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

  • Cabernet Sauvignon

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

  • Merlot

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

  • Chardonnay

    British wine writer and critic, Jancis Robinson, once noted that throughout the 80’s and 90’s in the United States, C...

  • 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...

  • 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

  • Round Hill Vineyards & Cellars

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

  • Stonehedge Winery

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

  • Screaming Eagle Winery

      Screaming Eagle is a small winery based in Oakville, California. . The 1992 vintage garner...

  • John Anthony Vineyards

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

  • Hagen Heights Vineyards

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

  • Three Thieves

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

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Napa on Snooth

  • Joseph Phelps Insignia 2011


    7/21/15 at Joseph phelps opening. Enjoyed the 11 smooth but felt could age more for a better finish Read More

    Wine review by jrobinson411

  • "Napa Valley Wine & Cigar"I had my first taste of Campesino from them! Now Macario is a customer of mine as well as I being one of his. "Backyard's looking good, OT!"Thanks, we're real close to being done for this project and others. Finished the storage yesterday and put a smooth redwood cap on top of the railing Saturday. Read More

    Forum post in the topic Whatcha drinking tonight?

  • I am nearing three quarters of a century on this planet. I live in the ... ... vineyards in the area- not Napa or Sonoma yet, but improving yearly.I belonged to a wine tasting group here in Big Canoe, but became inactive-they spent more time talking and trying to impress on another than drinking, so I became inactive. They do put on a very nic... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Wine & Scotch Whisky!

  • Charles Krug Sauvignon Blanc Estate Bottled St. Helena Napa Valley 2014


    Fragrant floral aromas of persimmon, honeydew melon, honeysuckle and tangerine. Fairly direct in the mouth, with a creamy mid palate and some candied apple and streaks of peach. Pleasant and approachable. Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial

  • RBA, definitely enjoying reading (and seeing) you wining and dining ... quaff. I have a stash of Napa cabs in the wine fridge but most are still way too young. I've heard and read about the Phelps Insignia but have not yet had the opportunity to taste it. Have you? If you have, how does it compare to the the Phelps you posted?We got back late l... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Weekday Wines

  • The Myriad mailing arrived today. So:2013 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon] 2013 Three Twins Vineyard CS 2013 Beckstoffer Vineyard Georges III CS 2014 McGah Family Vineyard Semillon Budget would only allow for 1 X bottle of each.  They also had mags and double-mags on which I also passed. Read More

    Forum post in the topic What have you bought lately?

  • v v, I have never tried an Insignia.  I do have one bottle in my ... ... ... along with several other Napa producers that common folk can actually buy in their local retail store.  Makers like and Groth and Beuhler, for example, put out very good products at very reasonable prices.RBA, I've only seen Liquid Farm in specialty wine stores.  Livi... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Weekday Wines

  • Of course, Greg, Sonoma has some of the best New World PNs. Think I was ... ... still, in that county and Napa, as well as further south. Oregon has its own issues, but also some good PN. I've lusted after the rare-perfected CA pinot for decades, and only had Graff-era Chalone for solace early on (not that all their production was perfect but ... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Pinot Noir throwdown

  • Joseph Phelps Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 2007


    Quite dark color. Fairly volatile nose, but also with strong oak and currant. Very rich on introduction to the tongue and palatelots of black (currant and blackberry) fruit with a strong suggestion of chocolate. Definitely a big, mouth-filling wine. Sweetness may be from the fruit or it may be from the alcohol. Very tame tannin suggests to ... Read More

    Wine review by EMark

  • D - Chardonnay with lobster is perfect. I guess they suggested PN because that ... it comes to some Cabs. In Napa it wasn't considered great but I preferred it to some of the hotter years. I can imagine that the Portfolio might not be in the same super ripe league, so I'm looking forward to trying some others, but that one left little to compl... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Pinot Noir throwdown

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