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...

  • Cabernet Sauvignon

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

  • Merlot

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

  • 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...

  • 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

  • StoneFly Vineyard

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

  • 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...

  • Screaming Eagle Winery

      Screaming Eagle is a small winery based in Oakville, California. The original 57-acre (23 ...

  • Jade Mountain

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

  • CrauforD Wine Co.

    Crauford Wine Company was founded in 2000 by Marilyn Crawford Corley, whose family originated in ...

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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


  • Encantado Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2012

    Snoothrank:

    The wine is a deep, inky purple color in the glass edging toward some lighter ...-napa-valley-cabernet.htm Read More

    Wine review by jtryka


  • Peter Franus Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 2002

    Snoothrank:

    Lately, Ive been on a pretty good streak of wines that do not fill my mouth with berry fruit. This wine does show cabernet cassis on entry, but fruit is not what this wine is all about. Strong acid and tannin backbone dominate over the delicate fruit flavors. Viney on the back of the palate. Long, lingering aftertaste where harshness is forg... Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • In Sonoma, as well as in Napa, they drop fruit during the course of the growing year to control crop size and quality. The pictured fruit above came from Beckstoffer To Kalon so you know it was farmed impeccably. Flavor was there so it wasn't watered down at all. This particular winemaker likes to let fruit hang a bit longer so the result of the... Read More

    Forum post in the topic 2014 Santa Lucia California...


  • Historically, agricultural pickers of any product are paid by volume (boxes of ... ... is viewed and managed in Napa-Sonoma, especially since he referred to a 50% increase at the yet-unnamed winery in vineyard production this year. 3 tons/acre is nothing like over in the Central Valley (would be interesting to see all Gallo's figures), or even... Read More

    Forum post in the topic 2014 Santa Lucia California...


  • Mud in the vineyards, transportation delays elsewhere because of the rain, (in ... let OT talk about Sonoma and Napa, but, for example, right now the Bordeaux I want to drink are mostly from the '90s. They were cheaper back then, and even if you're buying now they're far cheaper for what you get than the naughties, especially towards the end o... Read More

    Forum post in the topic 2014 Santa Lucia California...


  • Provenance Cabernet Sauvignon Rutherford 2006

    Snoothrank:

    Herbal, viney nose but with some hints of berry fruit. Initial hit of currants on the tip of the tongue. Then, there are hits from tannin and acid. A perfectly functional wine, but it does not seem to have much depth and complexity. Additional air seemed to calm down the tannin, but that only seemed to add to the berry fruit. Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • Chappellet Estate Chardonnay 2012

    Snoothrank:

    This is a bit difficult for me because I like this winery, very much, and I have enjoyed multiple vintages of their chardonnay in the past. That being said, this one is very heavily oak and, to my way of thinking, carries the buttery characteristic much too far. I guess I am showing another of my prejudices when I report that it lacks acid to ... Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • Sullivan Cabernet Sauvignon Rutherford Napa Valley 2012

    Snoothrank:

    The wine is a lovely ruby color in the glass with a dark indigo towards the ...-napa.htm Read More

    Wine review by jtryka


  • Beaulieu Vineyard Moscato Coastal Estates 2012

    Snoothrank:

    Off Dry with cirtus rind bite on the finish. More like Orange Muscat rather than Moscato. That's about it. Read More

    Wine review by StukNlodi


  • Jonata la Sangre de Jonata Syrah 2010

    Snoothrank:

    All sand soils Oily and seedy on the nose with fine briary accent notes. More in the strawberry end of the spectrum with asphalt and poppy seed base notes and hints of gamy hung meat. Big and dense in the mouth, chewy on the palate and packed with dry matter. There's a nice, mineral note here on the midpalate with tannins that close down the fi... Read More

    Wine review by Gregory Dal Piaz


  • 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 260479IdaGD300 260479 IdaGD300


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    Page modification by 125081Mike Pobega 125081 Mike Pobega


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