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

  • Zinfandel

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

  • Syrah

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

  • 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...

  • Merlot

    The Occitanian word “merlot” translates to “young blackbird.” An accurate description for this popular, early-budding...

  • Sauvignon Blanc

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

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

  • Bond

    BOND: A stable of Napa Valley thoroughbreds — ultimately six Cabernet-based wines — assembled und...

  • Round Hill Vineyards & Cellars

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

  • 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 ...

  • Hagen Heights Vineyards

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

  • Screaming Eagle Winery

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

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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 Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 1998

    Snoothrank:

    Clear, garnet color with the slightest suggestion of bricking around the edges. Definite black fruit aroma on the nose accompanied by vanilla/oaky bouquet. Currant fruit on the tip of the tongue, but no real secondary flavors. Very much resolved tanning and acid. As I had subsequent tastes with my meal (lamb chops with a Late Harvest Zinfand... Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • V V - That Cotes-du-Rhone wine does look tasty to me, and an excellent pairing ... ... 37.2 CUVEE from Napa Valley.  We all loved the wine and in fact we ordered a second bottle.  This was going to be another expensive dinner!  My prime rib was very big and tasty but I did finish all of it.  Sandra loved her salmon and Rick and I exchanged a ... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Weekend Wines


  • Frank Family Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon 2013

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by jsphgllt


  • Camille Benitah Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 2013

    Snoothrank:

    A recent Naked Wines selection; with this one and a dozen others, I think Naked Wines is getting somewhere...Deep opaque ebony purple in the glass - looking lush and viscous. Opens with thyme roasted cherry, moves on to a blueberry and boysenberry reduced on the stovetop, then an overripe cherry. Full and well balanced tannins and acidity. Finis... Read More

    Wine review by puhnner


  • James it's not an elementary question. Originally oak barrels were used for ... ... in Bordeaux and later Napa, etc.They also realized that if they used newly made barrels, they could get some flavor from the wood itself. In the old days, the barrel was solely for storage, not for flavoring.One of the easiest flavors to synthesize is vanilla. ... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Unoaked vs Oaked Chardonnay


  • Joseph Phelps Insignia 2011

    Snoothrank:

    7/21/15 at Joseph phelps opening. Enjoyed the 11 smooth but felt could age more for a better finish Read More

    Wine review by jrobinson411


  • "Napa Valley Wine & Cigar"I had my first taste of Campesino from them! Now Macario is a customer of mine as well as I being one of his. "Backyard's looking good, OT!"Thanks, we're real close to being done for this project and others. Finished the storage yesterday and put a smooth redwood cap on top of the railing Saturday. Read More

    Forum post in the topic Whatcha drinking tonight?


  • I am nearing three quarters of a century on this planet. I live in the ... ... vineyards in the area- not Napa or Sonoma yet, but improving yearly.I belonged to a wine tasting group here in Big Canoe, but became inactive-they spent more time talking and trying to impress on another than drinking, so I became inactive. They do put on a very nic... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Wine & Scotch Whisky!


  • Charles Krug Sauvignon Blanc Estate Bottled St. Helena Napa Valley 2014

    Snoothrank:

    Fragrant floral aromas of persimmon, honeydew melon, honeysuckle and tangerine. Fairly direct in the mouth, with a creamy mid palate and some candied apple and streaks of peach. Pleasant and approachable. Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial


  • RBA, definitely enjoying reading (and seeing) you wining and dining ... quaff. I have a stash of Napa cabs in the wine fridge but most are still way too young. I've heard and read about the Phelps Insignia but have not yet had the opportunity to taste it. Have you? If you have, how does it compare to the the Phelps you posted?We got back late l... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Weekday Wines


  • 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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