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...

  • Sauvignon Blanc

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

  • 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...

  • 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

  • Screaming Eagle Winery

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

  • Beaucanon Estate

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

  • Eagle's Trace

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

  • Rockledge Vineyards

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

  • John Anthony Vineyards

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

  • Hagen Heights Vineyards

    As the French are fond of saying the quality begins with the very specific terroir or soils and w...

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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

  • Mending Wall  1 X 2012 Napa Valley CS1 X 2013 Napa Valley CS 2 X 2014 Mortar and Stone (Zin/PS Blend)I passed on the 2014 PS.  If any of my SnoothI gurus tell I made a mistake, there, I may go back to the well, later. Read More

    Forum post in the topic What have you bought lately?

  • Really to find about the '86 Ravenswood.  Just got a T-Vine 2012 Napa Valley Petite Sirah...just in time for our 3rd Annual P.S. I Love You Night, will be hosting the 9th Annual Pinot Envy night.   Read More

    Forum post in the topic What have you bought lately?

  • Al, I could be wrong but 100 pt wines are predominantly Napa Cabs, where the reviewers (Parker, Galloni, Spectator) tend to get a little carried away. It's a different ballgame for European wines like these, which are generally held to a much higher standard (graded tougher).I know the Sauzet Batard Montrachet I'm bringing is a 98+ according to ... Read More

    Forum post in the topic High Impact Burgundy, Barolo...

  • We will be in the state of Washington and then briefly in Oregon from the 4th ... the time to drive down to Napa / Sonoma for another stay at that Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Sp Read More

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

  • Orin Swift Cellars "The Prisoner" Napa Valley Red Blend 2008


    91 points. Well done with black fruit, dark cherry, spice (pepper), herbal and earthy tone underly anise, solid tannins (not big) and acidity that frame well. Great effort here. Drink now - Paul Read More

    Wine review by rckr1951

  • Buehler Vineyards Napa Valley Zinfandel 2012


    Fairly light for a Buehler but then the '12 wasn't the best for several Zin producers. Some dark and red berry fruits, spice, plum and herbal notes. Better than before - 88 pts - drink now - Paul Read More

    Wine review by rckr1951

  • Had a couple of zins watching the game - tonight it's the Badgers vs. ... ... ... it.) and a 2012 Buehler Napa Valle Read More

    Forum post in the topic Whatcha drinking tonight?

  • Hi everyone! I am looking to sell this wine but am having a hard time ... ... ... Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley.  They seem to be in mint condition as well. I have two bottles of these.If anyone is interested, please let me know. Or if you know of anywhere or anything i can do to sell this, that would be great.   Thanks!  &nbs Read More

    Forum post in the topic I need help finding a buyer/...

  • Cline Syrah Los Carneros Estate Grown 2013


    Muted, musky nose. Pretty big hit of fruit is initial taste sensationred plum, maybe, even peach, a slight citrus suggestion. Very big suggestion of sweetness. A very serious pucker factor from tannin. Tannin really helps because it gives the wine a more rustic characteristic that pushes aside the industrial, made to appeal to sweet wine dri... Read More

    Wine review by EMark

  • Ramspeck Pinot Noir 2013


    Was very smooth. Full bodied. Read More

    Wine review by Jem95

  • 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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