. The nose and initial flavor is full of heavy tannins and lots of oak. There is no fruit and bitter. The follow-through is rough, has lots of back throat coat and a light mouth feel. This is a decent wine to pair with 'burgers'. Read More

    Wine review by coryhwhite357

  • Chateau Montelena Chardonnay Napa Valley 2005


    Golden yellow color, smells of fruit and citrus. Rounded flavor, not too sharp, not to mellow. Delicious! Read More

    Wine review by megdeweese

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