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...

  • Zinfandel

    Parentage of the grape: Crljenak to Austria to America. In the 1970s, claims surfaced that the Italian Primitivo is l...

  • 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...

  • 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

  • Irony

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

  • Jessup Cellars

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

  • Round Hill Vineyards & Cellars

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

  • Eagle's Trace

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

  • John Anthony Vineyards

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

  • T-Vine Cellars

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

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Napa on Snooth

  • I did the same as VV on my trip to Sonoma this summer.  We bought a shipper for 10 bucks at one of the wineries we visited and checked it as luggage on our return flight.  It worked great. Read More

    Forum post in the topic Russian River and Napa...

  • Quivet Cellars Tench Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc 2013


    Very fruity noselots of tropical fruits and some lemon. Initial taste verifies thatsomething like pineapple and kiwi fruit, but there is a lemony acid kick towards the back of the palate. Also, towards the back of the palate, there is a definite effervescent sensation. Good wine. Read More

    Wine review by EMark

  • What's that got to do with you, Santa?? Read More

    Forum post in the topic Russian River and Napa...

  • Well, v v, I count 15 bottles.  You seem to have more resraint than I normally have.  I can't remember the last time I left a tasting room with less than 3 or 4 bottles.  On the other hand, I usually don't have to fly my bottles home--just find space in the car.  That does bring up the question, though, of how you did transport these.  Do you ha... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Russian River and Napa...

  • Opus One Red Bordeaux Blend Napa Valley 2009


    Full of rich dark fruits, a beautiful California Cab. Although a bit heavier than I typically enjoy. Read More

    Wine review by acakeandwine

  • Emark, our normal routine is to do the tasting and between us pick out the one or two wines we liked the best.  We try to limit ourselves to two cases total since with our airline we get one checked bag free.  What we've been doing is buying two shipping boxes at one of the first stops and filling them as we go (I've learned to bring packing tap... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Russian River and Napa...

  • Emark, thanks for the kind and encouraging words re: my trip report, it was a tough assignment but someone had to do it.Emeritus, us too!  Count on it.Here's the lineup of wines purchased by day (we also shipped three bottles of Failla and joined the Spring Mtn Wine club with their two bottle fall shipment on its way): Read More

    Forum post in the topic Russian River and Napa...

  • I had such a great time hosting you all!  So glad you enjoyed your trip.  Come back and see us next time you're in RRV!  Read More

    Forum post in the topic Russian River and Napa...

  • No written review

    Forum post in the topic Russian River and Napa...

  • Don't sweat it Mark. When I get to be your age I bet I'll be putting salt in my coffee and and forgetting how to get home.  ;) Read More

    Forum post in the topic Russian River and Napa...

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