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...

  • Syrah

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

  • 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...

  • 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

  • Round Hill Vineyards & Cellars

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

  • Irony

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

  • William Hill Winery

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

  • 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...

  • John Anthony Vineyards

    In 1997 John Anthony Truchard began leasing and managing vineyard property with the idea of one d...

  • Bond

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

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Napa on Snooth

  • Starmont Merlot 2012


    From completely unknown to Holy Cow! in one glass. This is absolutely beautiful. Plenty of dark berry fruits with additional plum and dark cherries on the finish. Earthy tones and tomato leaf meld with mellowed tannins and balanced acidity make this really easy to drink. Wonderful wine, great wine making here. Drink or hold - Paul 91 points Read More

    Wine review by rckr1951

  • Girard Old Vine Zinfandel Napa Valley 2012


    Benefited greatly from laying down for the short term. Lush dark berry fruits, briary brush notes, pepper, chocolate lead to a chewy tannin, juicy acidic spiked with a nice pop of alcohol. Drink or hold - decant. Paul 91 points Read More

    Wine review by rckr1951

  • Obsidian Ridge "Estate Grown" Red Hills Cabernet Sauvignon 2012


    One of the few vineyards in the world with a vein of Obsidian running through - thus the name and minerality that shows rather uncharacteristically large in the wine. Add to the black berry and damson plum fruit, chocolate, herbal notes, spice (pepper) a little bit of chewy tannins and good acidity, a medium length aftertaste - this could have l... Read More

    Wine review by rckr1951

  • "OT on a roll..."And it's nor over yet. Saturday my Boy is ... ... ... we are heading over to Napa for a grand opening of a tasting room for Jean Edwards Cellars. Afterwards I think I'll just curl up and die.Oh, EMark, yeah Novy is made by Adam Lee of Siduri. Novy is his Wife's maiden nam Read More

    Forum post in the topic Whatcha drinking tonight?

  •   Whoa.  I truly believe that if you look up "Powerhouse Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon" in the 2016 edition of yur Funk  Wagnall's, you see a picture of this bottle.  What a mouth-filling wine.  A fair amount of fruit--cassis, prunes--on entry.   Then a bit of herbal licorice--like basil--and, then, some dark chocolate.  Then the tannin hits.  ... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Weekend Wines - Post Pictures...

  • About that Rutherford - those were great wines. One of the best values in Napa Cabs IMO. They did a lot of them and they were good. The style has changed now that Rolland is involved - they're bigger and riper so who knows. But good call. And they're still good out of the gate. Another huge production wine like that is Charles Krug. I have no id... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Wines at release and down the...

  • Gloria Ferrer Brut Royal Cuvee 2007


    No written review

    Wine review by Mr Dolce

  • Von Strasser Cabernet Sauvignon Diamond Mountain District 2007


    Earthy, somewhat weedy nose. Standard Cabernet Sauvignon hit of black currant on the tip of the tongue. Then I notice the tanninit seems to swarm over my tongue. Good tartness under the back palate. Very lengthy and satisfying aftertaste. Ive had, maybe, three or four Von Strasser Cabs of various vintages and this may be the best one Ive tried. Read More

    Wine review by EMark

  • Sunday afternoon Sandra and I attended an interesting performance at the ... ... cab from Ladera estate in Napa Valley.  Still young as a 2013, it was now drinking well.  I asked for a decanter which helped it open up a bit.  Our dessert was pecan pie for me and a blue cheese for Sandr Read More

    Forum post in the topic Weekend Wines

  • OT, a most excellent lineup and quite the diversity. We did a Billecart-Salmon ... Cat. This is a non-vintage Napa cab with nice aromatics, loads of ripe black cherry, somewhat grippy tannins and a nice long finish. Very pleased with our initial EMH purchase and will most likely explore more of her other cabs.&nbs Read More

    Forum post in the topic Whatcha drinking tonight?

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