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...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • Chardonnay

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

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

  • Joseph Carr

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

  • John Anthony Vineyards

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

  • Irony

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

  • Eagle's Trace

    All great wines have a sense of place. The French call it terroir - the site, the soil and the cl...

  • Michael Pozzan Winery

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

  • 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

  • Happy birthday, Paul.The consensus here in the Snoothosphere is that 2006 was very, very good to Napa Valley.  Read More

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

  • Oberon Merlot Napa Valley 2015


    2017 Wine Spectator Top 100 #77 Read More

    Wine review by Mr Dolce

  • What a difference a vintage makes. I just participated in an unusual ... wine ... wine tasting set up by the Napa Valley Vintners as part of their Premiere Napa Valley promotional event and auction.The years were 2002, 2003 and 2004, from 12 representative wineries up and down the valley. To me it confirmed that 2003 is an excellent vintage wi... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Top 13 Cabernet Wine Tasting...

  • Trader Joe's Platinum Reserve Meritage 2013


    Awesome wine, but I can't recognize 5 years here. Surprisingly soft and silky (but not too smooth or watery) - has some structure: fresh plums, candied cranbaris, very light berberis maybe. Light oak and minerality come at the end. Read More

    Wine review by ApelsecS

  • Becklyn Sauvignon Blanc Mcgah Vineyard 2016


    Very herbal nose. Not so much on the tongue. On the tongue there is the grapefruit sensation that seems to be endemic with most SBs, but, thankfully there are other flavor sensations that add to the experience: definitely, some tropical fruitpineappleand, also, some slate. Nice acid provides refreshing crispness. Read More

    Wine review by EMark

  • AL - Since this thread usually gets your attention.... I received my Wine ... ... -  The Duckhorn Merlot Napa Valley Three Palms Vineyards 2014 - is that in your library?  Pa Read More

    Forum post in the topic Current thoughts on our...

  • I suppose this is another example of how and where not to store wine. Hesitated ... ... in the recent Sonoma and Napa fires.. Read More

    Forum post in the topic How not to store wine

  • Boy, I leave guys unattended for a little while and you get all testy with each ... ... grow good Pinot Noir in Napa Valley because it’s too warm. Putting Napa on the label would reduce the value.Re: LP, reviews are thoughts about the experience. I see from the review that he did not like the wine and felt it was grossly overpriced. With a nam... Read More

    Forum post in the topic What have you bought lately?

  • Liparita 'V Block' Yountville Cabernet Sauvignon 2012


    Lots of blue in the color moves it away from red. Very little fruit on entrysome blueberry, some cassis. Maybe I would describe it as dried fruitplumwithout sweetness. More savoriness than I normally get in CS. Tannins are quite stiff. Read More

    Wine review by EMark

  • So basically LP didn't like that wine.  "Muddy meh flavors" ... Pinot Noir grapes came from Napa Valley, but they won't say which winer Read More

    Forum post in the topic What have you bought lately?

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