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

  • Sauvignon Blanc

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

  • Zinfandel

    Parentage of the grape: Crljenak to Austria to America. In the 1970s, claims surfaced that the Italian Primitivo is l...

  • Cabernet Sauvignon

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

  • Syrah

    The irony here is that Syrah’s origins could give Carmen Sandiego a run for her international wallet. Syrah’s deepest...

  • 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...

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

  • Rockledge Vineyards

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

  • Screaming Eagle Winery

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

  • Sola

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

  • Beaucanon Estate

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

  • StoneFly Vineyard

    Founded more than a decade ago on a passion for fly-fishing and fine wine, StoneFly Vineyards pro...

  • Eagle's Trace

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

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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

  • Heitz Cabernet Napa Valley 2006


    Outstanding. Read More

    Wine review by Sonwil

  • Boeschen Vineyards Carrera Red Blend Napa 2014


    Creamy black currant and blackberry aromas with vanilla, clean and deceptively light while still being aromatic. On the palate this is juicy, smooth and textured with a sweet baking spice backbone, vanilla and butter notes, a touch of leather, licorice and cinnamon spice, bold black cherry, blackberry and black currant fruit and a harmonious mid... Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial

  • Hall Cabernet Sauvignon 2013


    Something of a yeasty nose. Subdued black fruit on entry. Slight sensation of bitterness, which actually seems to enhance the experience. Solid tannin and acid suggest that this wine can lay sideways a bit longer. Read More

    Wine review by EMark

  • Ghost Pines Cabernet Sauvignon Winemaker's Blend California 2014


    Classic black currant and blackberry jam aromas with light flowers, soft clay and earth notes. This is full and rich on the palate, approachable and clean through the mid palate with juicy black cherry, blackberry preserve and black currant notes, soft spice and chewy tannins coming through on the finish while black fruit continues to wash throu... Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial

  • Ehlers Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2014


    Had at Stone Creek Read More

    Wine review by gmb468

  • Mark, if you haven't already, next time you're in Napa set up a tasting with Carole Meredith & Steve Lagier.  You taste at their house on top of Mt. Veeder overlooking their vineyards. Great people, great wines and one of the most educational wine experiences I've ever had, oh yeah, the view doesn't suck either.On another note, we were invited t... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Whatcha drinking tonight?

  • Lagier-Meredith Syrah 2011


    Nicely sedate levels of dark fruit on entry. Equally nice levels of structural tannin and acid. Very much full-bodied. Very pleasant, albeit brief, aftertaste. Interestingly, alcohol burn sensation lingers on the tongue for several seconds after swallowing. My little gripe notwithstanding, I think this is a well-made, savory wine that is easy... Read More

    Wine review by EMark

  • Titus Zinfandel 2014


    Very pretty blue/purple in the glass. Red fruit on entryraspberry, a bit of cherry. Then, some good tannin. Good. This wine has backbone. Not as rustic as a DCV Zin, but, certainly, not a wimp. Probably, not a good match for an elegant dinner, but winner, winner with a more casual meal. Read More

    Wine review by EMark

  • Emblem Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 2014


    Milk chocolate and red currant preserve aromas with clove and cinnamon spice, black cherry, savory earth and blueberry on the nose. Medium plus body in the mouth with loads of character and fresh fruit flavors of cherry, blackberry and black currant, tart acidity adding another dimension and plum fruit riding through to the dense finish of choco... Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial

  • Silverado Cabernet Sauvignon 2013


    Dark cherry color. Nose of dark fruit. Very gentle entry--blackberry, cassis, maybe, black plum. Somewhat uncomplicated. VERY mild on tannin and acid. 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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