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...

  • 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...

  • Cabernet Sauvignon

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

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

  • John Anthony Vineyards

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

  • Three Thieves

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

  • Round Hill Vineyards & Cellars

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

  • Irony

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

  • Screaming Eagle Winery

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

  • 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

  • Peter Mondavi (Sr.) just passed. Here's a quick overview of the events and ... import of his life in the Napa wine industry.A very different person and legacy than his brother, Robert. Maybe that's why I still continue to choose and drink Charles Krug cab (and other varietals)  with less compunction than I now do with the Mondavi labels. Read More

    Forum post in the topic Peter Mondavi, RIP

  • Al - they're not all that expensive. You could find them in NYC, usually ... Noir. You like Silver Oak Napa. These aren't anything remotely similar.As to whether you seek them out, that's up to you. Having tried a few, I guess there's a lot of good wine around.&nbs Read More

    Forum post in the topic Irancy...A rare and elegant...

  • OT, one down from the top left is 4  ; )While you're grabbing samples ... me) and found this '06 Napa Cab Franc from Smith Wooton. Small producer whose winemaker is from NC.  We had a really fun tasting at the owner/previous head winemakers home a few years back and have been fans ever since.This is fairly dark for 100% cab franc with loads of... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Whatcha drinking tonight?

  • Smith Wooton Cabernet Franc 2006


    Really nice Napa Cab Franc from Smith Wooton. This is fairly dark for 100% cab franc with loads of dark ripe fruit on the nose. Ripe blackberry, a hint of tar and leather, some baking spices, fine grained, fairly resolved tannins, medium acidity and a medium long finish. This paired pretty nicely with a crock pot bbq brisket. Read More

    Wine review by vin0vin0

  • Mending Wall Stone On Stone Napa Valley 2014


    Very pale, just-barely, yellow color. Herbal, grassy nose. Quite fruity on the tip of the tonguetable grapes, melon, pineapple, banana on the rear palatepretty much all over the place. Lots of tart acid gives a refreshing quality and, also, seems to give a spritzy sensation around the edges of the tongue. Read More

    Wine review by EMark

  • Young Inglewood Cabernet Sauvignon St Helena Napa 2012


    Pungent and fruity aromas are quite pronounced and perfumed yet elegant with notes of cherry, raspberry preserves and rose petal. Supple and delicate on entry but developing a warm spice through the mid palate with toasted vanilla notes of ripe berry and cherry. This delivers exceptional purity of red fruit with a bit of powdered sugar notes tow... Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial

  • DMCKER - thanks for your comment. The rating we use isn't questionable ... Cru 90-92 by Burghound2012 Napa Chardonnay 90n points by Wine Advocate2011 Rhone Vacqueyras White Blend 90 Points by Wine Spectator   &nbs Read More

    Forum post in the topic Hello Snooth! - Winecrasher

  • Quivet Cellars Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2012


    Dark purple color. Big noseoaky, vanilla, maybe, a bit of resin. Black currant on the tip of the tongue. Maybe a bit of milk chocolate. Maybe a bit of mint. Green wood and spice mid-palate. Clove on rear palate. Not too pucker tanning. Actually, tannin and acid are controlled and balanced. Incredibly drinkable now, but aging will yield ... Read More

    Wine review by EMark

  • Layer Cake Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 2012


    I love the Layer Cake Malbec, it's absolutely divine. When I saw the Cabernet Sauvignon, I thought I was on to something big. Well, not so, although it's all they say it is as far as tasting notes it leaves a lot to be desired when it comes to depth. It's not bad say with a salami sandwich but I prefer a more robust cab with some structure. Disa... Read More

    Wine review by jamessulis

  • Newman's Own Cabernet Sauvignon 2013


    No written review

    Wine review by doublefantasy

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