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

  • 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...

  • Merlot

    The Occitanian word “merlot” translates to “young blackbird.” An accurate description for this popular, early-budding...

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

  • Don Sebastiani & Sons

      To Don Sebastiani and Sons, family is clearly an important aspect of winemaking. While ...

  • Joseph Carr

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

  • Stonehedge Winery

    In 1992, the Shahabi Brothers began producing wines in the small town of St. Helena, situated in ...

  • Three Thieves

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

  • Jessup Cellars

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

  • Irony

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

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Napa on Snooth

  • Mumm Napa Brut Reserve Rose

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by erickafilm


  • Rutherford Hill Cab 2002

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by erickafilm


  • Schug Chardonnay Carneros 2012

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by runningbear


  • Special treat tonight - a very nice 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon from Moone Tsai ... ...  I still think the Napa Valley Silver Oak Cabernet Sauvignon is better though.  Lots of fruit up front but structured tanins.  It has a significant kick with an alcohol level of 15.1% so be prepared....  This wine was highly recommended at our local Total Wine... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Weekday Wines


  • RBA, one other thing, the winery Simonnet Febvre is in Chablis, hence the ... ... on the label, kind of like a Napa winery making a Sonoma Coast chardonnay - you'd see Napa by the winery's name but not as the origin of the grapes. By the way, your post prompted me to open this tonight, '05 Domaine Séguinot-Bordet Chablis. This was a bargain an... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Whatcha drinking tonight?


  • Oberon Napa Merlot 2012

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by petergclark


  • Czarina, would also love to hear your impressions of that Alexander Valley cab! ... Alexander Valley vs their Napa, would like to hear from anyone who has already done tha Read More

    Forum post in the topic Whatcha drinking tonight?


  • Cooper Station Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon Napa

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by mmahon17


  • Stags' Leap Winery Merlot 2010

    Snoothrank:

    Surprised it was a Merlot, full body of a cab. Good structure, well balanced. Had some staying power in the fridge. Was a little dry. Read More

    Wine review by connie7899


  • Nice post 1689608...I'd generally agree with your time line. Just a single ... ... However, I had a '79 Napa Chardonnay recently that may have changed my opinion (it was still good, and passively stored). However, the 70's were different times for California.As for the good European's, etc. they have proven to go decades. Nebbiolo especially, ... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Expiration of Wines


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