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 (www.grapevinestudios.blogspot.com).

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Popular wines made in Napa under $20

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Varietals Produced in Napa View all

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 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...

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

  • Scarecrow

    T H E S C A R E C R O W S T O R Y The Scarecrow story begins in a patch of earth with a fabled p...

  • Round Hill Vineyards & Cellars

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

  • Jade Mountain

    History Since 1988, Jade Mountain has been a pioneer in the production of age-worthy Rhône-style ...

  • Three Thieves

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

  • Beaucanon Estate

    Situated in beautiful Napa Valley, on the historic Longwood Ranch, Beaucanon Estate reflects the ...

  • Rockledge Vineyards

    High on the eastern slopes of Napa Valley just south of the town of St. Helena is a saddle covere...

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Napa on Snooth

  • Today I attended one of my favorite tastings of the year, the Taste Napa Valley tour, where I tasted no lessthan 65 great to wonderful wines, mostly King Cabernet himself. I have listed the high lights of the day here. More will follow. 2005 Cornerstone Cabernet Sauvignon Napa- Gorgeous fruit forward with a lush mouth feel. Dense currant with...

    Comment by 125081Mike Pobega 125081 Mike Pobega


  • Merryvale Starmont Chardonnay 2013

    Snoothrank:

    very good balance of fruits and spices. a bit toasty, which adds to the intrigue. good! Read More

    Wine review by Dennis Lim


  • In Piemonte, esp Barolo DOCG, nebbiolo is "only" grown on south ... ... something that happened in Napa with the valley floor being taken over by vines in places that used to be fruit orchards, including locations that were too hot then and much too hot now.  It's happening up by OT where apple orchards are being uprooted and vines planted.  T... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Dinner in Oakland, Saturday 7/23


  • Retro Cellars Petite Sirah Howell Mountain Old Vine 2009

    Snoothrank:

    Dark plum color in the glasswell duh, its Petite Sirah. Nose suggests plum, but the color may have subverted my nose. Light fruit on entrycurrant, blackberryvery light fruit. Some tarriness under mid-palate. Quite light on tannin and acid. I guess I could describe it as balanced since no one dimension dominates. Very easy on the rear palate... Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • Andronicus Sauvignon Blanc

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by tjjm


  • Know just what you mean DM, we had one of the best lunches ever ... at Domaine Chandon in Napa a couple years back. It didn't hurt that a really good friend worked for them at the time and comp'd us $100 on the lunch. We still had to put down about $50 on top of that but it was worth every penny. They paired either bubbles or wine with each cou... Read More

    Forum post in the topic "Whatever happened to..."


  • Sneak peek at the '14 Myriad Napa Valley. Lots of ripe dark fruit, rich palate, good acidity, heavy oak component. Needs time to integrate and soften a bit. Very very good and a huge quality value play for a $60 Napa Cab.  Read More

    Forum post in the topic Whatcha drinking tonight?


  • Thoma Coyne made wine in the LV and seemed like the best prospect, but they ... ... since we could get to Napa in only a little more time. Wente is a clone of Chardonnay now, more respected than the winery, The winery is known as much for its concert series in summer, its golf course, and the like as for wine.  However, the Wente family still... Read More

    Forum post in the topic "Whatever happened to..."


  • The Inaugural R Collection Cabernet Sauvignon 2014

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by LetUsTaste


  • Stag's Leap Wine Cellars Sauvignon Blanc Aveta 2014

    Snoothrank:

    Had this with dinner at Savoy last evening. I don't drink Sauvignon Blancs very often, but for this dinner, asked the Waitperson to choose a glass of wine or Bourbon for each of 3 courses. Pleasantly surprised with this one, paired with a Salad Special with Butter Lettuce, Bacon, & Gorgonzola. Very well balanced, smooth, and more body than I exp... Read More

    Wine review by puhnner


  • Hess Allomi Cabernet Sauvignon 2013

    Snoothrank:

    Fairly oaky nose. Candy sweet on introductionblackberry, big time. Some dark plum hints. Some earthiness. Very sedate tannin, although it does pop up on the rear palate. Quite a short finish. The candied fruit on entry discourages me from going back for more of this one. Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • Every time I visit Napa I have a great time. Make sure you plan ahead though. The options can be overwhelming!

    Comment by 321328cablecars 321328 cablecars


  • Recently had a Darioush Duel Cabernet/Shiraz blend 2005 I bought it at the vineyard and it was wonderful Mmmmm

    Comment by 250806Grape Goddess 250806 Grape Goddess


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    Page modification by 125081Mike Pobega 125081 Mike Pobega


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