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

  • 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...

  • Cabernet Sauvignon

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

  • Zinfandel

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

  • 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...

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

  • Eagle's Trace

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

  • Jade Mountain

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

  • Hagen Heights Vineyards

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

  • 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...

  • William Hill Winery

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

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Napa on Snooth

  • Terra Valentine Cabernet Sauvignon 2013

    Snoothrank:

    At Noah's Read More

    Wine review by gmb468


  • Buoncristiani O.P.C. Napa Valley Proprietary Red Wine 2010

    Snoothrank:

    Brooding dark color. Woody, earthy nose. Cabernet power is really toned down in this. While the initial taste sensation has dustiness that I associate with Cabernet Sauvignon, there is much more blackberry fruit than Cabernet currant. Definitely, sweet sensation on the tip of the tongue. As the wine flows back, though, that sweet sensation ... Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • Duckhorn Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley Estate Grown 2011

    Snoothrank:

    Good but chalky on the finish Read More

    Wine review by runningbear


  • RBA, GregT, great lead in for my post. We did a little side by side last night ... The US contender was this Napa based Chateau Montelena and the foreigner was the Mosel Spatlese. Consensus was the Montelena came out fractions ahead with just a bit more complexity on the nose and on the palate. The Spatlese was on the dry side but you could de... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Thursday (possibly into and...


  • I should say that we've only been interested in collecting wine in a wine ... have ever tasted was made in Napa Valley (Barnett). The issue of over-paying for wines in a wine club has come up before.  I think it was OT that stated you should just get on their mailing lists so you hear about limited productions, special offers, etc.  At some wi... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Thursday (possibly into and...


  • Ramey Hyde Vineyard Carneros-Napa Chardonnay 2009

    Snoothrank:

    Lots of fruit flavor on introduction to the palatemelon, pineapple, and, as the wine moves farther back, lemon. A very round and quite full-bodied wine. Tartness keeps it refreshing. Oak is most noticeably apparent in the vanilla aftertaste. I REALLY like this one. Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • EM - Ok, but the bet is only for $5.00; we'll determine if we have cut back ... ... visit both Somona and Napa on the same trips and that includes eating food in both areas.  You are right about the number of great eating establishments.  We do eat locally too, but the really good restaurants near us are in Washington DC.  We avoid the concern... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Thursday (possibly into and...


  • Why drive?  Fox and I were hammered when we were in Napa (just kidding...)DM, you're right.  I don't have a cellar, but a collection.  I didn't say I'm aging them.  I don't have Bordeaux!When I say collecting, I'm talking mostly BC reds that aren't easy to obtain.  Typically you have to be on the winery's list, or go there.  Once in a while, a l... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Thursday Wine Discussions


  • Oh come on, I'm not being tough at all. Just realistic. Sonoma is 1,800 ... ... Saying when I'm in Napa I'll just hit Sonoma for dinner can be problematic.The restaurant thing is an easy one for me. With the wealth of dining riches out here there is no reason to drive an hour or more to eat. If you are in Napa you are in Napa, not Sonoma. I k... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Thursday Wine Discussions


  • OT,in Al's defense, I don't think I really matters whether it's in Napa or Sonoma as he'll likely be in both counties.However, I'm totally behind you about the BYO thingy.  Al's accumulating wine faster than he drinks it.  That is a SIN.  For the life of me I cannot build beyond my 90+/-  bottles.  I drink some and replace some, but those are co... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Thursday Wine Discussions


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