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

  • StoneFly Vineyard

    Founded more than a decade ago on a passion for fly-fishing and fine wine, StoneFly Vineyards pro...

  • Bond

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

  • Round Hill Vineyards & Cellars

    Rutherford Wine Company is family owned and managed with a portfolio of wines representing the ri...

  • Screaming Eagle Winery

      Screaming Eagle is a small winery based in Oakville, California. The original 57-acre (23 ...

  • Jade Mountain

    History Since 1988, Jade Mountain has been a pioneer in the production of age-worthy Rhône-style ...

  • CrauforD Wine Co.

    Crauford Wine Company was founded in 2000 by Marilyn Crawford Corley, whose family originated in ...

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Napa on Snooth

  • An Australian leaf from LVMH’s portfolio, the little brother of Moet ... ... with Domaine Chandon in the Napa Valley, but they have the same parents anyway. Domaine Chandon does benefit from French winemakers coming over to be involved in vintage. The winery produces both still and sparkling wines, but it is for the latter that it is best know... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Domaine Chandon, Yarra...

  • Schug Carneros Pinot Noir 2010


    Bright, fruity, cherry nose with an overall light and sweet taste with some acid. Great as a drinking wine or served with a spicier dish - worked great with a tikka masala. Acidic enough to handle some spice and evens out flavors. Would drink again! Read More

    Wine review by laebrown

  • Girard Winery Artistry Napa Valley 2003


    Big nose does not forecast the very pleasant soft, smooth introduction to the palate. Somewhat sweet red berry flavorsmaybe some red plum--are subtle enough to distract. Some hints of clove spice. Still some stiff tannins found at the back of the palate. A very easy to drink. I wish I had more of this one. Read More

    Wine review by EMark

  • Conn Creek Cabernet Sauvignon 2011


    No written review

    Wine review by gmb468

  • Saddleback Cellars "rancher's Red" 2011


    ok Read More

    Wine review by calywa

  • Stags' Leap Winery Petite Sirah 2011


    Enjoyable, rich wine. Not sure it is worth the price though. Read More

    Wine review by calywa

  • Ravenswood Dickerson Zinfandel Napa Valley 2003


    Fairly big brambly nose. Quite fruity introduction to the palatedark berries, a bit of peach and, definitely, fig. However, I would not characterize this one as jammy. Noticeable heatmid- to rear palate--indicates to me that it has peakedi.e., disintegration that I have noticed in stored wines is starting and, so, the alcohol is noticeable. T... Read More

    Wine review by EMark

  • Alma Sol Winery Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 2010


    A hot bed of rainbow red fruits on the nose. Ripe plums sprinkled with coconut shavings and black licorice bits fill the palate. This wine is a terrific expression of the fruity, jammy side of the Cabernet grape. Read More

    Wine review by Claudia Angelillo

  • Cakebread Chardonnay Napa Valley 2012


    No written review

    Wine review by mikeg325

  • Bandit Merlot 2009


    No written review

    Wine review by MichaelProcton

  • Nice picture of a half-drunk bottle of Dolce. I had a chance to try that this past weekend. It's pretty amazing stuff, expensive though.

    Comment by 77280Adam Levin 77280 Adam Levin

  • Hey Mike - glad to have you involved, looking forward to staying in the loop on Napa developments

    Comment by 1Philip James 1 Philip James

  • New image uploaded to this page.

    Page modification by 122460queenie nyc 122460 queenie nyc

  • Totally undiscovered by me when I first came to the US, but over time I've really taken a liking to the big napa cabs with their notes of eucalyptus and bell pepper.

    Comment by 1Philip James 1 Philip James

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