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...

  • Cabernet Sauvignon

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

  • Chardonnay

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

  • 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...

  • Sauvignon Blanc

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

Subregions of Napa

  • Carneros

    Los Carneros- The first AVA one comes to as one splits off the Napa Vallejo Highway and takes rou...

  • Stag's 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...

  • 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...

  • Joseph Carr

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

  • Screaming Eagle Winery

      Screaming Eagle is a small winery based in Oakville, California. The original 57-acre (23 ...

  • Jessup Cellars

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

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Napa on Snooth

  • Gee thanks guys! Today as been fun. First I stopped at Envy to see Mike, he was ... all his '12 Myriad Cabs. Napa Valley, Three Twins, Beckstoffer Georges III, Beckstoffer Dr Crane and Dr Crane Reserve "Elysian". Great stuff there. Notes are on my phone, I'll post them later.Then I had to work, booooooo. But only for a few hours. Then. I cam ho... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Whatcha drinking tonight?

  • "one of them they thought Bourgueil was in Italy.."That's only fair:  I was called for jury service last summer, and who did I wind up sitting next to in the waiting room but a young sommelier who worked as an assistant somm at Meadowood.  We got to talking about wines and I said that the Bay Area has a really limited selection of Italian wines.... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Bourgueil vs. Chinon: Paging...

  • Sorry Greg, I shouldn't go posting so late. Here it is, the Wine ConnectionThey score a little better on the Chinon scale at 7 wines, 4 producers. Found this place by searching 2011 Marcarini Barbera. Enjoyed it at a restaurant recently and they're one of the few to have it stateside. Read More

    Forum post in the topic Bourgueil vs. Chinon: Paging...

  • Not frequenting! I don't want to be a jerk and knock them. Maybe they're doing the best they can. The manager/owner has to work on her social skills though. She's not particularly welcoming. Just a perfunctory "can I help you?" and no further engagement.She demonstrates no passion at all, which is kind of deadly. Maybe there's no market. So what... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Bourgueil vs. Chinon: Paging...

  • Jon - Ultimate Wine is in New Jersey. I know them pretty well. They always have a selection of free-shipping wines. They're about 20 minutes south of Wine Library. Lots of wine stores near them about fifteen, twenty minutes. But doing the tasting somewhere non-virtual is a splendid idea.I don't know, maybe I'll take a long drive one day soon. Wi... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Bourgueil vs. Chinon: Paging...

  • I forgot to give you the other San Diego store...this one actually looks to have a bigger selection. 4 Chinon's compared to 1, wow. Ultimate WineWith San Diego lacking in diversity, maybe we should just get together and taste in OC or LA?   Read More

    Forum post in the topic Bourgueil vs. Chinon: Paging...

  • Went back today. She's having a tasting of Hungarian wines. But she doesn't have any. So she's buying some for the tasting. I told her that if she gives me 2 weeks I'd do the tasting for her. No idea what she's going to taste and I know for certain that she doesn't know anything about the country or the wines. But oh well.Reason I went is becaus... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Bourgueil vs. Chinon: Paging...

  • Aspara Syrah Carneros las Madres Vineyard 2011


    Oh boy, this wine is so velvety. It slides over the tongue so easily. It's not until the back edges of the tongue that I can detect fruit--and, at that, there are subtle hints of flavors, not "in your face" blasts--blueberry is the most noticeable fruit. There are also some floral--violets--hints. Very nice acid. Negligible tannin. Winner,... Read More

    Wine review by EMark

  • Domaine Carneros Pinot Noir Carneros 2007


    I joined the chateau society excited to get my bubbly each month, but then they sent THIS amazing Pinot. Amazing! Read More

    Wine review by ilyanshe

  • I'm no expert on Loire reds, but I confess to liking them a lot and drinking them more often than the average West Coast wine drinker.  My own take is that the quality level for both Chinon and Bourgueil (and St. Nicholas de Bourg) is pretty dependent on the maker.  Prices for Bourgueil (wait for huge generalization) are just a tad lower because... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Bourgueil vs. Chinon: Paging...

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