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

  • 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...

  • 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

  • Irony

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

  • Sola

    Sola tries to produce the best quality 'varietally correct' Calif and sub-appellations wines po...

  • Hagen Heights Vineyards

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

  • Jessup Cellars

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

  • Rockledge Vineyards

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

  • Three Thieves

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

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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


  • Terlato Family Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon 2013

    Snoothrank:

    578 cases of this offering were produced. In addition to Cabernet Sauvignon (80%), some Merlot (18%), and Cabernet Franc (2%) were blended in. Black raspberry, cassis and bits of leather inform the nose. The palate is stuffed with blackberry, raspberry and more. Black tea, dried cherries and spices fill out the long, generous finish. Read More

    Wine review by Gabe Sasso


  • Taylor Family Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2013

    Snoothrank:

    This offering is composed of 100% Cabernet Sauvignon. Toast, black fruits and hints of dark chocolate are evident on the nose. The palate is stuffed with blackberry, roasted chicory, vanilla bean, and cassis. Bits of kirsch are evident on the finish along with dried cranberry and a sprinkling of mineral notes. Good luck putting this down once yo... Read More

    Wine review by Gabe Sasso


  • Steltzner Vineyards Martini Clone Cabernet Sauvignon 2013

    Snoothrank:

    This is 100% Cabernet from the Martini Clone. A mere 156 cases of this beauty were produced. Red plum, cherry and Raspberry and aromas burst from the nose. The palate is stuffed with refreshing raspberry and red cherry notes. Coffee, bakers spices, dusty cocoa and minerals are all in evidence on the lengthy finish. Firm, gripping tannins and rac... Read More

    Wine review by Gabe Sasso


  • Stag's Leap Wine Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Fay Vineyard 2013

    Snoothrank:

    This is 100% Cabernet, entirely sourced from the Fay Vineyard. Dark violet aromas are evident along with plum and blackberry. The full-bodied plate is studded with blueberry, blackberry, spices and more. Bits of cherry peak through on the finish along with earth and continued spice notes. Delicious today itll improve over the next decade and dri... Read More

    Wine review by Gabe Sasso


  • Stags' Leap Winery the Leap Estate Grown Cabernet Sauvignon 2013

    Snoothrank:

    This is composed entirely of Cabernet Sauvignon. Each year winemaker Christophe Paubert selects the best barrels of Cabernet to assemble this wine. Black cherry and currant aromas dominate the nose. The palate is stuffed with an astounding array of fresh red fruit flavors tinged with black; Cherry, raspberry and blackberry to name a few. Continu... Read More

    Wine review by Gabe Sasso


  • Silverado Vineyards Solo Cabernet Sauvignon 2013

    Snoothrank:

    This is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon from their Silverado Heritage Clone. Black cherry and hints of blackberry are evident on the nose. Plum, red cherry, spices and a core of minerals drive the well-rounded palate. Continued spices, tobacco, sage and reverberating dried red fruit flavors are all present on the persistent finish. Read More

    Wine review by Gabe Sasso


  • Shafer Cabernet Sauvignon One Point Five 2013

    Snoothrank:

    This is 99% Cabernet Sauvignon with a tiny dollop (1%) of Petit Verdot blended in. The fruit comes from a combination of their hillside vineyard and the Borderline Vineyard about 2 miles south of the facility. Red and black cherry aromas are joined by hints of thyme. The palate is robust and beefy with continuing cherry flavors as well as black ... Read More

    Wine review by Gabe Sasso


  • Robinson Family Vineyards Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2013

    Snoothrank:

    A mere 119 cases of this Estate Cabernet Sauvignon were bottled. Black fruit aromas are joined by wisps of fennel and black pepper. Blackberry, cherry and hints of Bay leaf dominate the dense palate. Minerals, earth, cocoa and black tea are all present on the lengthy finish. Mouthwatering acid and solid tannins provide excellent bones for aging.... Read More

    Wine review by Gabe Sasso


  • Regusci Winery Cabernet Sauvignon 2013

    Snoothrank:

    This is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon sourced from the oldest block on their ... ... 15-20 years. This is classic Napa Cabernet Sauvignon at its bes Read More

    Wine review by Gabe Sasso


  • Pine Ridge Cabernet Sauvignon Stags Leap District 2013

    Snoothrank:

    This is entirely Cabernet Sauvignon sourced from among Pine Ridges 47 Stags Leap acres. Red cherry and strawberry aromas are supported by hints of black fruit and savory herbs on the convivial nose. The palate is loaded with both red and black cherry flavors as well as bits of raspberry, black pepper and a touch of crème fraiche. Dried mission f... Read More

    Wine review by Gabe Sasso


  • 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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