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

  • Sauvignon Blanc

    Sauvignon Blanc is widely grown in California -- at over 15,000 acres, it’s now the third most planted variety -- and...

  • Syrah

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

  • 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...

  • 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

  • Sola

    Sola tries to produce the best quality 'varietally correct' Calif and sub-appellations wines po...

  • Beaucanon Estate

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

  • Jessup Cellars

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

  • Three Thieves

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

  • Michael Pozzan Winery

    Michael Pozzan Winery is owned and operated by Michael and Mary Ann Pozzan, both natives of Calif...

  • 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

  • DV - Don't waste your breath - they post and go. Read More

    Forum post in the topic Keenan Winery - The Best...

  • Public Service Announcement?The "best" winery in Napa.  That's quite a bold declaration.  Can you tell me if this is your opinion, or can you provide some substantive facts to support the claim?  We know you've been posting notices like this regularly and go largely ignored.Hendry is the best winery in Napa. Read More

    Forum post in the topic Keenan Winery - The Best...

  • The history of Keenan Winery started over 40 years ago. It is located high above the lovely Napa Valley, at the top of the Spring Mountain District. Bought by Robert Keenan in 1974, the estate is historic, once housing another winery before it fell into shambles after Prohibition. Keenan restored the historic stone winery for visitors to appreci... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Keenan Winery - The Best...

  • Prepping some BV Tapestry, Scherrer chardonnay and a couple mags of Roederer ... ... Looking to pull a couple Napa cabs to go with the beef.Anybody doing anything special for New Year's Ev Read More

    Forum post in the topic Whatcha drinking tonight?

  • Spring Mountain Vineyard Estate Bottled Spring Mountain District Cabernet Sauvignon 2005


    Dark, almost maroon color. Old nosesomewhat fungal. WHOA. Nothing subtle about this wine. A big mouthful. Stewed prunes, tobacco, slate. Then some still very serious tannins. I dont think there are enough years in my lifetime for this one too settle down. Im glad I opened it up, tonight. A great wine. Read More

    Wine review by EMark

  • That sounds nice.  We'll bring a red and a white wine to my wife's ... ... and a red from Duckhorn (Napa).In fact, I just went to our wine cellar and brought up the two bottles.  The white goes into the fridge now and the red sits on the counter.  Tonight we are heading into Washington DC to celebrate our 34th wedding anniversary.  This time we... Read More

    Forum post in the topic What are you serving for...

  • Sterling Vineyards Blanc de Blancs Napa Valley 2016


    Refreshing lemon zest aromas with hints of grapefruit and a light toast. In the mouth this is intriguing with equal parts fresh fruit and spicy acidity. Peach and apricot with creamy texture and a bold, zesty zip of citrus fruit pave the way for a mellow toasted hazelnut finish. Pleasantly balanced and refreshing yet bold and assertive. Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial

  • Keenan Merlot 2013


    Keenan Merlots seem to taste like baby Cabs. I get some cassis, but, frankly, not a lot of fruit, here and some leather from this one. Surprisingly moderate tannin compared to what I have experienced with previous vintages of this bottling. I suspect that they augmented Spring Mountain estate grapes with more than usual Valley floor or Carner... Read More

    Wine review by EMark

  •  I swear, this wine is like a "baby Cabernet Sauvignon."  I ... chocolate.  The Keenan Napa Valley bottling often has VERY SERIOUS tannin, but this one has much more sedate tannin.  That suggests to me that the source of many (more than ususal) of the grapes that went into this bottling came from the Carneros rather than the estate Spring Mount... Read More

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

  • Tuck Beckstoffer Estate Amulet Red Blend Napa 2014


    Dark purple fruit aromas of blackberry preserve, black currant and plum with soft earth. This is bold and drying on the palate with thick, commanding tannins that sink into the tongue, laying down a thick coating of earth and spice that at first obscures a bit of the fruit, until bold fruit blueberry, black currant and licorice burst onto the pa... Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial

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