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

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 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...

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

  • T-Vine Cellars

    We are a very small winery located off the beaten path in Calistoga, behind the owner - winemaker...

  • Don Sebastiani & Sons

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

  • William Hill Winery

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

  • Hagen Heights Vineyards

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

  • Beaucanon Estate

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

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Napa on Snooth

  • Well, the example that comes most quickly to mind is VJB Cellars. Since I moved ... charged for a tasting. Some Napa wineries are now charging $50–$100 just for a tasting—places like Odette and Chimney Rock Read More

    Forum post in the topic Searching for a Resonable...

  • Yes, of course. That's a fair point. Often, as you say, the most ... from the heart of the Napa Valley) spend far more than they need to on unnecessary extras and then tack the cost of doing that onto the price of their wines.I lived in Tokyo for nearly 20 years. While living there, I drank mostly European wines. When I moved to California, I t... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Searching for a Resonable...

  • I remember that video. He did a good job.But as to clearance - as a New Yorker, ... ... what they go with. In Napa if they didn't charge for tasting, they'd have nothing to sell. Napa pioneered wine tourism, so they're better at it than most. In Bordeaux they're pushing it and sooner or later in Burgundy they'll have Napa-like congestion and c... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Searching for a Resonable...

  • The '14 is singing right now EMark, nice find. Good thing your wager was ... Feather, Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley 2014 Waterfall, Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast 2014 Le Petit Vice, Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley    And... {{{{drumroll please}}}} I check my email during the 4th quarter and I have a message from ACME. 3rd quarter winner! So my $2... Read More

    Forum post in the topic What have you bought lately?

  • That wine is a pretty decent wine. As to whether the wine really needed air, ... of discretion. So someone in Napa can be raving about the wine he picked up at Costco like my uncle used to, whereas someone in NYC would never see that wine in their Costco. If it's a really small amount, most people in Napa wouldn't either.Costco sells a lot of ... Read More

    Forum post in the topic introductory questions

  • Just picked up our Spring 2017 delivery from Barnett Vineyards in Napa.  I guess it will be a few years before Sandra moves these to my racks where they can be accessed... Read More

    Forum post in the topic What have you bought lately?

  • Balnaves are a well known Coonawarra producer - 3rd or 4th Generation family ... different to Bordeaux and Napa but probably closest to a good 4th to 5th growth St Julien but don't hold me to close on that compariso Read More

    Forum post in the topic Whatcha drinking tonight?

  • Turnbull Cabernet Sauvignon Oakville 2007


    Nice light hit of fruit on entrytypical cab cassis and, also, some red fruit and Im thinking plum. Noticeable tannin, although, for the most part Im saying that the years of sideways have tamed tannin quite a bit. A bit of dustiness mid-palate. Something of a sour or bitter tinge on the rear palate. Nothing to be concerned about, though. Ta... Read More

    Wine review by EMark

  • OK Amour, I too love to have fun with wine.  Tomorrow evening we're ... sirloins and doing a 2012 Napa vs Sonoma cab tasting.  How's that for FUN?  Hopefully I'll be able to report back on the outcome on Monda Read More

    Forum post in the topic HAVING SERIOUS FUN WITH OUR...

  • Just came back from the Union des Grands Crus tasting, which included most of ... ... to be. It's now more Napa-like, with clean fruit.Overall I kind of liked Pauillac. Some of the other wines were a little hollow, some just not impressive. Cantemerle wasn't too impressive. It can be good in some years, like 1996 and 2000, but I think you can ... Read More

    Forum post in the topic 2014 Bordeaux

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